A UK trade delegation to China led by British Prime Minister David Cameron secured its first major deals in Beijing on Tuesday.
The biggest so far is a contract worth 860 million euros for Rolls Royce to supply and service engines for a major Chinese airline.
It is part of Cameron’s aim to double Britain’s trade with China within five years.
“We want a stronger economic and business relationship with China – we are the fifth-largest economy in the world, but we have only two percent of China’s imports,” Cameron said.
Britain is counting on exports to drive growth as deep budget cuts dampen the prospects of consumer spending back home.
Senior executives from companies such as Shell and Tesco have joined the prime minister to show that Britain is open for business.
Earlier, two of Britain’s leading financial institutions signed agreements to expand their operations in China and gain what is being called “preferential access” to the country’s lucrative securities market.