The China-Britain Business Council’s core remit is to be a strong and effective advocate for equitable and sustainable UK-China economic engagement, supporting our Members and the wider business community with accessible, fact-based information and analysis. 

CBBC’s Public Affairs team produce regular up-to-date, evidence-based papers, reports and newsletters. 

If you want factual, timely and practical analysis and information, contact:


The UK’s policy towards China rightly sits at the forefront of our national debate for a variety of reasons. We at CBBC offer information about the UK-China economic and commercial relationship, which is updated regularly, and is used both as a resource for our Members and the wider public, and in the interest of stimulating discussion based on hard evidence and up-to-date information.

  • In September 2022, China was the UK’s 2nd largest goods trading partner, after the U.S. In 2021, China was the UK’s 6th largest export market for goods and the single largest source of imports.
  • The UK’s links to China via goods trade, tourism and education support an estimated 114,000 to 129,000 jobs across the country, according to 2020 research by Cambridge Econometrics.
  • The UK’s goods exports to China rose 0.8% year-on-year in 2021, to a total of £18.1 billion. Imports from China increased 16.2% year-on-year to £ 63.5 billion.
  • In 2021, exports of essential goods (excl. crude oil and gold) were up 11.4%, compared to a much weaker recovery of comparable exports to other major trading partners: USA (1.7%), EU (2.0%), Japan (1.7%). In 2021, the UK shipped 12.6% of its road vehicle exports, and 6.6% of its machinery and transport equipment exports to China.
  • The UK’s services exports to China increased 1.1% 2021, to a total of £8.2 billion. Service imports from China rose 15.4% to 2.5 £ billion
  • In September 2022, UK goods exports to China were worth around £2.8 billion, up 120.3% year-on year. Chinese imports into the UK were worth £5.8 billion, a drop of -4.4% compared to the same month in 2021. This is the first time that UK exports exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with exports 6.1% higher compared to the same month in 2019. In September 2022, China was the UK’s largest source of imports ahead of Germany and the fourth largest export destination.