By Max Clarke
The Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, welcomed Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang to London today, following his visit to Edinburgh yesterday.
Official talks took place at Lancaster House, after which Deputy Prime Minister Clegg and Vice Premier Li Keqiang witnessed the signing of agreements with an estimated value of £2.6 billion, which will further strengthen ties with China.
The talks covered global issues including international security and climate change in which the UK and China work closely together. Co-operation on conservation and culture were also on the agenda, with China agreeing to gift a breeding pair of giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo for ten years. The arrival of Tian Tian and Yuangguang will boost research, conservation and tourism in Scotland and the UK.
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
"It is a pleasure to welcome Vice-Premier Li and the accompanying Chinese delegation to the UK. We had successful talks covering a range of issues, and we witnessed the signing of a number of agreements, including commercial deals with an estimated contract value of at least £2.6 billion.
"This week's visits, and the agreements we have seen today, follow the Prime Minister's successful delegation to China in November, demonstrating the momentum we are building together towards even stronger relations. The kind gift of a loan of a breeding pair of giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yuangguang, is a sign that we can co-operate closely on a broad range of environmental and cultural issues, as well as commerce.
"Together, today's deals will safeguard 700 jobs in the UK and are estimated to have the potential to create many more."
Agreements signed today include a commitment by Jaguar Land Rover to increase sales to China. Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ralf Speth, who attended the ceremony said:
"This commitment to sales in China in 2011 of some 40,000 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles with a value in excess of £1 billion not only signals the acceleration of our growth plans but also reflects both the importance of the Chinese market to Jaguar Land Rover and our value to the UK economy."
BP and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation signed an agreement on deepwater exploration in the South China Sea.
The China National Petroleum Company and INEOS signed two agreements today. INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe said:
"We look forward to the success of this joint venture with the China National Petroleum Company. The agreement will further investment in our refineries, in France and the UK, ensuring their competitiveness in European markets, and securing jobs and skills in the UK and France. It will be hugely beneficial. Here in the UK, its success at our Grangemouth site will directly support 1,400 jobs at the site and indirectly around 7,000 jobs in central Scotland. We also look forward to mutual benefit in China through our agreement on technology sharing."
LIST OF AGREEMENTS:
The full list of agreements signed today is as follows:
· An agreement was signed on the terms of cooperation in the protection of and research into Giant Pandas between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).
· The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation on low carbon.
· The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the NDRC signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation.
· UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the China Development Bank (CDB) signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation.
· BP and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed an agreement.
· INEOS Group and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a framework agreement.
· INEOS Group and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a strategic partnership deal.
· Jaguar Land Rover and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Trading (Shanghai) signed a letter of intent.
· The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation.
· Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd. and the Export and Import Bank of China signed an agreement.
· The China Development Bank and HSBC signed a memorandum of understanding.
· The China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), Beijing International Brand Management Centre and Beijing Chaoyang District signed a memorandum of understanding.
· A cooperation agreement was signed between China Nonferrous Metals International Mining (CNMIM) and Kryso Resources plc (UK).
· Soho Data Holdings Company Ltd and Xiking Culture Centre Media Beijing Company Ltd signed an investment agreement for the Soho Data Centre project.
· Shanghai Haobo Chair (UK) Company signed an agreement to buy a 45% equity stake in ES UK Group.