On Thursday 10th November 2016, the China-Britain Business Council along with partners CCCME, CCCUK and The 48 Group Club, welcomed His Excellency Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China Ma Kai to a spectacular evening banquet at The Langham Hotel in London on the occasion of the 8th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue. Guests included Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Chairman of CBBC Lord Sassoon Kt, H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and many other distinguished guests. After the welcome reception, the evening began with several keynote speeches and was followed by the banquet where guests from across UK-China business and government engaged in warm discussion.
Lord Sassoon reflected on the developments made since the first UK-China EFD held in Beijing in 2008 and the emergence of London as the key gateway for China to integrate in to global financial markets. Under the Vice-Premier’s guidance, Lord Sassoon highlighted the progress made in Chinese banks opening branches in London, the LME being acquired by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the UK becoming the first large western country to apply for AIIB membership, and London now being the largest RMB trading centre outside Hong Kong. Lord Sassoon also commented on the plan for UK financial and professional services firms to work with Chinese construction and engineering companies on Belt and Road Initiative projects, equally congratulating major Chinese financial institutions on their endeavours in the UK. Vice-Minister Zhong Shan in his speech afterwards echoed Lord Sassoon’s remarks reaffirming the importance of ‘win-win’ cooperation and mutual benefit between the UK and China.
Minister of State for International Trade Greg Hands emphasised one of the key themes of discussion during the Economic & Financial Dialogue, that of UK businesses working closer with the Belt and Road initiative. He remarked on the valuable role of CBBC in furthering UK-China ties given its strength in relationships with government and business. Moreover, following Prime Minister May’s positive meeting with President Xi Jinping at the Hangzhou G20 Summit, as well as President Xi’s state visit last year, he stressed the need to maintain the momentum in furthering the bilateral UK-China ‘Golden Era’ and was quick to highlight the likelihood of a further Prime Ministerial visit to China in early 2017. He stated the UK wanted China to become its second largest foreign investor by 2020 and wanted to further trade and investment particularly in areas of financial and professional services. The Minister sees great potential for the UK’s high-end brands as well as opportunities for the sports industry in China.
Lastly, Vice-Premier Ma Kai underlined the strength of the UK-China relationship following the Economic & Financial Dialogue. He commended last year’s State Visit and the UK government’s decision to proceed with the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor as well as dismissing concerns about the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. He reaffirmed China’s commitment to the ‘Golden Era’ and deepening bilateral trade and investment. The Vice-Premier remarked on both sides robust and candid dialogue on macro-economic policy, market access, financial and professional services, infrastructure and strategic industries.
CBBC would like to thank our partners CCCME, CCCUK and The 48 Group Club in organising a successful evening as well as our sponsors the Bank of China, Bank of Communications London Branch, CICC UK and HSBC. Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to all who attended and we look forward to further UK-China Economic and Financial dialogues in the future.