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Chairman of China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) Lord Powell Gave a Welcome Luncheon to Ambassador Fu Ying

Chairman of China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) Lord Charles Powell gave a luncheon in the House of Lords to welcome Ambassador Fu Ying on 16 May 2007. Nearly 30 people including the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Michael Heseltine, former Lord Mayor of London David Brewer, Chairman of 48 Group Club Stephen Perry, representatives from UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Trade & Investment, Confederation of British Industry's were present at the luncheon.

Lord Powell welcomed Ambassador Fu Ying to take office on behalf of the CBBC. He says although the economic and trade cooperation between China and UK has made continuous progress in recent years, it does not suit the economic scale of both countries. China is the 13th largest export market of the UK, while the UK only occupies 1.5% of the Chinese market share, so there will be huge potentials in economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Not long ago when the Director general Sun Yongfu of European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce visited the UK. He briefed China's new trade policy direction to the British business circles. The policy focus of the Chinese government has been shifted from promoting export to expanding import, which will bring new opportunity to the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The CBBC is looking forward to working together with the Chinese Embassy to push the trade and investment between China and UK to a new height. In addition to trade and economy, CBBC also hopes to give impetus to Sino-UK cooperation in other fields. CBBC gave welcome banquets to the Chinese leaders visiting the UK in past years, which is a good platform to promote the bilateral relations. The China-Britain Joint Commission on Economy and Trade, Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo 2010 will encourage the further development of the bilateral relations in the future.

H.E. Mme. Fu Ying expressed thankfulness to Lord Powell and CBBC. She pointed out that even though the cooperation between the two countries has been expanding continuously, there are huge space for development. For example, British total investments in China is number one among EU countries, but the gap of total investments between Germany and UK is only 500 million US dollars, and German annual investment has surpassed that of UK for three years in a row. The British technology trade with China ranked five in the EU, and will be overstepped by Finland soon. During the tenure she will work together with the British government and business circles to increase the mutual understanding, expand cooperation, improve the investment and business environment as well as promote the further development of bilateral economic and trade relations. A few days ago Director general Sun Yongfu was invited to the Embassy to explain the policy of expanding import for the purpose of deepening the British business circles' understanding of Chinese market demand. The Chinese Embassy will launch more activities like this.

H.E. Mme. Fu Ying noted that cultural exchange is another important field of cooperation. She recently received a replica of 16 volumes the compiled British Illustrations, one of the 500 precious gifts for Emperor Qianlong presented by the envoy Lord Macartney sent by British King George III in 1792, which comprehensively reflected the British life 200 years ago and expressed the wish of the British King to develop friendly relations with China. The Chinese Embassy with cooperate with the British Museum to hold an exhibition of these books so as to help the people to understand the history of Sino-UK intercourse and cherish the present comprehensive friendship, meanwhile convey a message: China will develop the relations with the outside world with an amicable, active and confident attitude.

H.E. Mme. Fu Ying said the event of "China Now" would be held next year in the UK to support Beijing Olympic Games, which will undoubtedly further mutual understanding and lay solid foundation for expanding the cooperation in various areas.