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Financial Times: Brown to appeal for market access

By George Parker, Political Editor
Published: January 18 2008 02:00 | Last updated: January 18 2008 02:00

Gordon Brown will arrive in Beiijing today with a promise that Britain will keep its doors wide open to Chinese investment – including its $200bn (€136bn, £101bn) sovereign wealth fund – but he expects something in return, writes George Parker en route to Beijing.

The UK prime minister, travelling with 25 British business leaders, will urge Beijing to lift restrictions to entry to their markets, particularly in areas such as financial services.

He is expected to keep criticism of China’s human rights record to a minimum, focusing instead on improving business ties and the ways both countries can help tackle global warming.

Mr Brown will argue that Britain is well placed to provide financial, legal and other business services to support China’s fast- growing economy, as well as high-tech products.

He will be joined by senior executives from companies including AstraZeneca, Ernst & Young, Royal Dutch Shell and Standard Life, as well as John Hutton, the business secretary, and Richard Lambert, chief of the CBI employers’ group.

China’s sovereign wealth fund is thought to have been one of dozens of potential investors approached by Goldman Sachs, the UK government’s advisers on Northern Rock, in its search for financing of a private sale of the stricken bank.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008 and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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