Britain’s recovery from recession can be helped by a doubling in exports to China over two years, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said following talks in Downing Street with the Far Eastern giant’s Premier Wen Jiabao this morning.
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao (2L) leaves after meeting Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Downing Street, central London February 2, 2009.REUTERS/Stephen Hird (BRITAIN)
Mr Brown said the massive 4 trillion yuan (£400 billion) fiscal stimulus announced by the Beijing authorities in November will create huge opportunities for British exports to China, particularly in the low-carbon technologies of the future.
By Andrew Woodcock and Robert Dex, Press Association
He thanked Mr Wen for his support in the battle against protectionism and for reform of global financial institutions, and broke into Mandarin to wish him a happy Chinese New Year by saying: “Gong Xi Fa Chai”.
Speaking alongside Mr Wen at a business conference in London, Mr Brown said his target was to increase British exports to China from 5 billion US dollars in 2008 to 10 billion in 2010.
Mr Brown said: “I believe that there is much scope for trade and investment to expand between our two countries even in these most difficult of times for the global economy.
“The strength of the relationship between China and Britain will be a pivotal force in helping us through the downturn and a powerful driving force behind our future growth and prosperity.
“We know from previous downturns that a retreat to narrow, short-term protectionist policies would only serve to deepen the global recession and we must not and will not allow that to happen again.”
Today’s meeting was one of a series of talks with leaders of the G20 group of leading economies ahead of the London summit in April, at which Mr Brown said “work against protectionism” would be a major theme.