CHINA> Regional
Shanghai no threat to existing financial centers
Updated: 2009-06-09 10:33

HONG KONG -- Shanghai, which is aspiring to become an international financial center, should not be a threat to existing financial centers like Hong Kong and London, visiting Lord Mayor of City of London Ian Luder said Monday.

Speaking at a news briefing in Hong Kong, the last leg of his official visit to China, Luder said the global financial sector was going to grow and the key for existing centers was to "ensure that they take a share of the growing cake."

"Shanghai is not a threat to Hong Kong. Hong Kong has the ability and the opportunity to profit from the growth of Shanghai and the growth of the (Chinese) mainland," Luder said, citing as an example Hong Kong's uniquely favorable position to gain from the potential of the Chinese mainland market for private retirement savings.

Luder congratulated Hong Kong for being the first city outside the Chinese mainland to use RMBs for trade settlements.

"There is a huge amount for London and Hong Kong to go for and gain in the future," he said, adding that the Chinese economy would be able to support several regional financial centers.

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Luder was heading a delegation of financial services to Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong to meet officials and key figures of local financial sectors. Discussions covered using each other's stock exchanges to launch initial public offerings and pushing for a common regulatory framework so as to benefit players operating in both cities.

Luder said London has always welcomed sovereign wealth funds who wish to base themselves in London or manage their portfolios from there.

The operations of these firms in London will also help create jobs, he added.

To try and facilitate growing links between China and the United Kingdom, both governments will push forward exchanges in education, mutual recognition of professional qualifications and discussions on common regulatory framework, he said.

Luder started his official visit to China on May 29 and arrived in Hong Kong on June 8. He will head back to London after concluding the visit on June 9.