British trading firm eyes Chinese market despite short-term virus impact

Date: 12 Feb 2020

LONDON -- Britain's food and drink businesses should tap the huge potential of the Chinese market after Brexit as the impact of the novel coronavirus is likely short term, said the director of a British trading company.

"There will be negative impacts on the short-term economic growth, but I believe China's economy will maintain sound growth in the long run," Colin Rainsforth, director of British food and drink export and marketing firm Absolute Advantage, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The timely and decisive measures taken by the Chinese government to lessen the economic impact "will be beneficial both to China and the world economy," he said, adding that isolating China because of the coronavirus "is not the solution and will only create more obstacles to the world trade."

According to Rainsforth, whose company encourages trade with China and the United States to avoid "the worst effects" of a likely no-deal Brexit, "it seems certain that the UK will ultimately lose access to the EU's single market."

"We'll have to go through more paperwork, custom inspections, and more delays of goods without a free trade deal," he said.

Britain and the European Union (EU) are expected to start trade talks in March. Doubts still remain whether the trade talks could be wrapped up during a transition period due to end on Dec 31.

"The opportunities in China and the US far outstrip those available in Europe right now," Rainsforth said.

China is a big market with rapid growth and an increasing number of middle-class consumers who are keen for high-quality goods, he said.

"We have a growing demand of well-known UK brands of food and drinks from China now," he added.

Source: China Daily

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