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First Minister seals links with Beijing

First Minister Carwyn Jones will sign a new co-operation agreement with the municipality of Beijing before meeting senior representatives of the Chinese Government for talks whilst in the Chinese capital.
Thursday 27 October 2011

The activity is part of a Welsh Government mission to promote business and education links with China.

The First Minister’s two day schedule in Beijing (Thurs 27th + Fri 28th Oct) includes meetings with Vice Foreign Minister FU Ying, the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs and the Chinese Government body that controls food imports.  He will also meet with the British Embassy and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to see how the Welsh Government can continue to promote Welsh interests in China.

On the agenda will be promoting Welsh businesses and higher education, whilst also working to lift a lamb export ban.

Accompanying the First Minister are representatives from Welsh industry and education sectors.

China was Wales 9th largest trading partner, accounting for £162 million in Welsh exports in 2009. In 2010, this figure grew by 42%, to £230 million.

When trade with Hong Kong and Taiwan are also taken into consideration, the figure for 2010 was £500 million.

On Friday the First Minister will attend a ceremony with the Mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong , to sign a new agreement with the Beijing Municipal Government to explore areas of collaboration.

The schedule includes a higher education event promote Wales as a study destination to the Chinese media and Swansea University signing a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the possibility of establishing a China Europe Standards Institute at the University’s campus.

The Welsh Government will be holding a reception to promote Wales as a business location and give Welsh companies the opportunity to meet their Chinese counterparts.

Efforts to open up Welsh lamb exports to China will continue with the First Minister again meeting a top official from the body that controls the import and export of food to mainland China, the Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ).

The First Minister said:

"I am delighted to be here in Beijing on my first official visit to China as First Minister. The UK and China have agreed to double the amount they trade by $100 billion by 2015, and I am here to make sure Wales benefits from this.

"Our aim as a government is to continue raising the profile of Wales in China. We have a ‘Can Do’ attitude. With a population of just three million, we are small enough to be personal and attentive – but our attitude and spirit enable us to compete and win against some of the stiffest competition in the world.  We provide an ideal platform from which to serve the wider European market."



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