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August 3, 2016

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China says open to FTA with Britain

CHINA has an open attitude toward a free trade deal with Britain and is willing to study it, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

June’s vote to leave the European Union has forced Britain, which has negotiated its trade deals through the EU for decades, to rethink ties with the rest of the world, but striking new deals may prove hard while its EU relationship is in flux.

British officials have floated the idea of free trade deals with countries including China, India, Canada and the United States once Britain formally leaves the EU.

Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang, asked what China’s position was on a free trade deal with Britain, gave a positive signal.

“China is willing to proactively develop trade and business cooperation, has an open attitude toward discussing and signing a free trade agreement with Britain, and is willing to study this with Britain,” Shen said.

Ties have been tested by new Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision last week to review a major nuclear power plant that China is supposed to invest in.


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