Leaders urged to show 
Chinese Britain is open for investment

BRITISH leaders need to continue to show how open the UK is to Chinese investment to compete globally, according to the chief executive of China-Britain Business Council.

Stephen Phillips said that the UK is already attracting “considerable” Chinese investment, adding that it has “an excellent operating environment, a wealth of expertise to support businesses as they grow and is a fantastic base to engage with Europe, Africa and the Middle East too”.

He added: “The ties between our countries are strong and growing ever more so. Chinese students who have studied in the UK are increasingly in decision making roles and know very well what the UK has to offer. As a country we need to capitalise on those links.”

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With China just days away from unveiling its new leadership, the Leeds-based director at the China-Britain Business Council Giles Blackburne gave his take on what the changes mean for Britain.

“In my view, the theme of continuity lies at the heart of every leadership change. A new leadership does not wish to be seen to be challenging what has gone before, but does have a role in continuing to readjust the economy, especially if the thrust of previous policies has had any unanticipated consequences.

“It’s a constant balancing act of making hard decisions, while keeping the Chinese population satisfied that their living standards are still rising.

“Yorkshire businesses can expect a China with the same trajectory of further opening up and opportunity in the domestic market. Such opportunities may also come about from China’s new challenges, such as its ageing population and the consequences of rapid urbanisation.

“All the while, the direction of China’s outbound activity, in terms of investment and the establishment of overseas operations, will also hold opportunities to engage with China here in the UK.”