China Int’l Import Expo provides new platform for UK export Release date:2018-05-14

Ever-expanding Chinese market provides vast opportunities for British companies

The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) will kick off in Shanghai in November 2018. Lord James Sassoon, Chairman of the China-Britain Business Council made it clear that the UK will seize this opportunity to introduce its products and services to new Chinese consumers.

Lord Sassoon said that British companies were quite excited about the business opportunities this expo would bring, as 430 million Chinese middle-income consumers were craving for premier products and services from across the world.

“In a few years, the 430 million will grow to 750 million. So, this is a great opportunity for British companies,” he said. “We want to showcase products Chinese consumers will want to buy at the CIIE.”

Last May, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will hold the China International Import Expo starting from 2018. The first CIIE will be held from November 5 to 10, 2018, with the aim of further opening the Chinese market to the world.

Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade has confirmed that he would attend the expo. Lord Sassoon said this indicated the close attention the British government and companies pay to this expo.

He added, “this is because we want to showcase the best products and technologies in the fields of automobile, tourism, healthcare and creative industry. There is so much in the UK has to present at the expo.”

Recently, Lord Sassoon accompanied British Prime Minister Teresa May as she led a trade delegation to visit China. During this visit, the UK and China signed new deals in a worth of GBP 9 billion (or USD 12.5 billion). He said the three-day visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan was quite an eye-opener for the PM.

“During my conversations with her, I found she now had a better understanding of why British companies were so into China.”

“This visit is a great success. The PM learned about business opportunities and understood that we have entered Golden Era 2.0.”

Lord Sassoon noted that unlike previous PMs of the UK, PM Teresa May had never visited China before. But he pointed out that PM May understood the importance of the China-UK relations. In November last year, she delivered a speech at the London Mayor’s dinner, indicating that China was the only really important trading partner the UK has. This obviously reflects the importance she attaches to China-UK relations.

Lord Sassoon also said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative may provide the most clear and definite example for how these two countries should cooperate.

“The trade exchanges between these two countries are mutually-complementary”, he said. “On the one hand, China leads the industry in engineering and construction. On the other hand, Britain leads the fields in project management, establishment of legislation in major infrastructure projects, and financing in risk management.”

He said the next challenge for China and the UK is to determine the list of projects that third-party countries would like to join in, so that companies from both China and the UK could give these projects the necessary attention. He added that another key aspect was to identify the financing standards of these big projects in the global market.