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Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 16:41

Multiple deals to be sealed during Xi's Britain visit

By Xinhua
Multiple deals to be sealed during Xi's Britain visit

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2left ) talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (2right ) following his arrival at Heathrow Airport in west London on October 19, 2015, for a four-day state visit. ( AFP PHOTO / TOBY MELVILLE / POOL)

BEIJING - Multiple deals in various fields are expected to be signed during President Xi Jinping's visit to Britain, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Tuesday.

The MOC said areas would include commerce, energy, medical care, automobile and real estate, but did not disclose how much they will be worth.

They will be "very big" and surpass the achievements made by Xi's predecessors during their Britain visits, the ministry said.

The British Embassy said Xi's state visit to the United Kingdom will see more than £30 billion (US$46.41 billion) worth of trade and investment deals completed, creating in excess of 3,900 jobs across the country.

It said the visit will also open export opportunities for UK companies looking to expand into China and attract Chinese investment into the regions. The Northern Powerhouse will get a boost as China is expected to announce further investment into the region when British Prime Minister David Cameron and the president visit Manchester at the end of the week.

Among industries benefitting is retail with more than £1 billion in export deals to be agreed, which will see UK-based companies expand their global footprint into China.

Xi's state visit, which will conclude on Friday, is the first by a Chinese president since 2005. He arrived in London on Monday evening.

The MOC said Chinese and British enterprises face many opportunities in infrastructure construction, citing China's Belt and Road Initiative and Britain's "Northern Powerhouse" project, a bid to balance its London-led economy.

The British prime minister will hold talks with Xi in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon with further talks at Chequers, the PM's country retreat, on Thursday.

China-Britain investment and business cooperation has been continually growing. Britain has become the EU's second largest investor in China as well as China's second largest trading partner and investment destination in the EU. China is Britain's fourth largest trading partner.

Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$80.9 billion, up 15.3 percent. In the Jan-Sept period, bilateral trade remained steady and reached US$58 billion.

(Chen Yingqun contributes to this story)
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