Sino-UK trade to top PM visit

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, November 3, 2010
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Despite growth and positive figures, some have pointed out that bilateral trade and investment need to be more balanced between China and the UK.

While China has become the sixth-biggest investor in projects in the UK, according to the UK Trade & Investment, the latter exports more to Ireland than it does to China, Brazil, Russia and India put together.

The British government "should also make it easier for businesses to export their goods and services - including by providing information, contacts and financial backing and removing constraints to trade", Richard Lambert, director-general of the UK's top business lobbying organization the Confederation of Business Industry, said last week.

Not just B-2-B

Despite trade and investment, observers said China and the UK, strategic partners since 2004, should have more areas to cooperate on.

Mitter, of Oxford University, said the UK "remains one of the world's major economies with significant strengths in areas such as finance, higher education, and international legal services".

The City of London, the financial center of the British capital, had on Monday established an advisory council composed of prominent Chinese government and financial figures to guide its engagement with China.

Alex Mackinnon, an international strategy consultant and co-author of China Calling: A Foot in the Global Door and China Counting: How the West Was Lost, said China can learn from the UK's experience in healthcare.

China can benefit from "a closer linkage at the inter-governmental level" with the UK, which "has a national health service with a large administration covering urban and rural medical provision".

Mackinnon pointed out two other areas where there is room for "lateral thinking".

"The development of contract law is highly respected and advanced internationally in the UK," said Mackinnon.

"There is also in the UK a fair and reasonable arbitration environment and China could agree that some disputes may be allowed to be arbitrated in the UK under guidance from scholars of both nations," he added.

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