|British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (left) and Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei talk at Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen on Wednesday,Nov 16, 2013. Huawei said it will invest $200 million to construct a new research and development center in the UK. [Photo / Provided to China Daily]|
Tracker shows 25 key firms are contributing jobs and revenue
Chinese companies are thriving in the UK and making a significant contribution to the UK economy, according to the Grant Thornton Tou Ying 25 tracker 2013.
The tracker, in collaboration with China Daily, monitors UK businesses with Chinese parent companies to identify the fastest-growing 25 companies by year-on-year change in turnover. The 2013 tracker monitors revenue growth for the full years ending in December 2011 and 2012.
The 25 companies are making heavyweight contributions to the UK economy, having employed more than 2,600 people and generated more than 17 billion pounds ($27.83 billion) in revenue in 2012, a 27 percent year-on-year increase. Even the slowest-growing company grew by 9 percent.
Nick Farr, partner and head of the China-Britain Services Group at Grant Thornton UK, said UK Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to China this week, as well as several other recent high-profile trade missions, have put Anglo-Chinese trade firmly in the spotlight.
"As the number of Chinese companies going global continues to rise, the UK appears to be well and truly open to Chinese investment, benefiting hugely from the inflow of funds," Farr said.
Farr said some policies recently announced by the British government, for example simplifying the visa application process for Chinese people, would also help nurture the relationship.
The growth tracker demonstrates the diversity of Chinese investment in the UK, as industries represented include banking, energy, manufacturing, retail and technology and telecommunications, among others, he said.
Of the 25 companies, 20 grew organically and the rest expanded through acquisition. About half of the companies are based in London, with the remainder distributed across the UK.
The selected companies all have minimum revenues of 5 million pounds ($8.19 million), have at least 51 percent Chinese ownership and have been trading since at least the beginning of 2011.
Stephen Phillips, chairman of the China Britain Business Council, said the UK's level of openness to foreign investment and its level of access to the European market are strong attractions for Chinese investment.
"Chinese companies that set up here have access to some of the very best financial and professional services that the world has to offer, making it easier to grow and expand their business," Phillips said.
He said Chinese businesses make important contributions to the UK economy by generating and sustaining jobs, and their relationship with local suppliers allows those British businesses to join the global supply chain.
Zhou Xiaoming, commerce minister counselor of the Chinese embassy in the UK, said Chinese companies have been diversifying their investment in the UK over the years, moving from traditional finance, trade and telecommunications to advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, branding and research and development.
Zhou said this diversification of the Sino-UK business relationship has promoted the growth of Chinese companies and helped them go global.
He said he believes the UK-China business relationship will continue to grow because China and Britain are complementary economies. "Britain has abundant experience in the service and creative industries and technical innovation, while China, as an emerging market, offers capital and a large potential market."
Since 2009, China's investment in the United Kingdom, including direct investment and mergers and acquisitions, has maintained strong momentum and reached $12.4 billion in total.
Over the past 18 months, Chinese investment has exceeded the total of the previous 30 years. The UK has been China's leading investment destination in Europe. Since the beginning of this year, there has been a surge of project investment.
Chinese companies have invested or plan to invest in more than 10 big projects in Britain worth nearly $5 billion.