Were the trade deals between China and the UK really worth £40bn?

The full value of the deals struck this week still appears to be a matter of dispute

Charlie Cooper@charliecooper8
Friday 23 October 2015 22:37
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British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping
British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping

What’s £15bn between friends? Or even between “key trading partners”.

President Xi Jinping’s state visit has proved undeniably lucrative for the UK, but the full value of the deals struck this week still appears to be a matter of dispute.

Figures from UK Trade and Investment were due to clarify the total last night, with headline figures briefed this week ranging from £25bn, to David Cameron’s pronouncement at Downing Street of a package worth nearly £40bn.

An analysis by the Financial Times estimates that the main deals add up to £11.7bn, with an additional £6.5bn added over the course of 20 years through BP’s agreement to sell gas to the China Huadian Corporation.

The Hinkley Point project is worth £18bn, but the Chinese General Nuclear Power Corporation’s stake is only worth £6bn. Some other deals are re-announcements of previous agreements, such as a the £300m investment by London Taxi Company’s Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Around £250m of investment was announced in March, with only an extra £50m confirmed this week.

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