By Claire West
Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of a deal worth £750m for Rolls Royce at the UK-China summit today.
The agreement was to supply Trent 700 engines for 16 Airbus A330s to China Eastern Airlines, and on a carbon partnership.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who also witnessed the signing, said:
“China is the world’s second biggest economy. Bilateral trade and investment is growing but there is scope for much more. Exporting is important for UK growth and UK jobs.“
The Prime Minister is leading the biggest ever Government delegation to China, including Chancellor George Osborne, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister attended a lunch for Chinese investors, to reinforce his commitment to support their UK investments.
There has been a significant collaboration between Fudan University in Shanghai and UK universities led by the University of East Anglia, and including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Newcastle, Sussex and Southampton that has received support from China’s central and Shanghai governments.
Fudan will become the Chinese hub of the Tyndall Centre which tackles issues around climate change. As part of the joint programme, Fudan's University’s Urban Planning and Architectural Design Institute (UPADI) will set up an office in London in collaboration with UEA's low carbon innovation centre.
Nine recent and ongoing inward investments from China were highlighted in the meeting, worth in excess of £300 million, that have created or safeguarded over 1,200 jobs across the UK, from London to Cambridge, Birmingham, Rochdale, Halifax and Scotland.
All these projects are associated with cutting-edge technologies and will make use of the UK’s leading research and development capabilities. They are:
• Yuchai Engineering Machinery Co. Ltd has just signed a licensing agreement with Brunel University in Uxbridge that could see Brunel’s ‘air hybrid’ system installed on buses throughout China. The technology will reduce pollution and has the potential to increase fuel efficiency by 10%.
• Changan Automotive Co. Ltd has established its £20 million power-train R&D centre at Nottingham Science Park and is now ramping up its recruitment of skilled staff.
• Fosun Pharma has started recruiting for its UK office and is now going through the registration process to set up its UK company. It also plans to use its London base to look for opportunities in the UK’s capital markets.
• NewSummit Biopharma will establish a China Biopharmaceutical Investment Centre in the UK with UK partners. They have set aside £5 million as a first step in a larger UK investment programme, to enable them to act as a gateway for Chinese bio R&D projects to and from Europe.
• Xiangxue Pharmaceutical Co has announced that they are expanding their UK activities and will establish their own R&D centre in Cambridge by the end of 2010.
• Chongqing Machinery & Electrics Holding Company (CQME) has bought PTG (Precision Technologies Group) in the UK. CQME plans to build on 100 years of engineering excellence and will manage the existing global operations from the UK, retaining 150 UK jobs.
• Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric established a semiconductor R&D Centre in Lincoln in May, bringing together the expertise of Dynex and CSR Times Electric. It will create up to fifteen new jobs over the next eighteen months and help them access opportunities in rail and transport sectors, renewable power generation, smart management of electric power grids, and efficient electric vehicles.
• Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is the UK’s largest mainland investor with an investment of over £100m. In July, they opened a new office in BT’s Adastral Park innovation and development centre and have announced plans to recruit more staff in the next two years.
• Shanghai Huanuan Boiler and Vessel Company Ltd. (SHBV) acquired former JV-partner Cochran in south west Scotland in August, retaining 170 employees and will now invest over £100 million in the UK and China.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Chinese investment into the UK was £27 million in 2009, which is nearly 10% of all Chinese investment to the EU. Such a vote of confidence in our economy can only be positive for economic growth and for the development of other industries throughout the country.
“Knowing that so many companies have been able to successfully develop their business is proof that we are becoming an ever more attractive destination for Chinese firms and that they in turn are investing in areas that will help both countries to grow and prosper.”
Chinese companies are now active in all sectors in the UK, creating jobs across the country, and investments in 2009/10 were up 23% on the previous year.