UK signs over 9 billion pounds in deals during PM's China trip

Reuters
Beijing, China Published: Feb 02, 2018, 05.58 AM(IST)

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, February 1, 2018. Photograph:( Reuters )

Britain signed deals worth more than 9.3 billion pounds ($13.26 billion) creating over 2,500 jobs across the United Kingdom during Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to China this week, the British government said on Friday.

"The agreements signed this week, valued at more than 9 billion pounds, demonstrate a clear demand for British goods and services," International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said in the statement.

"As an international economic department, we will continue to develop this valuable relationship, which already benefits British companies to the tune of 59 billion pounds in trade each year."

The figure is expected to rise as more agreements are signed, the statement added, representing commercial signings, market access agreements and future contract commitments within different sectors.

More than 1 billion pounds of deals and market access, and 890 jobs, were secured for Britain's financial services industry, it said.

May ended her three-day visit to China in the country's commercial capital Shanghai on Friday.

Britain is trying to reinvent itself as a global trading nation after a 2016 referendum decision to leave the European Union, but Brexit has unnerved Beijing, even as London hopes to sign a free trade deal with the world's second-largest economy.

Still, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told May on Wednesday that China's relations with Britain will remain unchanged through Brexit.

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