5.6 billion worth of deals signed in China
More than 120 British companies, including around 60 small and medium-sized UK firms, have made the trip to China, which aims to take the economic relationship between the two countries to a new level.
Headline announcements include Jaguar Land Rover’s new £4.5 billion export deal Surrey Satellites Technology’s contract with Chinese partners Space Star Technology Company for a new satellite constellation worth £100 million and Chang’An Automobile Co. Ltd which will invest £60 million and create 300 jobs at a new European Research & Development Centre in the West Midlands.
Prime Minister David Cameron said, "Linking Britain to fast-growing markets like China is a vital part of the government’s plan to provide sustainable growth and compete in the global race.
"Today's announcements show the huge potential to increase business with China.
"We are determined to do all we can to throw open the door for British companies to benefit from China’s vast and varied markets, showcasing British business, particularly small enterprises, in China and highlighting investment opportunities."
Business Secretary Vince Cable, said, "Increasing trade with China and other fast growing markets will help us to build a stronger economy. Our Industrial Strategy is providing the confidence for continued investment in key sectors of the UK economy.
“It is particularly encouraging to see increasing business today for the success story that is the UK automotive industry from companies like Jaguar Land Rover, Chang’An Automobile Co, Geely Automotive and McLaren. All are helping to create more private sector jobs outside of London."
Trade Minister designate, Lord Livingston, said, “More and more UK companies are selling their products and services to China with exports almost doubling since 2009 - reaching more than £1 billion per month. The UK is one of the most open countries to Chinese investment and was the most popular European destination for Chinese investment last year.
"The raft of deals shows that the UK and China truly are partners for growth - China's growing appetite for British expertise proves that the UK is one of the most attractive inward investment destinations in the world.
"UK Trade & Investment stands ready to support companies of all sizes that want to take their first steps into this rapidly-expanding market and is actively showcasing all that the UK has to offer to Chinese companies looking for business opportunities overseas."
Some of the other major deals signed today include:
• Rolls-Royce has won an additional £17 million contract to supply China’s energy infrastructure. The UK-based global power systems company will supply PetroChina with equipment and services to expand the flow of natural gas through the Lunnan-Tulufan branch of the second West to East Pipeline Project.
• McLaren announced that in only three months of trading in China, they had exported 108 high-technology 12C sports cars and have taken more than 30 orders for the ground-breaking McLaren P1 – with a total export value of £45m. McLaren anticipate that in future China may account for 10% of total McLaren sales – with an export value of over £50m per year.
• Geely reaffirmed its commitment to invest into the London taxi project to bring a new green TX5 taxi model into production over the next five years by increasing its investment figure from £150 million to £180 million. Geely has confirmed that £80 million of this will go into the UK, including £30 million for a new manufacturing facility and approximately £50 million for research and development on the next generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles. As a result of ongoing increased production Geely hopes to increase its workforce at regional sites in the UK.
Half of the businesses attending are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Among them is Manchester-based Sweet Mandarin, an award-winning Chinese restaurant and small British manufacturer of gluten free, nut free, dairy free sauces. The company signed a deal worth up to £6 million to sell Chinese sauces into the Chinese market, creating up to 15 new UK jobs.
Wiltshire-based SME Moulton Bicycles announced that its Chinese distributor has made an order, with a value of £500,000, for a special model of Moulton bicycle that will only go on sale in China.
Karren Brady, vice chairman of West Ham United, who formed part of the delegation, said, "I'm absolutely delighted to be part of this trade mission and have already seen the tangible benefits that such a trip can provide, especially to SMEs. SMEs are the engines of the economy and I'm so pleased that the Prime Minister has delivered for them during this ground-breaking trip".