December 16, 2017

David Cameron to set up £750m UK-China investment fund

The Telegraph, UK

China's President Xi Jinping drinks a pint of beer with David Cameron during his visit to Britain in 2015 CREDIT: GETTY

 Edward Malnick 

16 DECEMBER 2017 • 10:53AM

David Cameron is helping to set up up a new £750m UK-China investment fund aimed at forging closer ties between the two countries, it has been confirmed.

The former Prime Minister will become vice chairman of the new private equity fund after being approached for the role by Lord Chadlington, a friend and former Tory donor.

The announcement, which confirmed reports published last month, came as the Government prepared to set out details of an agreement between British and Chinese ministers on forging closer economic ties, following a trip to the country by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor.

It is understood that the new investment fund, called the UK-China Fund is a private sector initiative that does not involve any taxpayer money - but it has been welcomed by the Government as providing supporting for UK-China relations.

The fund will help British and Chinese businesses in sectors such as technology, healthcare and infrastructure, expand into each others' countries. It will also help firms to overcome hurdles such as cultural differences and regulations in the two countries.

Mr Cameron's role will include identifying businesses that could benefit from investment and commercial advice from the fund's management team, and setting up talks between the UK and Chinese governments - although advice from the official Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) will prevent him from engaging in lobbying.

He is expected to spend two to three days a month on work for the fund.

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “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.

“In an effort to build on that work out of office, he wishes to play a role in a new UK-China bi-lateral 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.”

The post follows a role developed by one of Mr Cameron's predecessors facilitating talks with Chinese figures.

In 2015 the Telegraph revealed that  Tony Blair had privately begun acting as broker between Abu Dhabi and China. A series of documents showed how he had been courting some of the most influential Chinese political and business leaders – and then introducing them to the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund he worked for