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British businesses hail PM's trade mission to China as "a success"

11-12-2010 10:23 BJT Special Report:UK PM Visits China |

British businesses and experts have hailed Prime Minister David Cameron's two-day visit to China as "a success."

Dr. Wang Zhengxu, senior research fellow at Nottingham University's China Policy Institute and its acting director, told Xinhua Wednesday he believed Cameron's visit had been a success and would pay dividends for both China and Britain.

Dr. Wang said, "In the last few days, the delegation has been able to secure quite a few big contracts worth millions or even billions of pounds."

He said the two countries were quite eager to push bilateral trade to a higher level.

Prospects for future bilateral trade were good as a result of the trip, Dr. Wang said. "The two countries have complimentary business sectors, Britain has some very strong sectors that China can import from, and China has low-cost manufacturing sectors that can supplement the British economy."

"There is plenty of goodwill this time, from the two sides, and Cameron's trip to China does give a strong foundation for future bilateral trade development," he said.

There would be a lasting effect from the Cameron mission. "For this kind of bilateral relations, we can probably look forward to two years of materialization into real economic cooperation on trade," Dr. Wang said.

However, the overall success of the mission would also be affected by outside factors, not least of which was the G20 summit in Seoul, which Cameron was set to attend immediately after his China visit.

Dr. Wang said the influence of the G20 would be felt in its dealings with "financial problems around assets and liquidity from the United States, and the stability of the exchange rate regime."

In terms of goods trade and manufacturing, and in terms of Britain's retail services penetrating Chinese markets, and in terms of education exports to China, the prospects were fine over the coming two years, Dr. Wang said.

Dr. Damian Tobin of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London told Xinhua the success of Cameron's visit to China was likely to be decided far from the Great Hall in Beijing.

"It is more likely to be decided by the contributions that British businesses can make to China's future development," he said, adding "This will require British firms to identify specific areas where they can make contributions to China's objective of raising per capita incomes, increasing productivity and achieving technology upgrading, particularly in rural areas."

Dr. Tobin said British businesses' success in China would also depend on the extent to which they could comply with changing regulations on labor conditions and the environment.

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