Canton Fair Connects China and Europe: New Opportunities Presented for Sino-UK Trade

GUANGZHOU, China, Oct. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China and a key trade platform for Sino-UK trade that is held biannually in Guangzhou and organized by the China Foreign Trade Centre, has hosted the Canton Fair (UK) International Market Forum ("the Forum") at its 122nd exhibition. The Forum gathered officials from the Department of European Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the British Consulate-General, Guangzhou as well as leaders from GfK and Deloitte to discuss Sino-UK economic ties. []

"Canton Fair is the perfect place to have these kinds of important discussions," said Ye Jijiang, Deputy Director of China Foreign Trade Centre. "We feel privileged to have hosted this Forum and that so many important and influential players openly shared their thoughts on the status of Sino-UK relations."

Growing Sino-UK Trade

Simon Mellon, Consul of British Consulate General, Guangzhou, indicated that the UK has become China's second-largest trading partner within the European Union, while China is the UK's third-largest export market with total exports growing by 63% since 2010. Sino-UK bilateral trade volume reached GBP60 billion (USD74.34 billion) in 2016.

Huang Yuefeng, Division Director of the Department of European Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, noted that Sino-UK bilateral investment is growing. China's direct investment in the UK reached USD18.14 billion in August 2017, while the UK has injected USD25.3 billion of investment into China. China has also established more than 500 enterprises in the UK.

An indication of Sino-UK trade, Canton Fair welcomed UK buyers since 1960s and now attracts around 3400 British buyers in one session.

"All the achievements Sino-UK trade has made reflect the growing complementarity between the economies of the two countries." said Mellon.

New Opportunities for Sino-UK Trade

The UK government's Brexit white paper noted that UK policy on Brexit will be guided "by what delivers the greatest economic advantage to the UK" and that the country would seek to increase trade with countries outside of the EU, such as China.

Jin Jian, Senior Partner at Deloitte China, said that the UK has a tax system that is the most attractive to foreign investors among European countries. Despite uncertainty, Jin believes, the UK government may adopt a more attractive and adaptive tax policy to attract investment after Brexit.

Anthony Williams, Business Group Director of GfK, pointed out that consumer confidence has recovered since the referendum and consumers aspire to make major purchases. He believes that this will bring opportunities to the market.

"We hope this forum could provide our business elites at the Canton Fair an opportunity to understand UK market potentials, find appropriate partners, and work together for a bright future of mutual benefit and common development," remarked Ye.

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