Carnival Corp. said it is moving forward with plans to form a joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corp. that would operate a new domestic brand in China.

In an announcement timed to the visit of the Chinese premier to London, Carnival announced that China Investment Corp. will also be a partner in the venture.

The partners formalized the venture at a signing ceremony held today at the Mansion House in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping in attendance.

"This cruising joint venture is a significant step forward for the cruise industry in China and a tremendous opportunity for us to work together with [China State Shipbuilding Corp. and China Investment Corp.] to grow awareness, interest and demand for cruise vacations amongst domestic Chinese travelers," said Alan Buckelew, global chief operations officer for Carnival Corp. & plc.

In announcing the venture, Carnival and its partners did not name it or say when its first ship is expected to be ready for sailing. The announcement described the new brand as "the first world-class, multi-ship domestic cruise brand in the Chinese market."

The parties said the addition of China Investment Corp. to the venture was a sign of China's "commitment to developing a strong domestic cruise presence and growing demand for cruising as a key driver of the expanding Chinese tourism market."

One of the largest sovereign wealth management funds in the world, China Investment Corp. has $740 billion of assets under management, Carnival sai
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