Date
16 October 2017
Key Speakers At  The Lujiazui Forum

The Big Picture: FINANCIAL REFORM

China will lower the entry barriers for foreign financial services providers, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan {周小川} said on Tuesday. The country will allow more foreigners to enter the financial services market and ensure a level playing field for them, he said.

The move is aimed at fostering market competition in order to improve the quality of domestic players, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) chief said, adding that a trial program will be implemented in the Shanghai free trade zone. 

In the next phase, the central bank will cut administrative approval procedures for cross-border capital transactions while tightening liquidity oversight. Also, the PBoC will publish a list of restrictions for foreign investors, a departure from the present practice of listing what they are allowed to do, Zhou said.

Although the central bank chief has suggested a faster pace of opening of the nation’s financial service sector, most foreign banks and insurers don’t really believe that they will be able to enjoy the same benefits as the local financial firms in the near term.

Observers believe the PBoC will only open the financial service sector at a very slow pace to avoid hurting the local players or affecting the employment situation. Given the situation, most foreign banks have adopted a wait-and-see approach in moving into the free trade zone as concrete rules are unlikely to come quickly. 

US military aircraft fly over new China air zone

Two US military aircraft flew into China’s newly claimed and challenged air defense zone over the East China Sea, CNN reported Tuesday, citing a US official. The large unarmed B-52 planes set off Monday from Guam and returned without incident, staying in China’s newly declared air zone for about an hour, the report said. The planes’ pilots did not identify themselves upon entering the disputed airspace, as China would have wanted, according to the official. The flights came two days after China announced the creation of a so-called Air Defense Identification Zone over several islands it and Japan both claim.

China aims to double trade with Central, Eastern Europe

China aims to double trade with Central and Eastern European countries in five years, Premier Li Keqiang said. He announced the target during the China-Central and Eastern Europe leaders’ meeting in Romania. The premier also said that 2014 will be the year for promoting trade between the regions. Trade between China and Central and Eastern Europe makes up just one-tenth of the volume between China and Europe, providing great potential for growth.

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

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