– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 21, Tuesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
The U.K. will formally kickstart its divorce proceedings with the European Union on March 29, representatives of the government led by Prime Minister Theresa May announced Monday.
In June last year, the U.K. voted to leave the EU, the first sovereign state to do so in the bloc's 60-year history. To get negotiations going - a process that has a two-year time limit- the U.K. government has to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets out the formal steps that have to be taken.
On the market front, sterling had risen against the dollar in morning trade, but the news that Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March sent it lower.
The pound slipped 0.6% against the dollar in the mid-day trading, but bounced back a bit in Asia's morning session.
Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 hit another record, up almost 5 points at 7,429.8.
The news was not a surprise. However, it could be a reminder that UK and the EU are facing two years of difficult trade negotiations.
[Doug Gordon, Senior Portfolio Manager, Russell Investments] "It's gonna be a slow process, and clearly around this is gonna be very unique. You are gonna also have the other side of this, interesting to follow too, because you could have regime change in France, in Italy, and elsewhere in the continent. So there's a lot of moving parts on both sides of this, and who knows where we are sitting in in 2 years."
The EU has said it was "ready to begin negotiations" on Britain's departure from the bloc.
Now, some are concerned about poential unwelcome repercussions brought by uncertainies among upcoming negotiations.
For example, a tarnishing investment environment might discourage Chinese companies.
However, Lord Sassoon, Chairman of China-Britain Business Council, sees it differently.
[Lord Sassoon, Chairman, China-Britain Business Council] "And from a UK perspective, as we leave the European Union, we now have the opportunity to start bilateral trade talks with China and other countries so we'll be pressing very hard bilaterally to see what we can achieve for our companies to speed the opening up process. So of course, business people always wanted to go faster. But I think the direction of travel remains in the right direction."
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.