Aga Rangemaster Cooks Up Chinese Deal

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Aga Rangemaster (Berlin: GYIB.BE - news) , the manufacturer of premium cookers, will on Thursday seal its entry into the Chinese market by striking a partnership agreement with one of the country’s biggest gas burner technology companies.

Sky News understands that Aga will sign an alliance with Zhongshan Vatti Gas Appliance Stock Co, best-known for the distinctive torches it made for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, that will give the two companies reciprocal distribution and product development rights.

The deal, timed to coincide with the opening of the London Olympics, will give Aga access to the world's most populous nation at a time when Chinese consumers are demonstrating a growing appetite for western-style ovens.

The partnership between Aga and Vatti will be one of a number of trade deals and co-operation agreements announced on Thursday in an effort by the Government to demonstrate that Britain is open for business. Aga declined to comment.

Ministers will attend on Thursday what has been called the Global Investment Conference, which will attract the bosses of scores of multinational companies.

The attempt by UK Trade & Investment to use the Olympics as a trade promotion platform follows the publication of figures on Wednesday showing that Britain is in a much deeper recession than previously thought.

Among the speakers at the summit will be: Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund; Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England; Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; and Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF.PK - news) .