Li's Britain journey 'to help build trust'
Updated: 2014-06-16 01:33
By Zhang Chunyan in London (China Daily)
The UK is a great supporter of the Chinese free trade zone policy. Our prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer recently appointed me to be the chairman of the International Experts Consultation Group that has been set up to help Chinese policymakers develop the FTZ policy.
We have so far assembled a group of around 50 international firms ready to lend their expertise to help China develop practical solutions to their policy requirements. The plan is initially to produce a series of short policy papers, each focusing on a specific topic, which will then be widely disseminated among Chinese policymakers, to be followed up by a whole series of face-to-face dialogues.
Gerry Grimstone, chairman of TheCityUK
The business community as a whole is expecting great participation in Li's visit. And we have seen tremendous interest by UK companies in his visit. I think this is in fact against the context of a strongly growing trade and investment relationship in both directions.
UK exports to China are growing well and we have seen the surge of Chinese investments in the UK, and I think the business community is hoping that Li's visit will serve or act as an impetus to the trade and the investment relationship.
Stephen Phillips, CEO of China-Britain Business Council
I hope Premier Li's European visit would encourage the UK government to change the visa system to make it easier for Chinese people to visit the UK for tourism reasons and business reasons. I think the fact the visit is taking place is very significant. Hopefully it will be the start of many more trade visits between the two countries.
We think the visa process is too complex, takes too long and is too expensive. We are pleased to see that they've made some changes to it. And we are encouraging them to make it easier, to streamline the process, so that people can apply for visas without having to submit so much documentation or fill in so many forms, to have more centers where they can submit their applications.
Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways
Premier Li Keqiang's visit comes at a very exciting time for business relations between our two countries. The city and London Stock Exchange have, for the whole of their long history, been natural partners to ambitious, fast-growing emerging markets.
We are well placed from an institutional, regulatory and structural position, and our proud internationalism, to work with partners from across Greater China to support the exceptionally exciting opportunity that the region presents to the world.
Alexander Justham, CEO of London Stock Exchange Plc
As trade and investment grows between the UK and China, the Chinese financial sector is expected to expand into London. The Chinese banks are huge in China and tiny everywhere else, but we expect far more China investment and trade in the UK and that means more China activities in the banks. We've got Chinese insurance companies beginning to be more active in the UK, and also Chinese law firms.
Mark Boleat, policy chairman of City of London Corp