China's financial sector accelerates opening up amid pandemic
Though the global financial sector is facing challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, China has continued to accelerate the opening up of its financial sector.
"If a Chinese company sells its products abroad, it needs a legal channel to receive the payment. What we offer is such a cross-border payment tool," said Cheng Fei, cross-border business director of Lakala Payment Co., Ltd., at the ongoing financial services thematic exhibition of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).
Thanks to cross-border trade, the company's cross-border transactions hit nearly 10 billion yuan (about 1.46 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, up 40 percent year-on-year.
Nearly 150 international and domestic financial institutions are participating in the financial services thematic exhibition online and offline at the CIFTIS, including 43 foreign financial institutions from 18 countries and regions.
"We are very pleased that UBS Group has participated in CIFTIS, featuring our three major businesses, namely wealth management, investment banking and asset management," said David Chin, investment bank, Asia Pacific and China country head at UBS.
"China has always been an important market for UBS and the continued opening of China's financial market presents key opportunities for UBS," he said.
"We believe that China's economy is expected to maintain relatively fast growth and the size and development potential of its domestic consumer market is huge. With the continuous upgrading of technology, accelerated digitalization and continued reform and opening up, China's booming economy will be noticeable to international investors," he added.
Since 2018, Chinese authorities have given approval to foreign banks and insurers to set up nearly 100 institutions in China, said Zhou Liang, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) at a forum during the CIFTIS.
Zhou underscored that China has always kept its promise to open up its financial sector, while pledging to provide a consistent, open and transparent policy environment for foreign financial institutions.
The CBIRC will also help Chinese lenders and insurers explore overseas markets, participate in global financial governance and strengthen international financial cooperation, Zhou said.
"The business environment in China is getting better and better, and China's opening-up measures in the financial sector have provided us with great opportunities to enter the Chinese market," said Wang Ren, chief representative of the Beijing Representative Office of Banque Internationale à Luxembourg.
"We want to fully demonstrate Luxembourg's financial services characteristics and our potential in serving Chinese customers in private banking and corporate business at the CIFTIS," Wang said.
China's financial sector did not stop opening up amid the epidemic. For example, Oaktree Capital Management, a global asset management firm focused on alternative markets, established a wholly owned subsidiary in Beijing in February. China's central bank also approved an application from Mastercard's Chinese joint venture to conduct bank card clearing business in the country.
More foreign financial institutions are expected to be established and cooperation projects landed in China in the second half of this year.
The Chinese economy has shown strong resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Leo Yin, manager of Deutsche Bank China Beijing Branch.