British Prime Minister David Cameron marked his arrival in China on Monday with a call for the European Union to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the world’s second-largest economy.
Mr. Cameron began his three-day trip, accompanied by what his office said was the largest British trade delegation ever to visit China, by opening a Jaguar Land Rover training academy in Beijing. The company is signing an agreement worth some 4.5 billion pounds (7.4 billion dollars) to provide 100,000 vehicles to China over the next year.
He was scheduled to meet Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping in Beijing later on Monday.
Mr. Cameron “is ready to put his full political weight behind an agreement to liberalise trade between China and the EU”, his office said.
“Britain is uniquely placed to make the case for deepening the European Union’s trade and investment relationship with China,” Mr. Cameron said in an interview published on Monday by China’s influential Caixin business magazine.
“Building on the recent launch of EU-China negotiations on investment, and on China’s continued commitment to economic reform, I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive EU-China free trade agreement,” he said.