China continues to finalise mammoth deals this year, with £14billion of trade with the UK as a whole plus £11.8 billion for an LNG deal with BP, all within three days. Major investments in UK infrastructure as well as smaller investments and trade co-operation in the clothing and food sectors were also included.
China has been allowed to own and operate Chinese-designed nuclear power plants as well as build and operate high speed rail lines. Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary stated “Given the boost to low carbon electricity, to energy security and to jobs, the Chinese interest in taking forward investment at Hinkley Point C – the UK’s first nuclear station in a generation – is hugely welcome”.
BP announced a 20 year deal with CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company) to supply Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to China worth $20billion. Shell oil also confirmed deals with China to support projects around the world regarding oil and gas.
Financially, the London Stock Exchange and Bank of China formalised facilities to allow the Chinese renminbi to trade on the offshore market. The deal allows Chinese companies to access and invest their money globally, and eases barriers for Chinese companies investing in the UK.
Birmingham appears to be a significant beneficiary, since 2008 23 direct investment projects from China have created 1,663 new jobs. Exports to China have risen over 9 times since 2009, the home to Jaguar Land Rover and JCB will now become the first UK city outside London to have direct flights to Beijing, starting from 22 July.