UK and China celebrate huge new trade deals worth over £14 billion
China and the UK have signed trade deals worth billions during the Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Britain.
The UK has been anxious to tap into China as a crucial export market in recent years, and trade between Britain and the world’s second-largest economy has been building on its existing strengths.
During the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang to the UK this week, the two nations have signed a succession of trade deals with a collective value of more than £14 billion.
By far the biggest agreement of the pack was a 20-year deal between BP and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which will see the UK firm supply China with up to 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2019.
It’s likely to be sourced from BP’s export facilities in Texas, which would also make the deal significant for the US’ position as a world leader in gas supplies.
The deal was signed by leaders of the two energy firms in front of David Cameron and Li Keqiang, and according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), it will be worth as much as £12 billion over the length of the agreement.
But it was far from the only significant deal reached over the period – China Minsheng Investment Corporation is planning to invest around £1.5 billion through a new European headquarters in the heart of London. As the largest private sector investment group in China, its presence in the British capital will go even further towards raising London’s profile as a global business hub.
MAP Environmental Ltd and Z N Shine Solar have set up a joint venture to buy, develop and install £400 million in UK solar power assets, while China Merchant Securities has also just opened its first London office, authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday, 17 June.
China Merchant Securities is likely to pay a major role in establishing London as a world renminbi trading centre, something the government has been keen to ensure. The Bank of England appointed China Construction Bank as a yuan clearing house in London earlier this week, and direct currency trades have finally begun between China and the UK.
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