The Britain-China infrastructure cooperation CEO round-table conference, the first of such ever held between the two countries, opened in London on Monday, with both Chinese and British entrepreneurs hoping to strength cooperation and exploring potentials in the field.
Chinese vice minister of commerce Zhong Shan and British minister without portfolio Kenneth Clarke spoke highly of the conference, describing it as a good platform and mechanism for the companies of the two countries to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation.
The Chinese vice minister suggested the two countries to bring each other's advantage into play, and promote a sustainable and rapid development of the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, especially in the field of infrastructure facilities.
"We welcome British companies to take part in China's economic restructuring and industry upgrading, and invest in central and western China as well as old industrial base in the northeast," Zhong said.
At the same time, he hoped the British side to introduce the investment environment and infrastructure investment projects to Chinese firms, and create conditions for Chinese firms to invest in Britain.
Chinese firms have made increasing investment in Britain this year, as encouraged by the government's "going global" strategy.
In middle September this year, Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies announced that it would invest 2.0 billion U.S. dollars in Britain and committed to increasing its workforce from the present 800 people to over 1,500 by 2017.
China Investment Corporation (CIC), China's sovereign wealth fund, said in November that its subsidiary has purchased a 10-percent stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings, which marks CIC's second investment in British infrastructure, as the company also holds an 8.68-percent stake in Thames Water, the largest water supply and waste water treatment company in Britain.
At the infrastructure CEO round-table meeting focusing on transport, the British side briefed the Chinese companies on rail structure and opportunities in the area.
The conference is a follow-up event of the Fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue held in September 2011, when the two countries inked memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the fields of infrastructure and energy.