Interview: "Rising tide lifts all boats" applies to China-Britain investment, trade, says British expert
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, chair of the China-BritainBusiness Council, delivers a speech at China Hainan Free Trade Port -- the U.K. Promotion Conference in London, Britain, June 9, 2023. (Photoby Stephen Chung/Xinhua)
LONDON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The close connection between Britain and China in terms of investment and trade will benefit both sides, as "all ships float on a rising tide," Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, chair of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Cowper-Coles and other CBBC representatives recently dispatched a business delegation to China to boost trade ties. During his visit, he observed a heightened sense of optimism among British companies operating in China regarding the prospects for the upcoming year in the Chinese market.
According to Britain's official data, the total trade in goods and services between Britain and China increased 18.3 percent to 111 billion pounds (142 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022 and Britain's exports to China increased 37.7 percent to 37.6 billion pounds (48.3 billion dollars).
"Now, with UK-China trade at record levels ... we are at a new stage," he told Xinhua.
Noting that British business leaders hope to strengthen the China-Britain relationship in a win-win manner, Cowper-Coles said the connection is "not just for both countries, but for both peoples."
"In particular sectors in China, the UK has a very important role to play," Cowper-Coles said, adding that "a transition to net-zero" can offer Britain business opportunities in the Chinese market. "We are embarking on a great journey together, the transition to more sustainable economic development," he said.
Besides cosmetics and advanced manufacturing equipment that are popular in China, there are other areas where British companies can tap into the potential, such as health, life sciences, new models of savings and wealth management, he added.
In his view, Chinese companies also have opportunities to invest in Britain. "China is ahead of the world in the development of the technologies of the 21st century, particularly green technologies, whether it's solar panels, wind turbines, or electric batteries," said the expert.
Regarding the bilateral relationship, he noted that the level of understanding should be raised "not just among our leaders, but among our school children as well, by encouraging the study of Chinese civilization, not just the study of the Chinese language."
"These are two great countries, two great civilizations, and they should be connected and engaged," he said.