LONDON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of his departure for a six-day visit to China, the British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he was "on a mission to sell, to buy, and to learn."
The trip had been in planning for three to four months, and McLoughlin will fly out to Beijing on Saturday and returns six days later.
"I hope to get a feel for the changes in infrastructure in China." McLoughlin said, "There are a number of businesses and industries that we have got that are operating in the design and construction world, such as Ove Arup, and there are quite a number of opportunities that we see are available for us in China and opportunities for us to get a greater understanding of how China will plan for its future infrastructure spending."
China is a big investor in some areas of industrial and commercial activity in Britain, said McLoughlin, and the visit is also a recognition of the huge Chinese internal market.
McLoughlin said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency at his department's London headquarters, "There is also the growth in the China aviation market and what is going to happen for aviation agreements between our two countries."
McLoughlin said he would like to see more direct air links between Britain and China and it was something he wished to discuss with his Chinese counterparts.
He said, "We are open for negotiations and we would like to see those negotiations get further in both our countries interests."
McLoughlin said he believed Britain could learn from the experience of China in its construction of its extensive high-speed rail network, and the importance of connecting cities with the network.
"China has got some impressive records as to what it has done on high-speed trains," said McLoughlin.
He said that he was keen to see if there were opportunities for Chinese private investment in future British high-speed train projects.
"I think the development of our new stations would lead themselves to private sector investment, but if there are other areas of investment where Chinese companies want to get involved I am interested in listening to what they have to say," he added.
His itinerary includes a meeting with the Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang, a visit to the new airport under construction in Beijing, a long-distance trip on the Chinese high-speed rail network, and a visit to China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.