After a talk on Friday between two countries’ representatives, Chinese Commerce Ministry said it will be open for holding talks with Britain on the post-Brexit free trade possibilities.
According to Reuters, the statement released on Saturday by the ministry after the talks between Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and British trade minister Liam Fox in Beijing said that two countries agreed on boosting two-way investments and expand the trade relations on the services market. Other spheres of interest are considered to be the cooperation in the legal services and easier procedure of obtaining the working visas.
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The ministry added that two ministers also “actively explore the possibility of discussing a top notch free trade agreement between the two sides after Brexit,” though without giving any specific details.
The trade pact with China has been a subject for discussion since the last month when Chinese side offered Britain the talks on the deal, however, the formal negotiations cannot start until the UK officially leaves the EU.
The statement also said that Zhong hoped to see Britain’s delegation on the upcoming major import fair in November in Shanghai, which President Xi Jinping is overseeing, to expend the exports to China. Fox noted that he will be leading the delegation to the import fair along with Prince Andrew, Duke of York and a senior member of Britain’s royal family, the statement added.
Fox told the reporters on Tuesday that Britain aims to increase its exports to 35% of GDP after leaving the EU by increasing the trade ties with other world trade members, yet he did not state the exact timeframe for such number. Fox had been trying to set up at least some basis for the future post-Brexit trade negotiations. The possible free trade discussions would be a political win for Britain, however, such talks reportedly may take many years to conclude.