World / Economic Cooperation

Record-breaking trade deals to be signed during president's trip

By ZHONG NAN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-21 08:03

Record-breaking trade deals to be signed during president's trip
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China and the United Kingdom will sign a number of economic and trade deals covering finance, energy, healthcare, automobiles and real estate during President Xi Jinping's ongoing visit to the country, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.

The size and value of the deals will be the largest in history during Chinese leaders' state visit to the country, said Shen Danyang, the ministry's spokesman.

Shen said the deals will include cooperative projects between Chinese and British companies, banks and research institutes.

The UK's demand for improving infrastructure is expected to become a new highlight for Sino-British cooperation, Shen said.

"As China is promoting the Belt and Road Initiative and the British government has made plans to develop its northern region, these initiatives will offer market growth opportunities to project contractors," said Shen.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is a trade and infrastructure network that includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The planned network connects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 countries and regions.

Known as High Speed 2, the British high-speed railway is planned to link London with the English Midlands and cities in northern England. Construction for Phase 1 of the projects is set to begin in 2017, with an indicated opening of 2026. The UK government also plans to add nuclear power stations and industrial parks in northern England over the next decade.

Shen said Chinese companies have a good record carrying out infrastructure work such as airport and water treatment projects in the UK, and the Ministry of Commerce will continue to encourage Chinese and British companies to conduct more cooperative activities in each other's markets.

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