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British Trade Minister Visits China

British Foreign Office Trade Minister Ian Pearson started his four-day China visit Monday, which will take him to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, the British Foreign Office said in a release.  

Pearson will visit Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and meet the new Chief Executive Donald Tsang, senior government officials, members of the Legislative Council, as well as addressing commerce groups.


The focus of his discussions will be bilateral trade and investment, Hong Kong's role in the Pearl River Delta and preparations for the WTO (World Trade Organization) ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.


In Shanghai and Beijing, the Minister is scheduled to meet Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and other senior officials on the UK-China comprehensive strategic partnership and the potential for enhanced cooperation, particularly through the continuing work of the UK-China Summit in September.


"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a key trading partner for the UK. I'm looking forward to meeting Donald Tsang and Principal Officials as well as senior business figures to discuss how to develop our bilateral ties further," Pearson said before his departure.


"In Shanghai I will learn what further opportunities there are for UK businesses to invest in eastern China and have discussions with leading Chinese businesses on investing in the UK. The UK and China share strong trade ties, with almost US$2 billion of direct UK investment in east China alone. And increasingly Chinese companies are recognizing the UK's strengths as a destination for their overseas investment," he said.


This is Pearson's first trip to China. He said he was looking forward to seeing "first hand the huge developments taking place there, and the exciting opportunities for British businesses."


(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2005)

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