In his first speech as Britain’s new Minister of Trade and Investment, Stephen Green (The Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint) emphasized the vital importance of China to British UK economy.

Coming on the heels of a spate of trade deals between the two countries totaling 2.6-billion pounds sterling, Green said that China's economic growth over the past five years were tantamount to an extraordinary historic event.

China is now the world's largest goods exporter and the UK's largest goods export market outside the US and the European Union, he said.

Green, the former chief of HSBC, cautioned however that relations between Britain and China need to be further improved.

In 2009 only 2 percent of UK total exports went to China and China received less than 1 percent of its total imports from UK,” he noted.

“We are keen to realize the immense potential for deepening and broadening areas of commercial cooperation.

In response, Gao Hucheng, the Chinese trade minister assured that his country seeks to increase trade with the UK and would enable British companies to operate in China with greater ease.

In a recent column in the Financial Times, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (who is visiting Britain), wrote China's development benefits other countries. We welcome the entry into our market of competitive goods and services from around the world, and will provide a fair and even more transparent environment for foreign investors.

Li also wrote that reform and opening-up are the driving forces behind our development, however cautioned that China's development will not be possible without the world -- and world development needs China.