Dear CBI members and partners,
Please find below an executive summary of President Xi Jinping's recent state visit to the UK.
A detailed and comprehensive report can be downloaded at the bottom of this article.
From 20-23 October, President Xi Jinping made his state visit to the UK—the first by a Chinese president in a decade—where he was welcomed with a remarkable display of pomp, pageantry, and fanfare from the British government and Royal Family.
●Huge Chinese delegation accompanies President Xi: President Xi was accompanied by 150 Chinese business leaders, and almost 1,000 people are estimated to have travelled from China to the UK to participate in the state visit.
●Grand culmination of a very special year for UK-China relations:
Widely touted by both sides to usher in a ‘golden era’ for the bilateral relationship, the state visit marked the grand culmination of what has been a very special year for the UK-China relationship.
Key milestones in the build-up to the visit including the first ever UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange, the Duke of Cambridge’s historic outing to China in March, the UK becoming the first Western European country to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s visit to China as well as the UK-China People-to-People Dialogue last month.
●Three primary themes underpinning state visit:
The state visit was underpinned by three primary themes—signalling the openness of the UK economy to Chinese business, working together on pressing global issues, and looking to each other as ‘economies of the future’ with the growing complementarity of the UK and Chinese economies.
●Nearly £40 billion worth of agreements:
Almost £40 billion worth of commercial deals were agreed upon, spanning a wide range of sectors, such as energy, retail, financial services, aerospace, healthcare, transport, education, the creative industries, and more.
Several examples of key announcements included:
1. BP’s multi-billion dollar LNG deal with Huadian
2. Manchester Airport’s plans to host the first direct scheduled flights to mainland China outside of London.
3. Rolls-Royce’s US$2.4 billion agreement to power HNA Group’s new aircraft.
4. EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation’s commitment to the construction and operation of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
5. Aston Martin and China Equity’s agreement to explore the development of a production version of Aston Martin’s fully electric RapidE concept.
●Widening the scope of bilateral relations:
The visit showcased the extent to which the UK is striving to build a very broad relationship with China—stretching beyond mere trade and investment—and lay the foundation for robust ties across the government, society, and business communities.