Shanghai boosts efforts to become global financial hub

Efforts will be made to establish an offshore financial system, facilitate global use of the renminbi and improve the synergy of Shanghai-based financial institutions with those in other areas.


Lujiazui, the financial center in Shanghai, forms a perfect backdrop to the Bund area. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

December 12, 2022

SHANGHAI – Shanghai will further expedite efforts to advance financial opening-up at the institutional level to reinforce its role as a rising international financial hub, an official said on Friday.

Efforts will be made in the city to establish an offshore financial system, facilitate global use of the renminbi and improve the synergy of Shanghai-based financial institutions with those in other areas, said Wang Junshou, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission’s Shanghai Office.

The city is working to enhance the global influence of its financial regulatory framework and elevate its ability to participate in the formulation of international financial rules, all to speed up financial opening-up at the institutional level, Wang said.

Standards and rules in the financial industry will also become more aligned with the best international norms and global development trends, Wang said while addressing the Bund Summit, held in Shanghai from Friday to Sunday.

Specifically, Wang said the city will work to build an offshore financial system that matches Shanghai’s role as an international financial center and make a set of offshore market rules that are globally competitive and have Chinese characteristics.

Financial institutions will be encouraged to enrich their set of renminbi products oriented to international investors and provide more comprehensive services in investment, financing and risk management for domestic and foreign clients, he said.

The office will also support institutions based in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in cooperating more with their peers in other parts of the Yangtze River Delta region to help the entire region reap the benefits of the financial reforms piloted in Shanghai, Wang said.

The efforts are expected to attract more foreign financial institutions to Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta region, Wang said, adding that Shanghai is now home to more than 50 foreign banking and insurance corporate institutions.

Shanghai’s efforts come as part of China’s growing focus on promoting institutional opening-up to expand access to foreign investors in the financial industry in recent years.

A key report delivered at the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China called for more efforts to steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards.

Official data show that the total assets of foreign banks in China have increased by nearly 30 percent while total assets of foreign insurance companies in the country have risen by about 120 percent since the 19th CPC National Congress, which was held in 2017.

Tu Guangshao, chairman of the executive council of the Shanghai Finance Institute, told the forum that institutional opening-up stresses improving the efficiency and global competitiveness of rules.

The process entails efforts to align domestic rules with international norms and taking part in the setting of international standards, Tu said, adding that sustainable finance would be a key area where institutional opening-up should be advanced.

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