Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and China's President Xi Jinping�shake hands yesterday

Engineering firms win big at UK-China trade talks

Deals for UK engineering firms are among £5.6bn worth of business won during the first day of David Cameron's visit to China.

The bulk of the value of the deals, which the Government says will create 1,500 jobs in the UK, was covered by a £4.5bn agreement secured by Jaguar Land Rover to deliver 100,000 vehicles for sale in China over the next year.

Chinese automotive company Chang-An has announced that it will base its £60m new European research and development centre in the West Midlands, creating 250 jobs by 2017, while Rolls-Royce aero-engines have sealed a £70m contract to get involved in supplying infrastructure for a power systems company.

London-based SolaQuaGen is to invest in desalination plants to provide clean drinking water in China, in a deal valued at £225m and expected to create more than 750 jobs in Britain.

Downing Street also believes a memorandum of understanding to create a new digital and media alliance between Britain and China could open up opportunities worth as much as £2bn to UK companies over the next few years.

The deal was one of ten high-level deals signed by ministers, officials and company executives from the two countries during the first day of David Cameron's visit to China.

A memorandum of understanding on UK/China space co-operation was signed by the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, David Parker, and his Chinese counterpart, which prompted a £110m agreement between Surrey Satellites and a Chinese technology company to work on a new satellite system.

Others deals included the establishment of a £200m UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership, funded equally by the two governments, which is expected to support collaborations across the research spectrum focused on priorities outlined in the Government's Industrial Strategy.

A Patent Prosecution Highway will allow swifter consideration and granting of British patent applications, enabling firms to take action against infringers, and an agreement to permit the mutual adoption of British and Chinese standards will facilitate the supply of products across UK and Chinese markets as well as regulatory compliance.

There was also an agreement on collaboration between Shell and China’s State Council Development Research Centre on gas policy and regulation.

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