Governor Xu was very happy to meet with Mr. Fox and his entourage in Shanghai. He said, “Hunan and the United Kingdom have maintained friendly exchanges. We have achieved remarkable cooperation results. In 2017, Hunan’s foreign trade volume with the UK increased by 31.6%, and it grew by 23.3% between January and September this year.” He continued, “Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, has opened a UK visa center and direct flights from Changsha to London. In this October, Hunan Province and Lincolnshire, has formally established a friendly province-county relationship.” “These are manifestation of the increasingly closer economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two sides. This also provides great convenience for deepening mutual exchanges and collaboration,” he added.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Hunan government has implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council; exerted the advantages of “Belt and Zone” orientation; practiced innovation-oriented opening up and development strategy; and, accelerated ‘a province of five powers’ (powerful in economy, science and education, culture, ecology, and opening up) construction, to build Hunan an inland innovation and opening up highland with high quality progress. It was hoped that based on existing cooperation foundation with the UK, Hunan would further strengthen and enhance the cooperation level in such fields as economic and trade investment, equipment manufacturing, aviation, finance, environmental protection, education, culture, and tourism.
Liam Fox remarked that Hunan has obvious advantages in economy, industry, and science and technology. The UK has attached great importance to exchanges and cooperation with Hunan. He expected that both sides would carry out more in-depth matchmaking, explore further ways of innovation and cooperation, and expand cooperation areas, to achieve win-win results.
They also discussed the upcoming Hunan-UK Commodity Procurement Matchmaking Conference to be held during the expo.