Time for a New Relationship for U.K.-China: Slater

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Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- David Slater, director of international business development at London & Partners, discusses Chinese foreign direct investment in the U.K., moves by the British government to trade directly in China’s currency and how the country is benefitting from China’s strained relations with the United States. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”


British businesses are doing business with china.

Where are we now?

How would you describe this relationship in comparison with others?

We are at a state relationship.

The chancellor and the mayor have both been there at the same time.

There were other ministers alongside the chancellor.

I think it is clear that the worst of times is over.

There is time now for a new political relationship.

On the back of that, there will be a business relationship.

Chinese business and british business know a good deal when they see it.

There is opportunity at both ends.

Walk me through that opportunity.

Is there going to be chinese investment in nuclear power plants in the u.k.? london is trying to set itself up as the center of trading.

What is the scale here?

I think the scale is enormous.

The chancellor's announcement about the u.k. becoming the currency that can directly change -- trade, that enables you to do, to not only focus on london as a financial center but also to enable u.k. investment into chinese securities.

That enables us to take advantage of what is going on in china.

The growth that you mentioned this morning shows a real opportunity.

This is the start but the scale is enormous.

To what extent it is u.k. benefiting from the relationship between beijing and washington?

Certain chinese companies are not allowed to compete in the u.s. the way they are allowed to compete in the u.k.. it underlines the position they have taken.

We are a open economy.

We welcome investment from overseas.

We treat everybody the same.

That is why iconic chinese companies like huawei, like abp are coming to london to invest.

They see the opportunity.

They know they will get a great welcome.

Why are they not -- the mayor is a well-known character in china.

But he is a figurehead.

Why are they bringing money to the u.k. rather than germany or france or italy?

The global market is extremely competitive.

What we have to do is to ensure that chinese companies understand what role lending can play as they build their global business.

We have to be able to compete with the world's best cities.

To do that, we have open markets, we have opportunity, we have access to the talent base.

Chinese companies are the base on which to expand into that market.

We benefit because we are the financial center of europe.

The chinese recognize that.

It is one thing they look at when they go down their list of risks.

Business is very clear, as long as you have stability and clarity, you can make good decisions.

It is up to us to ensure as a government that we provide the clarity.

What other the risks from the british point of view?

There is a big editorial piece in the times this morning voicing concern about the involvement of the chinese in our nuclear industry.

What are the risks?

Can we quantify them at this point?

There have been rumors for as long as i have been in international business about companies close to government saying all sorts of roles?

. where is the evidence?

The point is that the chinese companies are partnered with a french company who we know and have done business with before.

The government is weighing risk very clearly.

Actually, you have to welcome this sort of investment from all countries.

One thing i get from most conversations that i have is that they are concerned about the recession property.

It is a serious concern.

They spent a lot of money trading.

They are worried about source code or whatever it is.

How do we marry up the chinese involvement in our economy with protecting our intellectual property?

The law is buried clear on the protection.

The second thing is, when you are looking in china or anywhere else in the world, you need to lockdown the risks with the opportunity.

It is a concern but it is not normally the determiner.

There are other ways to make sure you get the best out of a business deal.

Making sure that your diesels are legal -- deals are legal.

The chinese governments have made a number of messages that they are aware this is an issue.

They want their economy to grow the same as anybody else.

Are we focusing on china too much?

I don't think so.

When you look across the world at the growing economies, brazil, india, china, malaysia, from an inward investment perspective, we have a healthy relationship with those countries.

China is certainly one.

We are seeing a stream of chinese investment into london.

There was 4 billion just last year.

This is a huge opportunity for us.

A time when we need investment in the economy in order to deliver the mayor's vision,

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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