- POSTED: 19 Jun 2014 15:45
China's Premiere Li Keqiang has used a speech in London to reiterate that his country's economy will not have a hard landing and will maintain medium to high growth.
LONDON: China's Premiere Li Keqiang has used a speech in London to reiterate that his country's economy will not have a hard landing and will maintain medium to high growth.
The comments came as China's leader wrapped up a three-day visit to Britain which focused on economic ties and saw a thaw in relations between the two.
Britain rolled out the red carpet for Premier Li, as billions of dollars of business deals were unveiled -- with one British newspaper proclaiming he was the most important man in Britain.
So important he could reportedly demand and get an audience with the Queen.
But all this talk of trade deals, representing a significant amount for Britain, if not for China, has raised questions about China's economy.
Premier Li was at pains to stress that a hard landing was not in China's future, and targeted measures would ensure a minimum sustained growth of a 7.5 per cent.
Premier Li's remarks came as he and British Finance Minister George Osborne unveiled that China Construction Bank has secured a deal to become Britain's first clearing bank for renminbi, taking a step towards Osborne's long held ambition of making London the leading western centre for offshore yuan trading.
Britain is in fierce competition with other European countries for a slice of China's investment and business.
On Tuesday, the multi-billion dollar deals announced included investment in Britain's high speed rail network and nuclear power stations.
Business leaders are hoping these deals and government initiatives will encourage small-and medium-size companies to look to China when it comes to doing business.
“When it comes to China, they (British firms) see that as a risky economy and again a lot of initiatives are in place which are helping to tap in to that mindset -- trying to encourage more businesses, to make sure they are confident with going into that market and when they're in the market, they have the support that they need,” Sukhdeep Dhillon, British Chamber of Commerce. “I think that's what the government needs to push towards and UK businesses should be aware that the government is working towards that as well.”
Premier Li brought with him a 200-strong business delegation, many of whom mingled with their British counterparts this week; the message from China being: There are opportunities in all sectors.
"In terms of machinery and electronic areas there is still further potential to be tapped for our future growth, not only for our import and export but also for production and cooperation in areas such as high-end manufacturing, the auto industry, high end instruments and equipment as well as the aerospace industry,” said Zhang Yujing president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products. “All these areas need to be further invested in."
The visit appears to have thawed relations made frosty by David Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2012, as both countries reaffirmed an earlier commitment to raise bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015.
Premier Li travels on to Greece for a three-day visit to another European country hoping that the world’s second largest economy can help lift it from its own economic woes.