Current two-way trade is just under £100bn because the preference for trade with China outweighs the political negativity.
Despite political negativity in the UK regarding China, a August 2022 Report published by the UK Department of Trade and Industry showed that the total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and China was £93.4 billion in the four quarters to the end of the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 5.5% or £4.9 billion of the four quarters to the end of the first quarter of 2021. This despite the contraction of the UK economy.
It also compares to two-way trade figures between the UK and China of £24.52 billion a decade ago and belies recent anti-China commentary from various sources painting too negative a picture of China-China relations. British people, showing that politics is not the only directive on relationships, and indicates that British businesses fly the British flag where politicians do not. Given the UK’s trade concerns over Brexit, it may be worth reconsidering how the policy angle towards China can best be reconciled with the obvious UK trade demand.
Of the £93.4 billion, total UK exports to China were £27.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022 (an increase of 7 % or £1.8 billion compared to the four quarters to the end of Q1 2021), while total UK imports from China amounted to £66.3 billion in in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022 (an increase of 5% or £3.1 billion compared to the four quarters to the end of Q1 2021).
China was the UK’s third largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of the first quarter of 2022, accounting for 6.9% of total UK trade.
The most recent UK outward investment figures for China show investments worth £12.9bn, or 0.8% of the UK’s total outward FDI stock in 2020 In terms of UK inward investment from China, Chinese companies invested £3.4 billion in the UK in 2020, representing 0.2% of the UK’s total inward FDI stock. -United.
These figures are supported by what Dezan Shira & Associates UK talked about UK investment in China – underlying trends remain strong. The firm has managed UK investment in the PRC since 1992. Grant Williams, of the firm’s Shanghai office, says: “Unlike the media, UK investors are still welcome in China and there are many industry elements to which they can get involved, especially given China’s huge consumer market. We are able to provide market research facilities, settlement assistance and tax structuring to UK exporters who need a fresh look at rethinking a China strategy.
Direct flights have also resumed between the UK and China for the first time in two years, while quarantine restrictions are also reduced.
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