'Mission' to become financial center

Shanghai will speed up its efforts in building an international financial hub and a credit pilot zone in the Yangtze River Delta.
Imaginechina

Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, delivers a speech at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai yesterday. 

Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, yesterday said the city will speed up its efforts in building an international financial hub and a credit pilot zone in the Yangtze River Delta.

Li was speaking at the two-day Lujiazui Forum 2018 where more than 400 participants from home and abroad were discussing “Shanghai’s development toward an international financial center in the new era.”

He said building Shanghai into a global financial center was not only a national strategy, but also an “important mission” of the city. Shanghai, as a window of China’s reform and opening-up policy, has a strong financial gene, and the need for an international financial hub has become a necessity more than ever now.

Further deepening opening-up and reform will inject new vitality in Shanghai’s efforts to reach that goal by 2020.

Li said Shanghai will speed up efforts in building a global service system for yuan’s internationalization and a new platform for financial reforms and innovations.

It will make the best use of the free trade zone platform, get both domestic and foreign financial institutions involved in serving the Belt and Road Initiative and explore the way for financial reforms like the convertibility of the capital account.

Li said Shanghai will push the financial industry to serve the real economy. The government will encourage financial institutions to offer more and better services to small and medium-sized enterprises, and strive to develop green and inclusive finance.

The city will commit itself to creating a new and benign ecosystem for the financial industry. Shanghai will attach more importance to the construction of financial legal system to better protect investors’ legitimate rights. It will also help resolve practical problems of financial talent in household registration, education and medical services.

Li added that Shanghai will deepen its financial cooperation within the Yangtze River Delta. Plans are afoot for the Shanghai Futures Exchange to partner Zhejiang free trade zone to set up an oil transaction center for a multi-level oil trading market.

The city will also accelerate the building of the demonstration zone for a social credit system, which was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2017.

Shanghai has made great progress in further opening its financial industry after China called for extra efforts at the Boao Forum for Asia in April.

Last month, ICBC-AXA Life Co got the nod to establish an asset-management company; and Shanghai-based Bright Food Group signed an investment agreement with a French bank to jointly set up a consumer finance company.

According to the Shanghai Financial Service Office, the city will support foreign banks in setting up branches and sub-branches, and encourage domestic banks to establish asset-management companies with foreign investors with no cap for shares.

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