Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, weighs in on the potential benefits to be reaped from strengthened UK-China relations as leaders from both countries meet today for the second UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue in London:
Every country has benefited from China’s integration into the world economy in the past decade. Since 2000, China has accounted for a third of global economic growth. Chinese goods are now exported all over the globe — making it the world’s second largest exporter. And this is not a zero-sum game. We all benefit; 60 per cent of Chinese exports are produced by enterprises financed by other countries.But I believe Britain is uniquely placed to benefit. The UK is the largest European investor in China. Some 6,000 British-invested projects there span the country in a number of sectors: Vodafone in telecommunications, BP in energy, AstraZeneca for pharmaceuticals, HSBC and Standard Chartered in financial services, to name a few.And the UK is the second top European destination for Chinese inward investment. Nearly 400 companies have set up in our country, and more than 60 are listed on our stock exchanges. They offer high-skilled jobs in engineering, telecoms and financial services.... The meeting between our countries today is about seizing these opportunities. But we meet against the background of the greatest global financial crisis for generations. Every country has been affected. And every country is working to get through this. So our first goal must be to agree the action needed to support growth. Both our governments have put more money into the economy now, when it is needed. China’s huge fiscal stimulus will benefit us all.