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China-UK trade 'to reach $16.39b by 2015'

Updated: 2013-12-02 13:33
By Zhao Yinan (

Vice-Premier Wang Yang pledged on Monday to increase China-UK trade to at least 100 billion yuan ($16.39 billion) by 2015, envisioning broader cooperation and less restrictions.

Wang said China recorded 62 billion yuan of imports from the UK in 2012, toping the list of Britain's export growth. Bilateral trade is also expected to increase at a similar level this year. Wang said the government encourages businesses to take part in the construction of infrastructure in the British market, such as nuclear power plants and high-speed railways.

The government is also willing to offer financial services for global-oriented businesses. Wang made the remarks at the opening of a Sino-British trade forum in Beijing, where leaders from China and the UK have envisioned more openness and opportunities between the two countries.

Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, leading the largest industrial and commercial delegation of the country to China from Dec 2 to 4, said the UK is willing to be part of China's success story, noting it would be difficult for the world's second-largest economy to find another economy so open as the UK is to China. He promised that the British government will set no restriction on Chinese overseas students as well as investors to come to the British market.

Instead of the Chinese way of "crossing the river by feeling the stones", Cameron proposed that the two countries should "dive together into the deep water", indicating British willingness to explore new cooperation fields with China.

Allan Cook, chairman of Atkins, a leading design, engineering management consultancy firm, said the two speeches offered by leaders from the respective countries were "inspiring", and he sees an opportunity to apply the company's expertise and know-how in sustainable urban development in China. More British investors are coming to China, not only from the multinational companies, a signal that economic exchanges between the two countries is getting deeper, he said.

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