Home / China / Business

China willing to start talks with UK about Brexit FTA

By Zhong Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-08-03 07:37

China is willing to take an open attitude to work with the British government to conduct a feasibility study for a China-United Kingdom free trade agreement to deepen bilateral business ties, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

Shen Danyang, the ministry's spokesman, said that as the UK is a major global economy, China will respect its wishes if it wants to launch FTA talks.

The UK is a favorite European investment destination for Chinese companies and has strong business ties with China. The post-Brexit period has also attracted an increasing number of Chinese tourists to visit the UK due to the lower sterling exchange rate.

"Therefore, it shouldn't take long to complete China-UK FTA talks if both sides want it to be done within a short period, as new British Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized the UK government must seize the global opportunities offered by leaving the European Union and ensure Britain remains open for business," said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.

When Britain does leave the EU after final talks with the European Commission, the UK government will be able to make free trade agreements with other economies, even if it will no longer benefit from the EU's free trade pacts with 53 countries and regions, Li said.

The UK is not alone. China has already signed free trade agreement with non-EU members - Iceland and Switzerland. China and Norway is now in talks to reach a free trade deal.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said the country has already started preparing for the launch of FTA talks with China.

Because China has not signed a single deal with an EU member, the British government is currently studying the details of the China-New Zealand FTA, as well as considering which Chinese products would have a huge impact on the UK's national security, according to information posted on the China FTA network, a government website.

Trade in goods between China and the EU amounted to $564.85 billion in 2015, while trade between China and the UK reached $78.54 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

The EU and China have already started negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty, which is expected to give easier market access for EU companies into the China market. Both sides wish to conclude talks by the end of this year.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349