Multinational banks endorse Shanghai's foreign investment initiative
As China’s foremost financial center, Shanghai remains committed to enhancing its business environment for the financial sector, thereby attracting multinational financial institutions to invest and expand their operations.
Shanghai is embracing influential enterprises, institutions, and organizations from a variety of categories as global partners in promoting foreign investment in the city.
The city introduced the Shanghai Global Partners for Foreign Investment Promotion scheme in July. The Shanghai Commission of Commerce devised operational guidelines for the program in September.
Standard Chartered Bank views this partnership scheme as an opportunity, given that the implementation measures and operational guidelines encourage financial capital, such as multinational banks, well-known venture capital firms, and leading industry funds, to invest in Shanghai.
These entities are encouraged to establish investment cooperation relationships with Shanghai, utilizing their advantages and industry resources to recommend foreign investment projects that are consistent with the direction of industrial development and to assist with their implementation.
“Standard Chartered China welcomes this partnership scheme. We are also very optimistic about the opportunities that Shanghai’s continuous opening brings to us,” said Yang Chuandong, general manager of the East China region at Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited and president of the bank’s Shanghai branch.
With 165 years of history in Shanghai, the bank reaffirmed its roots in the city and expressed confidence in the Chinese market’s potential.
“Shanghai is where Standard Chartered China’s headquarters are located. We are rooted in Shanghai, providing comprehensive financial services to Chinese and foreign enterprises in Shanghai, the Yangtze River Delta, and even the whole country. We have full confidence in the tremendous potential that Shanghai and the Chinese market hold,” Yang said.
The bank has actively pursued opportunities presented by Shanghai’s annual China International Import Expo. It has participated in the expo for five years in a row, during which time it has signed memoranda of cooperation with partners from diverse industries, including healthcare, ecological agriculture, new energy, and high-end manufacturing.
Standard Chartered Group’s performance over the past few years can be primarily attributed to China’s expanding market and its commitment to openness.
Bill Winters, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Group, expressed the bank’s commitment to the Chinese market by stating, “We are investing very heavily to further promote our growth and China’s institutionalized opening-up and to play our role as a connector between the different markets in which we operate.”
To further strengthen its presence and capitalize on opportunities in China, the group has announced a US$300 million investment in related businesses over the next three years, with the goal of assisting its clients in seizing the development opportunities arising from China’s ongoing opening-up and doubling related profits by the end of 2024.
HSBC is another big multinational bank that is actively investing in Shanghai. With origins dating back to 1865, HSBC has grown to become the largest foreign investor among all foreign financial institutions in China and holds an extensive array of financial licenses.
Shanghai is the current location of HSBC’s Chinese mainland headquarters for its banking, insurance, funds, and financial technology businesses. It is intricately engaged in the development and construction of the Shanghai International Financial Center.
Mark Wang, president and chief executive officer of HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited, said that “Shanghai is not only our home but also the center of our development.”
Participating in initiatives such as the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, HSBC has been actively involved in the liberalization of Shanghai’s financial market.
HSBC China has witnessed the emergence and rapid growth of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone over the past decade.
“We have actively pursued every business opportunity presented by the pilot program in order to play a pioneering and exploratory role and have reaped the benefits of a series of reform measures, institutional openness, and innovation.”
In particular, the achievements made in leading high-level opening-up since the establishment of the Lingang Special Area are extraordinary, creating an excellent opportunity for domestic and foreign institutions to actively participate in innovative development, said Wang.
“The realization of goals such as convenient cross-border financial services, free flow of goods, and easy fund movements in the new area has created new development opportunities for HSBC, whose competitive advantage is cross-border services,” Wang said.
In recent years, the bank has increased its investments in China and implemented a number of significant strategic initiatives. Citigroup China and HSBC China recently struck an agreement for HSBC to acquire Citi’s retail wealth management portfolio in Chinese mainland.
“China is a key strategic market for the HSBC Group,” Wang said. “We have confidence in the positive long-term trend of the Chinese economy and support its high-quality development, deep participation in market openness, and continuous investment in business layout.”
By 2025, the group’s new mainland investments are expected to exceed 3 billion yuan (US$409 million).