We are English speaking—the language of the Internet; we have high level management skills, a good business infrastructure, flexible labour market, stable politics I and excellent tax regime. And so this is why I say to you. If you are looking to invest in Europe, particularly in ICT, invest in Britain. Our two countries—with our great histories and our tremendous strengths—are natural partners.
Many Chinese businesses are now making significant early investments into Britain. There are around 120 companies from mainland China investing in Britain——up from just fifty-three years ago Legend has positioned their European Marketing HQ in Slough. And Xinao has opened their European Liaison and Purchasing office in the North East.
ZTE Corporation—China's largest listed telecoms manufacturer is now focusing on the European market. Their Chairman, Zhang Taifeng, described Britain as the "natural gateway into Europe".
The Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board has opened an office in London—providing advice for Shanghai companies looking to invest in the UK. And I know Mr Liu Jinping, the Vice President, will be speaking to you later today.
So we've already got the fruits of a really strong relationship between us- And I hope that through all that Britain has to offer you—our economic stability; our position in Europe; and, in particular, our scientific excellence, creativity and innovation一allows us to build on this.
China is key to our efforts. We now have six full time staff in China—from none just three years ago- Leading Edge has been the largest and most wide-ranging UK promotion we have carried out anywhere in the world this year.
So we want to build up our relationship. And I look forward to working with all of you as we take the next steps forward together—the best of old, the best of new——in partnership, meeting the challenges of the global economy.