LONDON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies have achieved an "explosive" growth in Britain and trade between the two countries is increasing rapidly, participants of the annual meeting of the China Enterprises Association in Britain (CEAB) held in London agreed on Friday.
According to incomplete statistics, in 2012, Chinese companies invested more than 8 billion U.S. dollars in Britain through joint stocks, mergers and acquisitions, exceeding China's total investments in the country in recent years.
The investors include China's sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, Brightfood, Sinopec, CNOOC and Huawei, whose investment areas have expanded from traditional financial services to food production, high-end manufacturing and aviation.
Statistics also show that Sino-British trade reached 57 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months of 2012, up 7.1 percent year-on-year. China's imports from Britain in the period grew 17.8 percent, the largest increase among all EU members.
In comparison, China-EU trade dropped by 4.1 percent in the period, with Britain being China's only major trading partner in the EU that saw growth in both exports and imports.
"This is a hard-won advance" for the two countries, Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming told the CEAB meeting, calling 2012 a year of exceptional records for Chinese enterprises.
The business communities of the two countries "have every reason to take pride in their great achievements" in the year, he said.
Liu expressed his confidence that Sino-British cooperation in such spheres as infrastructure, oil and gas, offshore wind farms, food industry and information technology, will witness more breakthroughs in either capital or projects.
CEAB Chairman Yang Shicheng briefed the participants on the activities his association organized last year, pledging to further its role in sharing information among the CEAB members and promoting understanding and cooperation among companies of the two countries.
He said that in 2013, the CEAB will give awards to fast growing Chinese enterprises in Britain.
Founded in July 2001, the CEAB is a non-profit organization that serves Chinese enterprises and representative offices in Britain. It now has more than 120 members.