Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Economic Talks Herald Golden Era In UK-China Relations

The wide-ranging dialogue further strengthened the Golden Era in UK-China relations, boosting cooperation across the two countries’ strategic partnership

British / China Flags

British / China Flags

Around £1.4 billion worth of commercial deals, an agreement to accelerate the final preparations for the London-Shanghai Stock Connect initiative and new commitments to develop work on the Mutual Recognition of Funds and a bond connect, have been announced as part of the ninth UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) held in Beijing this weekend. And in a boost to UK businesses operating along the Belt and Road in Asia, up to £25 billion in financial support – such as loan guarantees – has also been announced.

The wide-ranging dialogue further strengthened the Golden Era in UK-China relations, successfully boosting cooperation across the two countries’ strategic partnership.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:

These successful talks are an example of Global Britain at its best, demonstrating that we can work with our friends and partners across the world to support jobs, businesses and prosperity. This is testament to our strong and dynamic economy, and the world class talent and expertise we have to offer.

These talks show the UK is truly open for business and we look forward to continuing the Golden Era of UK-China relations.

The Economic and Financial Dialogue involved a series of events over a two-day period, where agreements were reached on areas of trade and investment, deepening the financial services relationship, new partnerships on industrial strategy, and further ways in which the UK can partner on infrastructure initiatives.

These included:

Financial services

Final preparations for the London-Shanghai Stock Connect initiative, which will mean investors in each country will be able to trade shares listed on the other’s stock exchange, are to be accelerated. Building on this, the first steps were also taken in establishing a bond connect, with a view to opening up the bond market to mutual trading. There was also an agreement to progress Mutual Recognition of Funds work with the launch of a feasibility study, opening up China to the UK’s unrivaled asset management sector. The UK and China also engaged in deeper regulatory cooperation, including on financial stability, through the first meeting of the PBOC-Bank of England Symposium.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

The EFD set out further ways in which the UK, and specifically London as a global financial centre, can partner on the Belt and Road Initiative. To showcase the expertise the UK has to offer, Douglas Flint, former Chairman of HSBC Group, was announced as the Chancellor’s City Envoy to the BRI, and a City Expert Board will be established to bring together infrastructure financing, professional and emerging market expertise. Together these initiatives will facilitate further cooperation with China and create commercial opportunities for UK firms. In support of this Standard Chartered Bank also announced its support for the BRI by committing to facilitate financing to the value of at least $20 billion by 2020.

UK Export Finance affirmed up to £25 billion capacity to support new business in BRI countries in Asia, in a boost to UK businesses selling their goods and services. The UK and China also agreed to identify specific BRIprojects to act as pathfinders for UK and Chinese collaboration, and to conduct research on mechanisms to support private sector financing of infrastructure development across the BRI. China recognises the UK’s world leading reputation in this area and greater partnership will increase global investment in UK infrastructure firms and enable them to export this expertise globally.

Trade and investment

Showing that the UK is open for business, the EFD saw a range of commercial announcements, worth around £1.4 billion. These include an agreement between Smiths Interconnect and Huafeng to establish a new joint venture working on products for High Speed Rail and commercial aviation; the establishment of UK fintech firm World First’s office and wholly foreign owned enterprise in Shanghai; and a partnership agreement between Tsinghua X-lab and Future Planet Capital to invest in innovative companies. The EFD also made substantial progress on issues which could unlock billions of pounds worth of agreements in the future. And in order to boost trade and investment and lay the foundations for a deeper future trading relationship ahead of the UK leaving the EU, the inaugural meeting of the new UK-China Trade Working Group took place. Progress was also made on implementing a reduction in tariffs on a range of food, retail and pharmaceutical goods, and the talks also built on previous EFDs in taking steps towards China lifting its ban on UK beef exports, put in place following the BSE crisis of the 90s.

Industrial Strategy

The UK and China discussed opportunities to collaborate on the UK’s new Industrial Strategy and welcomed the launch of a new UK China Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. The UK are world leaders in innovative technologies like electric vehicles, so to build on the next generation electric vehicle package set out by the Chancellor at Budget and ensure Britain remains at the front of the pack in this market, a new collaboration was launched on zero carbon transport and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs). This includes cooperation on the £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund announced at the recent Autumn Budget. Discussions were also held with China’s most influential electric vehicles think tank, EV100, about collaborating more closely with Chinese automotive leaders to make it easier for UK and Chinese businesses to work together, boosting investment and creating more jobs.

Energy

The accompanying Energy Dialogue with China’s National Energy Administration saw the signing of an Action Plan to further cooperation between the UK and China on clean energy. Agreements were made between UK and Chinese businesses and research organisations to further develop renewable energy cooperation. The UK’s offshore Renewable Catapult will be linking up with TusPark Newcastle and TusWind to further offshore wind technology development between the UK and China, and UK-based engineering consultancy Mott Macdonald and the China Energy Engineering Corporation to work together in third countries on renewable energy projects.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones said:

Britain is an innovative hub, home to skills and services that are in high demand around the world. We are world leaders in electric vehicle technology and working with China will enable us to export this expertise globally.

Deepening our trade and investment links will help create an UK economy fit for the future by generating new jobs and modern skills across the country.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay said:

The relationship between the UK and China has brought real benefits, not just for our financial districts in the City, the Bund and Financial Street, but for our businesses and people across both nations.

I’m incredibly proud of what our two countries have achieved together so far, and I’m excited to build on our growing partnership to build economies of the future.

Minister for Investment, Mark Garnier said:

The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious initiative that will increase opportunities for global trade and it’s only right we support British businesses in making the most of this.

We’re putting export finance at the heart of trade promotion by making up to £25 billion available for projects in these markets. The capacity will ensure that no viable company fails for a lack of funding and means they can take advantage of growing economies and secure deals that will boost the UK’s exports and safeguard jobs at home.

Jubilee Of The School Of Democratic Leadership In Montenegro

Speech on the topic of Western Balkans integration, dialogue and development

Copyright: Damir Krpuljevic for NGO Građanska Alijansa

Copyright: Damir Krpuljevic for NGO Građanska Alijansa

Delivered On: 15 December 2017 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Foreign Minister Darmanović, Ambassadorial colleagues,

I’m really pleased to be here today to mark the fifteenth jubilee of the School of Democratic Leadership.

When contemplating the themes of today’s alumni forum, I thought of the 17th century English poet and priest John Donne, who said: No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.”

He might well have been thinking of the relationship Europe has both with the Western Balkans, and with the UK.

After two World Wars, Europe has evolved structures which promote integration and dialogue to address our shared development. These themes are particularly important as Europe contemplates the future of the EU. As Montenegro looks to the future of its EU accession process. And, as the UK considers Brexit.

British Ministers have consistently made clear that the UK is leaving the EU, not leaving Europe.

As Prime Minister May said, in Florence on 22 September, “Brexit does not mean we are no longer a proud member of the family of European nations.” We are not turning our back on Europe; and we continue to believe that the success of the EU is profoundly in the national interest of the UK, and we believe of the wider world.

The UK has played and will continue to play an active role in the Western Balkans, in promoting European prosperity, stability and security.

And that is why the UK is a strong supporter of Montenegrin reforms. And why we are delighted to host the Western Balkans Summit in London in July 2018.

The Berlin Process is an important tool to advance our shared aims of embedding stability in the Western Balkans.

It is quite fashionable today to complain about either being in a crisis or being on the verge of crisis. However, nobody who has ever spent more than a few days in the Western Balkans can say that the joint European and Western Balkan reform efforts have not borne fruit.

Copyright: Damir Krpuljevic for NGO Građanska Alijansa

Copyright: Damir Krpuljevic for NGO Građanska Alijansa

As you know, Chancellor Merkel launched the Berlin Process in 2014, with the aim of boosting European engagement and regional cooperation in the still fragile Western Balkans region.

The Berlin Process is based around three pillars: firstly regional cooperation and resolving outstanding bilateral questions, secondly strengthening good governance and thirdly increasing prosperity via sustainable economic growth.

The UK is still in the planning phase for the Summit. We want the Summit to continue the achievements of the Berlin Process, and of previous Summit hosts, and to promote partnership and responsibility.

We want to build momentum on the interconnectivity agenda – including the delivery of large-scale transport and energy projects and achieve progress on regional and inter-regional integration. We very much welcome the important work that the Commission and the international financial institutions are doing in these regards.

We are keen to ensure a strong focus on digital and entrepreneurship in order to boost the region’s growth potential, job creation and economic cooperation.

Youth will be a key focus. We are delighted that the Regional Youth Cooperation Office has been inaugurated and look forward to it becoming fully operational. We want to profile young peoples’ achievements across the region and support vocational educational and expand youth and professional exchanges.

And, we hope the Summit will build ever stronger partnerships with the region to deliver against common security challenges including on serious and organised crime, anti-corruption, cyber security, terrorism and violent extremism.

In addition, the UK is conscious of the importance of supporting reconciliation efforts in the region. It is a painful truth that stability will always remain limited and elusive until we face not only what has been done to us, but what has been done to others in our name.

In all these areas, the UK is looking forward to helping, sharing its expertise, and stimulating further delivery and cooperation.

Our support for the Western Balkan’s EU accession process remains unchanged – it is fundamental for driving forward reform, embedding stability and addressing security challenges. Our departure from the EU does not affect that, even if future decisions, after we have left, will be for others.

Legal Director Nick Olley Wins Legal 500 Award

Nick Olley, Director of GLD’s Department for Transport Legal Advisers, has been awarded the Legal 500 'Public Sector Individual of the Year' award for 2017

Nick Olley

Nick Olley

Nick has provided strong leadership to DfT Legal Advisers since he was appointed as its legal chief in 2013.

His role spans a huge variety of high-profile public sector initiatives such as the HS2 project, the airports capacity programme and the ongoing development of rail franchising policy. Nick also works on several futuristic developments, such as the Space Industry Bill and the legislative framework for autonomous vehicles.

The Legal 500 UK Awards identify the best in-house counsel, law firms and sets. They are selected through in-depth research carried out across the whole of the UK legal sector, including 90,000 client interviews.

Milestone At Shoreham Flood Defence Project

Work at one section of the Adur Tidal Walls Scheme now complete, with roads and paths re-opened

Environment Agency

Environment Agency

A major flood defence scheme that will significantly reduce flood risk to over 2,300 properties in Shoreham-by-Sea and Lancing has taken a step towards completion.

Work at Reach E3 of the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Scheme is now complete, and the northern section of the Downs Links and Lower Beach Road re-opened on Friday 8 December. Also, as a result of updated modelling for the project, part of the initial plan has been adapted and removed the need for major road works on the A283.

The scheme is made up of 10 individual reaches, and work has now started on 8. Construction on Reach E3, which includes raised walls and embankments, started in 2016. Steel piling has been installed along the landward side of the path, and has been clad with brick. The Downs Link path was diverted while the work was completed.

Before the advanced modelling took place, the A283 in Shoreham-by-Sea would have been closed for 12 weeks during construction in spring 2018. As a result of the work that has already taken place, only a very small number of properties would benefit from the road raising work. Instead, these properties will be protected with an alternative solution to ensure they also receive a high level of protection, and the road closures will not take place.

Elsewhere in the scheme, work on the slipway at Emerald Quay and Sussex Wharf is advancing and the first panes of glass of the riverside flood defence have been installed. The majority of the new wall at Ferry Bridge is complete, and vegetation clearance at Riverbank in preparation for construction to start in the new year is finished. Work at Emerald Quay, Shoreham Harbour Club and Shoreham Fort is progressing well. Much of the work behind the High Street in Shoreham has been completed and is open to the public.

Phil Prydderch, Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

It’s great news for Shoreham-by-Sea residents that we will be able to enhance their flood protection without the planned road closures. We are committed to protecting all members of the community, and will continue to work with local residents to make them more resilient against flooding.

When complete, the Shoreham scheme will reduce the tidal flood risk to thousands of homes and a significant number of commercial properties in the area, as well as protecting important local infrastructure such as the road network, railway line and Shoreham Airport. This is one part of the Environment Agency’s national effort to reduce the risk of flooding for at least 300,000 homes by 2020/21.

The Shoreham scheme’s dedicated project visitor centre is at Beach Green Car Park, Shoreham-by-Sea, and is open between midday and 5:00pm on weekdays. Further information on the scheme is available on GOV.UK or by calling 03708 506506.

You can also request information by emailing shorehamwestbank@environment-agency.gov.uk or by writing to SSD Enquiries, Environment Agency, Guildbourne House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1LD.

MMO Announce 2018 Panel Dates For The EMFF Scheme In England

The MMO is pleased to confirm the dates for European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) panels for 2018

Dorset Coastline

Dorset Coastline

Panels are required to consider applications over £100,000.00 and four panels will be held in 2018 giving applicants the maximum opportunity to apply for EMFF funding. Since the launch of the scheme in January 2016 there has been significant uptake so far. This has resulted in some funding areas becoming under pressure in 2018.

The 2018 panel dates are as follows:

  • The first panel will be held on 21 March 2018. Applicants are asked to ensure their applications reach the MMO by 19 January 2018.
  • A second panel will take place on 13 June with a deadline for applications of 13 April.
  • A third panel will convene on 5 September with an application deadline of 30 June.
  • A final panel will take place on 21 November with an application deadline of 14 September.

Commenting on the panels, MMO Director of Finance, EU and Licensing, Michelle Willis said:

“It’s imperative that people apply for funding by the panel dates and because of the scheme’s success, some funding areas will come under pressure during 2018. We want to ensure enough funding is available for projects to take place so we are asking for those interested to submit their applications as quickly as possible.

“The EMFF Scheme is very diverse and whilst we have received a wide range of projects since launch, we continue to welcome projects in 2018 including innovation projects, scientific – based projects and those with an emphasis on marine conservation.
“I would urge people to note the deadline dates for panel applications and take the time to submit applications which are of the highest possible quality to maximise the chances of application success.”

Please visit the MMO website for guidance and information on how to make an application.

« Older Entries