LONDON, Jan. 21(Xinhua) -- China-UK bilateral trade reached a record high in 2013, surpassing 70 billion U.S. dollars, the Chinese ambassador to the UK said on Tuesday at a business gathering.
"UK's export to China increased by 13.8 percent, much higher than China's other EU trade partners," said ambassador Liu Xiaoming during a reception hosted by the 48 Group Club to celebrate the upcoming Chinese lunar new year.
"Our relations have come to a fresh start. We face great opportunities that have never been seen before," said Liu, disclosing that Chinese investment in the UK over the past two years reached 13 billion U.S. dollars, exceeding the total of the previous three decades.
"The two countries' leaders reached a broad consensus on pushing forward bilateral relationship and expanding cooperation. China and the UK working together will benefit our people and contribute to global peace and development," said Li. Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club.
He added that the UK and China had entered a new era in bilateral relations with the significant Chinese investment. Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group was granted a special award for its UK investment with two deals last year -- investing 700 million pounds (about 1.15 billion U.S. dollars) in the development of a five-star hotel near the river Thames, and spending 320 million pounds (about 527.27 million U.S. dollars) on a 92 percent share of Sunseeker Yachts.
"The UK can be the most profitable destination in the Western world for Chinese outward investment in infrastructure, real estate, energy and transportation," Perry said.
The 48 Group Club is an independent business network committed to promoting positive relations between China and the UK. Its founding members, known as the "icebreakers" of China-UK trade, were the first Western businessmen to break through the trade embargo on the newly-founded People's Republic of China in the early 1950s.