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27 July, 2019 - 18:11 By Tony Quested

East meets East as two-way trade soars

Two-way trade between the East of England and China continues to thrive.Latest government figures show that this region was the sixth most successful in the whole of the UK for exports to China.

Local exports to China hit £1.2 billion – 7.6 per cent of the UK total.  Imports to the East of England from China were considerably higher at £3.2bn, placing the region fifth highest zone for Chinese imports – 7.8 per cent of the UK total.

Life science companies in Cambridge are starting to sell more in China which is also taking an increasing interest in Cambridge AI plays.

Cambridge is already receiving record investment from China and this could increase substantially if Huawei is handed a slice of the UK 5G implementation pie.

In national terms, the UK’s single largest export to China was road vehicles, valued at £4.5 billion; this represented 27 per cent of all UK goods exports to China. 

Other British goods exports to China included petroleum and petroleum products, valued at £3bn, medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£1bn) and electrical machinery and equipment (£0.7bn).

Combined, these four products groups comprised 56 per cent of all the UK’s goods exports to China.

The UK’s single largest import from China for the last year on record was telecoms equipment, valued at £5.7bn, representing 14 per cent of all UK goods imports from China, followed by miscellaneous manufactured articles (including plastic articles, toys, games and sporting goods) valued at £5.2 billion. 

Other imports from China included clothing and apparel (£4bn), electrical machinery and equipment (£3.8bn) and office machinery (£3.4bn). Last year Chinese outbound FDI in Britain stood at $4.94bn, followed by $4.8bn in the US and $4.05bn in Sweden.

Total trade in goods and services between the UK and China was £71.2bn in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2019, an increase of 7.6 per cent from the year before.

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