Young Dave, as every part of the media is reporting, is in China, along with several of the Coalition cabinet. There, he is hoping to help the UK do more business with the Chinese. So what has the PM got to show for his trouble? One encouraging sign has been a deal between Rolls Royce and China Eastern Airlines, for engines to power Airbus A330 aircraft.
That’s understandable: Cameron going in to bat for one of the UK’s few remaining significant high value manufacturing companies. But he’s also been showing encouragement to Tesco, who have a significant presence in the country. But why?
Sure, I’m not a fan of Terry Leahy’s empire, what with its appalling customer service and – in Crewe at least – an offer that doesn’t measure up to what the competition can put forward. But this is just a retailer. It’s not as if Tesco is bringing some kind of high end and unique product to the Chinese marketplace.
So it can hardly be compared with high value manufacturing exporters like Rolls Royce. And with the Chinese middle class set to continue expanding – along with disposable income and a more sophisticated market awareness – Tesco won’t need any UK Government help with growing their business.
But the UK’s manufacturing base always can.