15 February 2018

  |  CBI Updates Team


Golden era with China

CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn joins Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, for a trade mission to China.

Golden era with China

CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, and leading businesses joined the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, to promote British business in China and encourage Chinese firms to focus on opportunities for investing in the UK. 

The trade mission to China saw the inaugural meeting of the new UK-China CEO Council in which the CBI serves as the body’s Secretariat; featuring 15 UK and 15 Chinese companies from a range of sectors.

With three cities visited in as many days, the delegation had a busy agenda encompassing education in Wuhan, food and drink, healthcare and the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing and financial services, automotive and e-commerce in Shanghai.

Market access and business environment were central to the trip with the UK standing to profit from China’s move from manufacturing and infrastructure into technology and services, Theresa May returned from China with £9 billion worth of business deals. Contributing to this £9 billion of business deals, JD.com, China’s largest retailer, announced plans to sell £2 billion of UK goods to Chinese consumers in the next two to three years. The agreement, signed between JD.com and the British Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT), is focused on making it easier for British companies to access the Chiness market via JD.

Also on the trip, Carolyn and Qingdao’s Mayor, Wang Jianxiang, signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the CBI and Qingdao’s China-Britain Innovation Industry Park. The agreement strengthens cooperation between the organisations as the Chinese Government plans to invest over £200 million  in the park.

This trip is an important early indication of what more the UK can achieve in the era of Global Britain, as a standard-bearer for free trade around the world. The CBI will continue to work with the Department of Trade on future trips and this important policy area to improve Britain’s exports performance and attract foreign investment.  

For more information please contact Noah.Shaw@cbi.org.uk.