Skip to main content

Trade and Investment: China

26 July 2011

A report published by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee tells the Government it needs to "up its game" in supporting trade with China

In the Report, the Commons Business Innovation and Skills Committee considers the Government's strategy for trade with China.

The Report broadly welcomes the Government's strategy for engagement with China and acknowledges the recent improvements in the UK/China trading relationship. However, the Report concludes the UK's performance continues to lag behind countries such as Germany.

Key areas

China's latest 5-year plan has targeted a number of key areas for its economy, which UK sectors are well equipped to support. The Committee believes that the Government needs to actively target those sectors so that UK companies can exploit that advantage.

The Report also highlights Shanghai Automotive's investment in MG Rover as a shining example of the benefits to the UK of long-term investment by an overseas investor. It urges the Government to ensure that similar companies are alive to the benefits of investing in the UK and to support that investment.

The Committee highlights problems with the experience and perceptions of the UK visa regime in China and airs its deep concerns that Ministers appeared to be unaware of the level of disquiet on this issue from both UK and Chinese companies. The Report recommends that the Government urgently addresses these failings so that Britain is truly open for Business

The protection of intellectual property is another area of concern for UK companies looking to work in China and the Report stresses the importance of resolving this problem. While the Report acknowledges the fact that the UK and Chinese governments are working towards a solution it asks the Government to set out clearly what protection it can provide UK companies in the interim period.

Adrian Bailey MP, Chair of the Committee said

"As our Report concludes, the UK is playing catch-up in its trade relationship with China. The Government will need to up its game if the UK is to realise its potential in this key market."

Further Information

Image: iStockphoto