On the eve of the second Belt and Road Initiative International Summit Forum, to explore ways for China and the UK to strengthen economic, trade and financial cooperation, and to create opportunities and space for the common development of China and the UK with a more open vision, CCCUK and the 48 Group Club (The Club) invited ZHOU Xiaochuan, President of the China Society for Finance and Banking and Former Governor of the People’s Bank of China, to deliver a special lecture called “The Icebreakers” held at Chatham House. ZHOU gave a detailed account of China’s financial sector’s history and future in continuous reform and wider opening-up, presented the experience of international cooperation in China’s financial field, analysed the new opportunities for the future development of China-UK financial cooperation, and offered his views on how to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.
Present at the event were nearly 300 people, including MA Hui, Minister of the Chinese Embassy to the UK, BAO Ling , Minister Counsellor – Head of the Economic and Commercial Section, FANG Wenjian, Chairman of CCCUK and President of Bank of China London Branch, Lord O ‘Neill, President of Chatham House, together with well-known Chinese and British politicians, business elites and representatives of business members of the CCCUK.
Photo 1. ZHOU Xiaochuan deliveing a keynote speech
President ZHOU reviewed in his speech the reform of China’s financial industry from the 1980s to the present, including the establishment of People’s Bank of China, five major commercial banks, and small/medium-sized banks; the establishing of a competitive environment for specialised banks; development of the securities market and insurance industry; the relationship between the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, China’s entry into the WTO, the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, and several rounds of financial reform in China. He said, in the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has continuously promoted reform and opening up in the financial sector, and its achievements are obvious to all. The experiences accumulated over the years have given China greater confidence in deepening reform and opening up, with active and prudent efforts to open the financial sector wider to the world. China has learned a lot from Asian financial crisis 20 years ago and the global financial crisis 10 years ago. Also, China has remained an active learner of experience of other countries and regions. London market, robust and sound, enjoying both breadth and depth, and featuring a mature regulatory regime, creates room for cooperation. In closing, the President said that China has made it clear that it supports free trade and investment and multilateralism, that it will continue to take an active part in WTO discussions on reform, and that China has common ground in these areas with the UK, especially with the London financial community.
Photo 2. Speech by FANG Wenjian, Chairman of CCCUK and President of Bank of China London Branch
Chairman FANG said, the CCCUK and the Club have always remained committed to deepening business exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK and promoting the development of China-UK relations, and financial cooperation is an important part of China-UK business cooperation. President ZHOU, over the past decade of China’s development, worked hard to advance China’s financial reform and opening up, and his propositions and suggestions have had a profound influence on the economic development of China and the world. The President’s detailed, in-depth analysis would help Chinese and British elites fully understand the course of China’s financial reform and opening up. His exploration of future opportunities for economic and financial cooperation between China and the UK has provided new impetus for China-UK financial exchanges and cooperation.
Photo 3. H.E.Ambassador LIU Xiaoming delivering a speech
At the exchange meeting, Ambassador LIU delivered a speech entitled “Work Hard Together For a New Chapter in China-UK Financial Cooperation”. He said the recent years have seen China-UK financial cooperation take on three “new” features. First, financial cooperation is increasingly becoming a “new driving force” for practical cooperation between the two countries. Of the many highlights in China-UK financial cooperation are China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, the G20 Green Finance Study Group initiated by the two countries, Shanghai-London Stock Connect, and China-UK Strategic Plan for Financial Services issued by China and the UK. Second, the Belt and Road Initiative has become a “new platform” for bilateral financial cooperation. He hoped the UK would continue to scale a new height in the bilateral “Belt and Road” cooperation. Third, RMB Internationalisation offers “New Opportunities” for China-UK financial cooperation. London has created many “first’s” in the internationalisation of the RMB, and the accelerating internationalisation of the RMB would create more opportunities for China-UK financial cooperation.
Photo 4 Group photo of VIPs
ZHOU Xiaochuan (fourth from left), Ambassador LIU Xiaoming (fifth from left), Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (third from left), FANG Wenjian (second from right), HSBC Group Chairman Mark Tucker (third from right), Lord O ‘Neill (first right), President of Chatham House Robin Niblett (first from left), Professor Peter Nolan CBE from University of Cambridge (second from left)
H.E.Ambassador LIU, Mark Carney, Chairman FANG Wenjian, Lord O’Neill, Mark Tucker, Chairman of HSBC Group, together with other important guests of the Chinese and British political and business circles attended the meeting, where in-depth communication and discussion were conducted on “China and the World Economy”.
Photo 5. The “Icebreakers” seminar
The seminar was received by the top management of both Chinese and British businesses with unprecedented attention and welcome. Guests attending the event hailed the achievements of China’s financial reform and opening up in recent years, acknowledged the increasingly important role of China’s economy is in the world economy, extended their resolve to seize the development opportunities of China and the UK and make active contribution to China-UK economic and financial cooperation.
中国金融学会会长周小川（左四）、中国驻英国大使刘晓明（左五）、英格兰银行行长Mark Carney（左三）、英国中国商会会长、中国银行伦敦分行行长方文建（右二）、汇丰集团主席Mark Tucker（右三）、皇家国际事务研究所主席奥尼尔爵士Lord O’Neill（右一）、皇家国际事务研究所所长Robin Niblett（左一）、剑桥大学教授 Peter Nolan CBE（左二）
中国驻英国大使刘晓明，英格兰银行行长马克·卡尼（Mark Carney）, 英国中国商会会长、中国银行伦敦分行行长方文建，皇家国际事务研究所主席奥尼尔爵士（Lord O’Neill），汇丰集团主席杜嘉祺（Mark Tucker）等中英两国政商界的重要嘉宾出席了交流会，以“中国和世界经济”为主题进行了深入交流和探讨。