David Cameron talks up China trade deals worth £14bn of gas, oil and HS2

 

British businesses have signed £14bn worth of trade deals with China as the UK attempted to position itself as the country’s major trading partner in Europe.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, hailed the burgeoning trade links between the two countries during a visit by the Chinese leader Li Keqiang. He said UK companies were now exporting more than £1bn to China each month, more than double the amount exported in 2009.

“In the last few years we have made a huge difference and built a much stronger bilateral and trading relationship between our countries,“ he added. “The figures tell the story – bilateral trade at record levels, our exports to China up 15 per cent in 2013, they have more than doubled in the last five years and, at a billion a month, they are growing faster than France’s or Germany’s.”

The largest deal agreed between the two countries will see oil giant BP supply the China National Offshore Oil Company (Cnooc) with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The 20-year agreement is worth £12bn, according to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and will see 1.5 million tons of LNG shipped annually to China from 2019.

BP’s chief executive, Robert Dudley, said: “This is a significant deal for BP and China but it also marks a step up in global connectivity in the gas market. This is important for all countries and regions looking at the diversity of energy supply and energy security – it gives BP greater flexibility to respond to the changing energy demands from Europe, Asia and other regions.”

Other agreements saw the Anglo-Dutch company Shell sign a global strategic alliance agreement with Cnooc to explore “co-operation opportunities”.

Lloyds Banking Group has also agreed a deal with the China Development Bank to help secure inward investment from China into the UK, in particular into infrastructure and energy projects such a HS2 and nuclear power.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “There has been more investment into the UK from China in the last 18 months than in the previous 30 years.”

Woodside sell-off: Shell sells stake

Royal Dutch Shell has set out plans to slash its stake in Australian energy giant Woodside, collecting $5bn (£3bn) as part of the oil major’s plan to offload $15bn worth of businesses by the end of 2015.

Shell is selling 19 per cent of Woodside’s stock, to cut its stake in the company from more than 23 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

Shares in Woodside, which Shell tried to take over in 2001, hit a three-year high earlier this week.

The Australian government blocked the oil giant’s bid 13 years ago, and the company has been  reducing its stake in the Woodside ever since.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea