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UK & China strike up trade deals

Monday, June 27, 2011 - 02:15

June 27 - Britain and China have unveiled a series of deals worth 1.4 billion pounds ($2.3bln) during a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the UK. Sonia Legg reports.

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China's Premier Wen Jiabao was treated to a guard of honour during his three-day visit to the UK. Human rights issues aside, this was one visitor Prime Minister David Cameron was keen to do business with. Deals worth 1.4 billion pounds - that's 2.3 billion dollars - were agreed during the visit - and there's more to come. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin with English translation): CHINA'S PREMIER WEN JIABAO, SAYING: "We are confident about meeting a goal of raising bi-lateral trade to 100 billion US dollars by 2015." (SOUNDBITE) (English): DAVID CAMERON, BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, SAYING: "Trade with China is a huge opportunity for the United Kingdom and we have a lot of offer China too. As our economies become increasingly complimentary the UK has the goods and services, the experiences and the skills to match China's ambition to move up the value chain." Cameron said the UK had much to offer China particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, education, green technology and oil and gas exploration. One of the firms to secure a valuable new contract was Seamwell International. Matthew Ideans is their president. (SOUNDBITE) (English): MATTHEW IDEANS, PRESIDENT, SEAMWELL INTERNATIONAL, SAYING: "We basically convert coal into gas in situ - it takes out the mining process - the gas is then processed and put through a gas turbine to generate electricity. Environmentally it is great for not only China but for the rest of us as well and the fact that they are embracing it and putting it so high on the agenda as part of this summit is obviously good news for everybody." Cameron said China now exports more in a week than they did in an entire year three decades ago. He also said it accounts for a third of the world's growth over the past five years - and growth is something the UK currently lacks. UK exports of goods to China have increased by a fifth in the past six months but it's still way behind other European countries. Wen's next stop was Germany - whose current position as the powerhouse of the euro zone owes a great deal to its success in China. Greece's debt problems are also likely to be discussed there as Beijing seeks to safeguard its vast holdings of euro-dominated assets and preserve trade growth with the European Union - its largest trading partner. Sonia Legg, Reuters.

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UK & China strike up trade deals

Monday, June 27, 2011 - 02:15