The UK is to strike co-production treaties with SouthAfrica, China, India, Jamaica and Morocco, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowellannounced on Monday.

The treaties will be developed with each country overthe next 18 months. Jowell recently signed a statement of intent with the SouthAfrican Minister for Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan.

"More than 27 million South Africans went to thecinema in 2003," said Jowell. "In 2001 India made more than 1,000 films -making it the world's largest feature film producer. And with a population ofover a billion in China it makes sense to tap into this market."

"The real negotiations start now, but if we getthese treaties right it will be the perfect deal - both sides win and theconsumer gets to enjoy a better, more diverse product."