Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I was delighted to be in China last week for the first time in 10 years, even in that short part of the country’s history the change is remarkable. The level and quality of the infrastructure that has been built over that period is incredibly impressive, and beyond world class - the west would envy much of it. I also had the chance to visit the Olympic village, and see the birds nest stadium - another remarkable achievement!

I was there to sign an agreement with a large Chinese infrastructure conglomerate AVIC. The agreement is to help introduce Chinese investment into Commonwealth countries, predominantly in Africa. We hope to use the agreement to highlight investment opportunities in the less recognised and developed parts of Africa to enhance their development agenda.

The second side of the agreement focused on developing better partnerships between, British and Chinese companies, and I am grateful for the presence of the British Ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood, in recognising this.

China like India will drive the global economy for the next 50 years, a fact that is increasing recognised by western leaders. David Cameron is currently leading the largest trade mission (4 cabinet Ministers and over 40 business leaders) Britain has ever taken to country, in order to pursue the aim of doubling trade between the 2 countries. Missions like these will increasingly become a feature Heads of Government’s trips to China.

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