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Minister Chen Wen Attends and Addresses the 48 Group Club Autumn Reception


On 26 November, Minister Chen Wen delivered a speech at the online 48 Group Club Autumn Reception. Around 100 people attended, including Vice Chairman Keith Bennett and other members of the 48 Group Club, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council, and Fang Wenjian, Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

In her speech, Minister Chen said, in 2021, China will embark on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all aspects and develop a “dual circulation” growth pattern in which the domestic market will play a leading role, with international and domestic markets reinforcing each other, and the UK will enter a new stage after Brexit and make vigorous efforts to build a “global Britain”. This will bring three opportunities to China-UK business cooperation. The first is the opportunity of China’s growth. China is the first country in the world to have got the epidemic under control, brought economic activities back on track, and realized steady economic recovery. “During the 14th Five Year Plan period and beyond, China will focus on high-quality growth. This will deliver more benefits to its partners from the world, including the UK,” the Minister said.

The second is the opportunity of China’s market. China has the advantage of a super large market. The UK, with its leading capacity in innovation and quality products, will continue to receive more benefits from exploring the “rich mine” of such market.

The third is the opportunity of China’s opening up. At the moment, China is implementing a number of measures to open its door wider to the world. “China will remain committed to opening up more areas and more sectors at a deeper level and promoting mutually-beneficial China-UK cooperation,” said Chen.

Minister Chen emphasized that 67 years ago, as the international community began to recover from the Second World War, visionary people from the British business community, represented by the 48 Group Club, overcame multiple barriers and embarked on an “icebreaking trip” to trade with China. “Today, after 67 years, the world is experiencing the most serious pandemic in a century. Against this background, it is all the more important to carry forward the ‘icebreakers spirit’ by keeping in mind the big picture, shouldering the responsibilities of our two countries as major global players, keeping to the major direction and fostering a sound atmosphere for China-UK cooperation, aiming high and upgrading China-UK cooperation,” added Minister Chen.

Vice Chairman Bennett said, since the founding of the 48 Group Club almost 70 years ago, UK-China relationship has made remarkable progress despite twists and turns. We have witnessed President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK and the highlight moment of UK-China relations stepping into a “golden era”, but also felt regret to see the relationship under difficulties at the current stage. No matter how the situation changes, the 48 Group Club is committed to promoting the UK-China relationship. Looking forward, he hoped that all countries will restore rationale and work together to tackle global challenges such as issues of public health and climate change. The British business community will seize the opportunities of China’s market and actively explore third-party market cooperation with China under BRI.

At the warm on-line reception, the host and guests talked about the great significance of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, saying that the British business community is full of confidence and expectation on the cooperation between the UK and China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.

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