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Catherine Raines goes from boosting China trade and investment to UKTI CEO

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Raines is currently responsible for trying to boost overseas investment and helping British firms win business abroad.

In an interview with Real Business in December 2014, she highlighted that UK exports had increased by over 37 per cent in the last two years, and that Britain overtook France to become the European Union’s second biggest exporter to the nation. Furthermore, China remained the UK’s seventh biggest export market in 2013 – with British exports to the country growing three times as fast as imports from China.

She suggested that over the past few years, China had jumped up the list of the UK’s biggest destinations for exports. It has also become one of the fastest growing sources of inward investment into the UK. 

Accelerating urbanisation, the spending power of China’s new middle class and the increasing globalisation of Chinese capital, Raines said, meant the trend was likely set to continue. 

Raines said: “As China strives to become more innovative and competitive as a knowledge economy, the creativity and innovation that runs through British businesses make us an increasingly natural partner.”

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With CEO Dominic Jermey set to leave the company to become an international counter-extremism co-ordinator for the foreign and commonwealth office, Raines will succeed him in September. 

She takes up the post after more than two years leading in China, having overseen an increase in business successes attributable to support from around £300m a year to more than £3.7bn, according to the government.

Lord Maude, the trade and investment minister, said: “The world increasingly sees Britain as the best place to do business in and to do business from. UKTI has a central role in mobilising government support for exports and inward investment.

“We have made great progress, especially in attracting investment from overseas, where Britain’s success among EU countries is second to none. I look forward to working with Catherine, who comes with a high reputation for leading change in both public and private sectors.”

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