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TheCityUK and the China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) today (17 June 2014) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

CDB is a joint stock bank wholly-owned by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. CDB facilitates the implementation of China’s national economic development strategy through its medium- to long-term lending and investment businesses. It is primarily responsible for funding large-scale infrastructure, social development and international cooperation projects.

This agreement sets out both parties’ belief that working together will strengthen and bring benefits to the UK and Chinese economies. This follows the commitment made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, during last week’s Mansion House speech to a “big step forward” in the economic ties between the UK and China.

This agreement has three key aims:

  • to support CDB to expand its financing and lending activity in the UK, including in infrastructure-related investment;
  • to build awareness and understanding of the role of the Chinese currency (RMB) in supporting China-UK and global cross-border investment; and
  • to promote more comprehensive China-UK cooperation in RMB-related and other business.

TheCityUK’s Chairman, Sir Gerry Grimstone, said: “It is very good for both China and the UK that CDB intends to expand significantly its operations in London. CDB has been instrumental in powering China’s economic development policies. This is a ground-breaking agreement which will help deepen and grow the existing strong relations enjoyed between the financial and related professional services industry of our two countries. It is another significant milestone on the route towards ensuring that the UK continues to be one of the major hubs for all RMB-denominated business.”

The President of CDB, Mr Zheng Zhijie, said: “London is one of the world’s global financial centres. As the largest foreign lending and cooperation bank of China, it is important that CDB expands its operations there as we review our future funding requirements and investigate investment opportunities in infrastructure, which will enable us to achieve mutual benefit for China and the UK.”

Chris Cummings, CEO of TheCityUK, added: “This is an important strategic initiative which will help take TheCityUK’s partnership with Chinese decision-makers to a higher level. It also represents a major opportunity for China and the UK to develop further cross-border business.”