The MOU was signed by UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Xu Shaoshi, Chairman of China's National Development & Reform Committee.

UK: The UK and Chinese governments signed a bilateral agreement for their rail industries to work together 'to boost economic growth, jobs and skills' during an official visit to Britain by China's Premier Li Keqiang on June 17.

The Department for Transport said the agreement would pave the way for closer co-operation in areas such as:

  • new-build and upgrading infrastructure projects;
  • the supply of products and services to third markets;
  • research and development collaboration;
  • station design;
  • equipment supply;
  • safety and evaluation;
  • energy saving and environmental protection.

'I can see great mutual benefit to be gained from increased co-operation between the UK and China on rail', said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. 'The railways are a massive success story in both countries and we can boast world class expertise across the sector.'

DfT said the UK 'is open to international investment and welcomes suitable qualified companies from other countries, including China, to bid for projects in accordance with international and domestic procurement practices and laws'. The agreement states that contracts won in the UK 'should utilise and build upon the UK supply chain'. The UK also expects to see greater emphasis on access to the Chinese market for UK companies.

'The success stories of the future will be economies that invest in infrastructure and welcome overseas involvement and we want this partnership to be a win-win situation creating economic growth and jobs here and abroad, including in China', said McLoughlin.