|Trade Relations and Economic-Technological Cooperation|
The UK is one of the main trading partners of China in west-Europe, which has been illustrated by a continuous growth of bilateral trade volume in recent years. Sino-British trade volume in 1998 stood at US$ 6.548 billion, ranking 2nd among EU countries. Statistics from China's General Administration of Customs show that Sino-British trade during the period from January to September 1999 reached US$ 5.49 billion, 18.9% higher as against the same period of last year, of which China's export and import volume stood at US$ 3.36 billion and US$ 2.13 billion, a growth rate of 2.5% and 59% respectively over the same period of 1998. As the largest investor in China among other EU countries, the UK has so far invested in 2484 projects in China with a total real input of US$ 7.396 billion in China by the end of August 1999. The investments made by the UK between January and September 1999 were 162 projects with a pledged amount of US$ 749 million and real input of US$ 754 million, registering a growth rate of - 3.57 % , -46.83% and -28.03 % respectively as against the same period of 1999. The UK has provided China four government loans since 1986, totaling?855 million (approximately US$ 1.37 billion).