David Cameron cleared to lead £750m China trade fund
Posted on December 18th, 2017

Courtesy The Times (UK)

David Cameron has been cleared to take on a role leading a billion-dollar investment initiative between Britain and China set up by a friend.

The former prime minister played a key part in efforts to boost trade links with Beijing while he was in Downing Street and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, welcomed his new role during an official visit to China.

Mr Cameron will take charge of the £750 million fund to improve ports, roads and rail networks between China and its trading partners. The private fund is supported by the British government but will not involve any taxpayers’ money.

Last month The Times revealed that Mr Cameron had lobbied Beijing on behalf of a friend and former donor over the creation of the fund. The former prime minister discussed a UK-China fund” with Ma Kai, a Chinese vice-premier who heads Beijing’s finance ministry, during a trip to the country on September 20. The fund is being set up by figures including Lord Chadlington, a Tory peer and a close friend and financial backer of Mr Cameron.

Its launch was announced as part of a series of deals hailed by Mr Hammond during a trade visit to China.

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said that his role had been discussed with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), which considers roles taken up by ex-ministers. David Cameron remains very proud of his work as prime minister launching the ‘Golden Era’ between the UK and China with President Xi, and strengthening the UK-China trade and investment relationship,” the spokesman said. In an effort to build on that work out of office, he wishes to play a role in a new UK-China bilateral investment fund that will invest in innovative and sustainable growth opportunities in both the UK and China to create jobs and further boost trade links.

Having now received official advice from Acoba, work is continuing on establishing the fund — including holding discussions with a number of financial institutions in the UK and China. There is still a lot of work to do.”

Mr Hammond said: These successful talks are an example of global Britain at its best, demonstrating that we can work with our friends and partners across the world to support jobs, businesses and prosperity.

This is testament to our strong and dynamic economy, and the world-class talent and expertise we have to offer.”

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