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CBI: Free trade key to moving global economy into new gear

The benefits of free trade will be vital to growing an open economy, the CBI’s Director-General said yesterday (Thursday).

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Speaking at the CBI’s Chinese New Year Dinner – an annual event bringing together senior business and political leaders from across the Sino-British community – the leader of Britain’s largest business group told guests that the UK can enjoy trade with old and new partners alike, without feeling the need to make a choice.

Celebrating the Year of the Rooster, the 2017 CBI Chinese New Year Dinner will be attended by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, and the Rt. Hon. Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of Huawei.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, yesterday said:

“Despite all the challenges to globalisation and growing calls for protectionism, we can be proud that both China and the UK are championing the benefits of free trade.

“We welcome President Xi’s remarks about committing ourselves to growing an open global economy, and we welcome Prime Minister Theresa May’s ambition to deepen trade with old friends and new partners alike.

“Tonight is a great opportunity to come together and celebrate some of the benefits free trade can bring. From job creation, to investment and consumer choice.”

On the benefits of increasing trade with China, Carolyn yesterday said:

“Step outside the door and you’ll see Chinese investment everywhere you look.

“In the West Midlands, Chinese company Geely are planning to produce the next generation of the famous Black Cab at their factory in Ansty, Warwickshire.

“In Yorkshire, we’re seeing one billion pounds of Chinese investment in Sheffield, where a new hotel, new apartments and new transport links will transform the city centre.

“While in the North West, work will start this year on an £800 million joint venture between British and Chinese firms at Airport City in Manchester which is set to create 16,000 jobs. It just goes to show how foreign investment is creating opportunities for people all around the UK.

“And over the next few years, China’s middle-class population should reach 600 million people. That means 600 million opportunities for Britain’s world-beating services.”


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