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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Official Banquet of the China-UK Business Leaders Forum: Produce New Outcomes and Provide New Impetus
Guildhall, City of London, 3 September 2019
2019/09/05

Lord Mayor Alderman Peter Estlin,

Mr. Richard Burn,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening!

It is a real delight to join you at the official banquet of the China-UK Business Leaders Forum hosted by the City of London.

Today is my “City Day”.

Early in the morning, I was at the London Stock Exchange for the Market Open in honour of the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention coming to London.

Right after that, I was here in the Guildhall for the International Forum for Green Finance hosted by Asian Financial Cooperation Association.

And now, here I am again joining you for the banquet of the China-UK Business Leaders Forum.

Never before in my more than nine years as Chinese Ambassador to the UK have I ever visited the City three times and given three speeches on economic and financial subjects in a single day!

I think this gives full testament to the vitality of China-UK financial cooperation. It shows the financial sectors of our two countries are bound together in a community with shared interests in win-win cooperation.

The international financial sector is experiencing enormous transformation. This is as a result of constant upgrading of new technologies such as big data and cloud computing, which is giving birth to new concepts such as fin-tech, inclusive finance and green finance.

I cannot agree more with the theme of today’s forum, namely, “A Partnership for Sustainable and Innovative Growth”. I think it reflects the new trend in the development of international financial services. And it encourages us to explore new frontiers of China-UK financial cooperation.

We must all ask ourselves this question as we go forward: Where do we go from here for China-UK financial cooperation? How can we achieve greater progress?

I think we should make the following three efforts.

First, we should match our comparative strengths.

The City of London, as a top financial centre in the world, has a time-honoured history, extensive management expertise and a rich talent pool.

At the same time, London is also the world’s largest RMB offshore trading centre and the second largest RMB offshore clearing centre. It is home to overseas branches of eight banks and many insurance companies from China.

China, with its newly-acquired financial strength, and the UK, with its traditional financial power, have comparative strengths in financial services, management and innovation. The strengths of our two countries combined could achieve multiplying effect.

Second, we should fully leverage the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

BRI could add wings to China-UK financial cooperation.

Britain is the first major Western country to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the first to sign the Guiding Principles on Financing the Development of the Belt and Road, and the first to appoint a special envoy and set up an expert board for BRI.

China and the UK have also worked together to launch the G20 Green Finance Study Group, signed an agreement on cooperation in third markets, and issued the China-UK Strategic Plan for Financial Services.

China-UK cooperation on BRI and at multilateral forums will surely have a positive, extensive and profound impact on the world.

Third, we should make full use of China’s opening-up policies.

China is deepening reform and opening its door wider to the world. It has taken concrete steps to open up the financial sector.

In April last year, China issued detailed measures and a timetable for further opening up the financial sector. Last July, the Chinese Government announced 11 measures, including bringing forward the deadline for lifting the foreign ownership caps in joint venture firms in sectors such as securities, future and life insurance from 2021 to 2020. This speedy opening up promises a brighter future for China-UK financial cooperation.

Talking about China-UK financial cooperation, I would speak highly of a special project. At the end of last year, Lord Mayor Alderman Estlin and I witnessed the launch of the China-UK Charity Initiative. This is a joint venture between Chinese and British financial sectors. I am glad to see that in less than a year, this initiative has borne fruitful results. It has funded a school for poor children in Shaanxi Province (陕西省), and it will launch a heath care project in a poor village in Yunnan Province.

I wish the China-UK Charity Initiative great success. I am sure it will make greater contribution to the charity work of our two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Chinese people often say, “We should seize the day and seize the hour.”

We are living in a complex and constantly-changing world. It is a world full of new opportunities and new challenges. It is a world that offers invaluable opportunities for China-UK financial cooperation.

I hope and believe that the financial communities of our two countries will tap the potential and seize the opportunities. I can count on you to make sure that China-UK financial cooperation will produce new outcomes and provide new impetus for financial and economic growth in the world!

Thank you!

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