UK exports to China were worth $24.5bn (£15.7bn) in 2013. So the visit forms part of the UK government’s ambitious target of doubling UK exports to £1tn by 2020, and within this to double UK exports to China from their 2010 level to $30bn. The trip began with the second UK-China IP Symposium held in Beijing, hosted in partnership with Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). There, Neville-Rolfe announced that both countries will do joint work focused on topics related to global patent reform and making IP systems more efficient for users. China-Britain Business Council’s chief executive, Stephen Phillips, said: “Protection of IP is important to every business that has invested time and effort in its development. We are encouraged by the clear commitment of China to ensure better IP enforcement – something that is really important as China continues to move up the value curve.” Neville-Rolfe echoes this sentiment. He said: “There is huge potential for British firms to do business with China, generating new jobs and economic growth in both countries. While many UK companies already have strong trading relationships with China and work hard together to continue to reduce any barriers to doing business.” Issues that the visit will help to address include working more closely with the Chinese authorities to tackle IP crime and reduce the amount of counterfeit goods exported from China. For example, 70 per cent of counterfeit goods seized at EU borders currently originate from China. By Shané Schutte
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