01 January 2011
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Manufacturing set for boost in Far East trading

The Chinese trade mission visiting Britain this January intends to boost trade links between the two nations. Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang, who led the Chinese delegation held meetings with Coalition cabinet leaders while British and Chinese firms signed commercial agreements worth an estimated £2.6 billion.

China's rapid economic growth in recent times has developed trade so that growth in the export of manufactured goods is slowing to a degree while increases in imports are steadily accelerating. Official figures show that China's trade surplus of exports over imports shrank to an eight month low in December with imports increasing by more than 25% on the same month a year earlier.

January's trade talks have highlighted the clear opportunity that exists for British manufacturing to boost business with China. Prime Minister David Cameron said two-way trade between the two countries provided a 'real opportunity' for the UK economy. Boosting Sino-British trade was important for jobs and economic growth and the talks would 'build on the momentum' created by the PM's trip to China last November.

Mr Li and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were present at the signing of the commercial agreements which included a deal for Jaguar Land Rover to sell 40,000 vehicles in China in 2011. Meanwhile BP and the China National Offshore Oil Corp have agreed a deep-water exploration project in the South China Sea.

Paul Gay


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