British businesses remain broadly optimistic about the Chinese market and the importance of a strong Britain-China relationship cannot be understated, a British business leader has told Xinhua.
Such significance is evidenced by the fact that China is one of Britain’s largest trading partners, with bilateral trade amounting to 93 billion pounds (around 112 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021, Steven Lynch, managing director at the British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC), told Xinhua in a recent written interview.
The results of BCCC’s annual business sentiment surveys over the past few years “clearly show that British businesses remain broadly optimistic about the Chinese market,” said Lynch.
Noting that China has been Britain’s third largest trading partner, he said the trade and investment relations between the two sides truly matter as they are mutually beneficial.
According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, China in 2021 ranked as Britain’s top source of import and the sixth biggest buyer of British products.
Lynch’s comments came after Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Tony Danker told British media in late July that “thousands of British companies are cutting economic ties with China en masse.”
“Currently we don’t have data from our membership to support the CBI’s view that foreign businesses are leaving China en masse,” Lynch told Xinhua.
While the CBI chief’s remarks highlighted the genuine political and security challenges that the Britain-China relationship faces, Lynch said, “the relationship is far more complex than that, with many shared areas of mutual interest and opportunities for engagement and business growth.”
“At the end of 2021, optimism was strong for the medium to long-term, with the majority of large British businesses stating that China is still their priority market,” the business leader added.
To ensure that bilateral relations continue to flourish, Lynch said, “We hope decision makers in the UK and China will continue to foster open economic dialogues, enhance market access and encourage economic growth and cooperation between the two countries.”