Li Keqiang Attends Virtual Dialogue with UK Business Leaders
2021/07/06

On the afternoon of July 6, 2021, Premier Li Keqiang held a virtual dialogue with UK business leaders at Ziguang Pavilion of Zhongnanhai leadership compound, focusing on topics covering China-UK relations and practical cooperation, the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change, improving the business environment, deepening cooperation on trade in services, and promoting people-to-people exchanges. The responsible officials of more than 30 multinational companies and renowned institutions, including Standard Life, Diageo, Jardine Matheson, AstraZeneca, Walgreens Boots Alliance, British Petroleum, Rio Tinto Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Clifford Chance, Schroders, University College London, and the 48 Group Club, attended the dialogue.

Noting the uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the current international situation, Li Keqiang said that China and the UK, both as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major economies in the world, represent important forces for safeguarding world peace, promoting common development, and defending the multilateral trade system. A stable China-UK relationship is conducive to maintaining free and fair trade, promoting global economic recovery, responding to global challenges and enhancing the well-being of the two peoples. We are willing to consolidate mutual trust with the UK, along with mutual respect, seek to expand common ground while shelving differences, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation for win-win results, build consensus and address divergences via equal dialogue, so as to promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties.

Li Keqiang pointed out that mankind is a community with a shared future. It is imperative for the international community to enhance solidarity and cooperation to ensure ultimate victory over COVID-19. China and the UK were among the first countries to invest in vaccine development and production. China has taken COVID-19 vaccines as a global public good and engaged in vaccine-related cooperation with multiple countries. China is willing to continue strengthening communications with all parties, especially sharing achievements in scientific research on virus mutations and other aspects, to accelerate the progress toward defeating the pandemic.

Li Keqiang stressed that China attaches great importance to responding to climate change. President Xi Jinping announced China's goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, which are the inevitable path to take in the process of modernization. As the largest developing country in the world, China has an arduous task to achieve low-carbon and green development while achieving modernization and delivering a happy life to the Chinese people by the middle of this century, thus we will make unremitting efforts to achieve this goal. He hopes that the two sides will further step up cooperation on clean energy and other sectors, and expand cooperation on green technology on the basis of intellectual property protection, to jointly respond to climate change.

Li Keqiang said that reform and opening-up is China's basic national policy and will continue to be advanced unswervingly. China's manufacturing industry has been fully opened up, the service industry is opening up in an orderly manner, and China's door will open wider. In the process of fostering a new development paradigm, we will continue to devote ourselves to creating a market-oriented, law-based, and international business environment, treating all types of market players equally, including foreign companies, and welcoming more foreign capital into China. China also hopes Britain will provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies to invest in the country.

Li Keqiang said that both China and Britain have a long history and splendid culture, and the exchanges between the two peoples boast a long history. He hopes that both sides will uphold the concepts of mutual respect, openness and tolerance, and inclusiveness, jointly safeguard the diversity of human civilizations and promote the development of a colorful world civilization. Li Keqiang called on all sectors of society in the two countries to strengthen exchanges and communication, increase awareness and understanding between the peoples, and generate positive factors for the development of bilateral relations.

The British participants, who were satisfied with the booming economic and trade relations between the two countries, said that China is an important economic and trade partner for Britain, and the British business community greatly values the Chinese market and is full of confidence in China's development. There is huge room for win-win cooperation between the two countries in finance, services, agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing and infrastructure. The British business community looks forward to further enhancing trade and investment relations with China, deepening cooperation in practical areas, and promoting the development of relations between the two countries.

The dialogue, with the theme of "enhancing mutual trust, expanding cooperation and seeking common development", was co-hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC). CBBC's President Lord James Sassoon and Chair Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles delivered a speech and chaired the meeting respectively.

Wang Yi and He Lifeng attended the above event.

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