London Event Showcases Fujian Tea
Guests pose for a group photo at the British round of the 2023 "Fujian tea on Maritime Silk Road" promotional event held on Oct 26 in London. [Photo by ZhengWanyin/China Daily]
A promotional event introducing tea products and tea culture from Southeast China’s Fujian province to United Kingdom businesses was held in London on Thursday.
The event, co-organized by the Fujian Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Fujian Daily Newspaper Group, represents a part of the province's efforts to promote exports of Fujian tea, with similar sessions being staged in Malaysia and Singapore this year.
Since 2016, the promotional campaign has landed in more than 14 countries in Europe and Asia, and a series of deals have been signed with local companies, with the amount of cooperation totaling 2.991 billion RMB ($408 million).
On the London leg of the campaign, six Fujian tea production companies signed cooperation agreements with the UK dealers.
Chen Mingwang, director-general of the Fujian Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, speaks at the event on Oct 26 in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Chen Mingwang, director-general of the Fujian Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, highlighted Fujian's tea-making prowess and the longstanding tea trade relationship between China and the UK to the attendees.
Chen said the province, as the major producer of tea in China, enjoys a superior geographical location, with coastal climes and fertile soils offering an appropriate environment for producing a great variety of teas, from oolong tea, white tea, black tea to jasmine tea.
The UK began to learn of Chinese tea in the 1650s, when green tea was served as a novelty in London’s coffee houses, while the popularity of tea in the country might need to be attributed to Catherine of Braganza, the daughter of Portugal’s King John IV, who married Britain’s King Charles II in 1662, and took the tea drinking habit from Portugal to the British court, according to Chen.
“We hope that, with tea as a connection, China and the UK can continuously strengthen the bilateral economic cooperation and cultural exchanges and open a new chapter for Sino-British friendship,” said the director-general.
Bao Ling, minister counselor of China's Embassy in the UK, speaks at the event on Oct 26 in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Bao Ling, minister counselor of China’s Embassy in the UK, noted the enduring and thriving Sino-British trade relationship, tracing it back from the 17th-century tea trade via the Maritime Silk Road to the present day.
As of the end of May 2023, the total China-UK two-way investment stock amounted to $54.63 billion, an increase of more than $12 billion over the pre-pandemic period, according to Bao.
“China is a reliable trading partner with a huge market and stable policies. We welcome countries across the world, including the UK, to share development opportunities with us,” said the minister.
Andrew Seaton, chief executive of the China-Britain Business Council, speaks at the event on Oct 26 in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Andrew Seaton, chief executive of the China-Britain Business Council, stated that the China-UK trading relationship, although having experienced a difficult period, is moving in a more positive direction. He said he is personally opposed to voices calling for decoupling from China.
“It is interesting that last year, China-UK bilateral trade broke a new record at 110 billion pounds ($136 billion)…I personally think, de-coupling or de-linking, would be greatly damaging both to the Chinese and UK economies. But the best way of countering such thinking is to make sure that the trade relationship brings genuine benefits to the peoples of both our countries,” said Seaton.
“Fujian plays an important part in that relationship…and of course, tea is a key element in the connection between the UK and Fujian,” Seaton added.
The Chinese method of brewing tea is showcased at the event on Oct 26 in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]