IT is a move which will be welcomed by farmers hoping for a windfall from the world's biggest economy.

Negotiations to end a Chinese ban on imports of British beef and lamb will be announced today as premier Li Keqiang and David Cameron meet in Downing Street.

Restrictions were imposed by the Chinese in response to the BSE outbreak in the 1980s but it is expected that formal official-level talks will begin on opening up a market which could be worth up to £120 million to the British economy.

Loading article content

British beef and lamb will be on the menu at the UK-China summit, with the food prepared by Manchester-based catering firm Sweet Mandarin.

The firm was part of the trade delegation which accompanied the Prime Minister to China last December.

As well as talks aimed at opening up China's food and drinks market, the visit also featured other agricultural deals. Additional contracts include Chinese financial services group Nord Engine making up to £150m available to invest in UK and European enterprises.