David Cameron Xi Jinping
UK Prime Minister David Cameron shakes hands with Xi Jinping, China's premier, during a trade visit to the Asian giant (UK Govt)

Britain and China have signed a package of healthcare deals potentially worth over £120m as Prime Minister David Cameron tours the Asian powerhouse in a bid to drum up trade between the two countries.

The UK government said China's Sinophi Healthcare signed contracts for hospital management and hospital investment, including a joint venture with Huai'an First People's Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Jiangsu Province, and an agreement to build a 1,000 bed oncology hospital.

There were also memorandums of understanding signed between three UK and three Chinese firms, unlocking the potential for millions more in healthcare trade. Cameron said the Chinese healthcare market is forecast to be worth $400bn by 2017.

"These agreements will see UK firms exporting their expertise to China - building their businesses and investing in Chinese healthcare," said the UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

"Both countries will benefit from these new relationships and better trade links."

Heythorp Healthcare signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu Far East for a joint venture to develop a flagship, mixed-use healthcare facility. This will include elderly nursing, specialist dementia services and care training outside Jiangsu.

Healthcare UK, the public body which touts the country's health industry overseas, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CITIC Trust and Circle Partnership. This is hoped to trigger commercial deals for UK companies in areas such as primary care services, integrated care and education and training.

IXICO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Beijing Union Medical and Pharmaceutical General Corporation.

"They will work together to support dementia diagnosis, advance public understanding of dementia and evaluate new treatments," said the UK government's statement.

Cameron is using his three-day trip accompanied with a 120-strong delegation of UK firms and executives to not only bolster UK trade, but also lay the ground for more discussions between the European Union and China.

In the Chinese magazine Caixin, Cameron said the trade trip is aimed at building on the current EU-China negotiations on investment and China's planned economic reforms, such as stripping away red tape around foreign direct investment.

"I now want to set a new long-term goal of an ambitious and comprehensive EU-China free trade agreement," he said.

"And as I have on the EU-US deal, I will put my full political weight behind such a deal which could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year."