The UK government has announced that it is set to sign commercial contracts with China that are worth more than £2.4 billion, as it seeks to forge greater trade ties with the economic giant.
Chancellor George Osborne, who is meeting China's vice-premier Ma Kai in London today (September 12th) said that these deals will prove to be a significant asset to both countries.
Full details have yet to be revealed but it includes a £1 billion joint venture that is related to Malaysian oil terminal and a £200 million scheme that will see China benefit from new vocational training schools and nursing homes.
The partnership with China has been high on the agenda for the coalition government because exports to traditional markets – mainly in Europe – have not dramatically improved since the financial crisis.
In 2013, China became the UK's seventh-biggest export market, valued at £12.4 billion.
"We promote UK interests through a strong, effective relationship with China," the British government has said of its efforts with China.
"We work to promote international security, increase mutual prosperity, and support China’s process of modernisation and reform. We also aim to provide high quality consular services for British nationals in China."
In related news, premier Li Keqiang recently said at the World Economic Forum that it is committed to reforming its economy to boost growth.
Things started off well during the first half of the year, with its economy growing by 7.4 per cent, which was just short of the 7.5 per cent target.
However, by the end of July, this momentum weakened, as retail sales, investment and industrial output slowed down.
"As a big country, China has to play a more important role in the global economy," commented the Beijing Youth Daily. "Contributing to global economic growth is not enough, it has to maintain an advantage position in technology innovation, which is China's weakest link."
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