World / Economic Cooperation

Chinese, British companies may be a powerful combination

By Zhang Chunyan in London (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2015-10-21 19:13

Chinese and British companies could prove a powerful combination in sectors such as infrastructure, according to Stephen Phillips, chief executive of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC).

"We think there are really good opportunities for British and Chinese companies," he told China Daily.

CBBC is a London-based organization that helps British companies grow and develop their business in China. His worad came ahead of a UK-China Business Summit which visiting President Xi Jinping will attend at London’s Mansion House on Wednesday.

The summit, which the UK prime minister, David Cameron, will also attend, is to focus on investment, infrastructure and innovation. It will build on the two countries' cooperation in bilateral trade and investment.

"The UK needs infrastructure, new energy. So if Chinese investment is making that happen sooner than it would happen - if the investment is there - that will obviously be positive for the UK economy," Phillips said.

China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign wealth fund, already acquired minority stakes in UK infrastructure, including the UK's Heathrow Airport Holdings and Thames Water Utilities Ltd.

Phillips said he had personal experience of the benefits of Chinese technology in the form of high-speed rail. Having travelled to China many times, he said he takes high-speed trains quite often. "I think they are great, modern, efficient, on-time and clean.

"The experience of the train overall is great. I am used to it. But for foreigners, getting a ticket and dealing with the train station is an experience."

Possible cooperation on nuclear power and a high-speed rail project have been tipped as key topics to be discussed between China and Britain during Xi's visit.

In a recent report, Phillips and his team looked at 13 provinces in China where they think there will be particular opportunities in the context of the One Belt, One Road strategy. The provinces include developed such as Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, but also developing areas like Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai.

"We also looked at a number of factors - e-commerce, energy, resources, financial resources, services, healthcare and infrastructure," he said.

"Along the entire route, there will be opportunities. British and Chinese companies probably will collaborate with companies from countries all along the route," the businessman said.

"As Chinese companies look to move up the value curve, we will see that sort of industrial collaboration, with more collaboration in R&D, and innovation, which ties in with One Belt, One Road."

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