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UK is key partner on Belt & Road

By Angus McNeice in London | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-07-07 16:39

China's Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said on Thursday that Britain has become a key partner in delivering President Xi Jinping's international development and infrastructure plan.

Speaking at a forum at UK business advisory firm Deloitte's offices in London entitled "Outbound investment: How the United Kingdom Benefits from China's Growth," Liu outlined several concrete examples of Britain's support of Belt and Road Initiative.

"Britain, at a policy level, is the first major Western country to apply to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank," he said. "It was also among the first to approve and sign the guiding principles on financing the development of Belt and Road during the Belt and Road Forum."

Liu commended two major construction projects, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant that includes Chinese partner China General Nuclear and a 1.7 billion pound ($2.2 billion) development at Royal Albert Dock in east London which Chinese ABP Group and CITIC have broken ground on.

He also noted the current health of China's economic relationship with the UK.

"The first five months (of this year) saw trade in goods between China and Britain increased by 6.5 percent," Liu said. "China's financial direct investment in Britain stands at $18 billion, far outnumbering that of any European country."

At the event, organized by the China Europe International Business School, several industry figures including Han Ruixiang, CEO of ICBC London, Rita Liu, head of Alipay in Europe, and Deloitte vice chairman Angus Knowles-Cutler, discussed the impact Britain's vote to leave the European Union would have on Chinese merger and acquisition activity in the UK.

Last year, Chinese deal-makers completed over 170 European acquisitions worth more than $90 billion, up 40 percent on 2015, according to analysis concluded in late November by Deloitte.

Deloitte found that Germany attracted the biggest number of acquisitions by Chinese companies, with 34 deals. The UK was second with 32.

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