BOAO, China — The U.K.'s exit from the European Union (EU) will present new opportunities for free trade with the world's second-largest economy, a former Chinese banker said Saturday.
"Brexit will pave a new path for free trade between China and the U.K.," Li Ruogu, former chairman of the Export-Import Bank of China, said at the Boao Forum held in the Hainan province of China.
Despite fears about rising protectionism and anti-free trade forces in the current global environment, Li said the U.K. may already be a more open market than the EU. He cited inefficiencies in EU agricultural policies and its disputes with China regarding the steel trade as examples of protectionism in the EU.
"After Brexit, China and U.K. trade may get freer, especially in financial services," said Li, who was speaking in a panel moderated by CNBC anchor Geoff Cutmore.