His Royal Highness the Duke of York began an official six-day visit to China today during which he will visit Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu and Beijing. During the visit the Duke will promote commercial relations between China and Britain and demonstrate Britain's commitment to contributing to China's earthquake reconstruction work.
Promoting trade ties
As the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, the Duke of York promotes British business abroad. Trade and investment ties between China and the UK have developed strongly in recent years. The UK is the largest EU investor in China with over 6,000 UK projects. Over 370 mainland Chinese companies have set up in the UK and in 2007 the UK was the number one destination for Chinese investment in the EU. China is now the UK's largest export market for goods outside the EU and the USA. In the first half of 2008, British exports of goods to China grew by 43%.
In Beijing, the Duke will meet Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming to discuss trade and investment relations. He will also meet Minister of Education Zhou Ji to discuss education links. Together with Deputy Vice Mayor of Beijing Ji Lin the Duke will discuss opportunities for enhancing trade and investment links between Beijing and London, especially in light of lessons for London to learn from Beijing’s successful staging of the Olympic Games.
The Duke will meet senior Chinese business executives including the Chairman of the China Investment Corporation Lou Jiwei and attend The British Business Awards. The Awards, run by the British Chamber of Commerce with the British Ambassador as the Patron, aim to celebrate British business creativity and innovation in China.
(China.org.cn by WANG Ke November 6, 2008)