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Beijing to focus on financial services
By Liu Weifeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-31 09:43


The Beijing municipal government yesterday issued a report, which seeks to promote the capital as a center for back office operations for the financial sector.

The report contains a host of measures to lure financial institutions from home and abroad to set up bases in Beijing and increase the city's competitive edge in the field.

Back office operations refer to such things as data management, clearing-house facilities, bank-card administration, research and development, and emergency centers.

The new policies include discounts on registration payments, subsidized housing, support services for senior managers and preferential land use terms.

Four zones in Chaoyang, Haidian, Tongzhou and Xicheng districts have been identified as the back office bases, the report said.

"The capital should have a stronger presence in financial services to match its economic development and international status," vice-mayor Ji Lin said.

Ji also announced the establishment of Beijing Financial Office to manage and facilitate the development of the four areas with the help of leading figures from the fields of human resources, land use, urban planning, commerce, taxation and financial regulation.

Guo Hao, deputy director of the office, said the move would help improve the industrial structure of the city.

"Despite a resource deficiency, Beijing has a unique advantage to get up-close decision-making information," Gao said.

Bringing back office operations together in designated zones is a prelude to the growth of key businesses in the financial, security and fund sectors, he said.

Currently, three overseas companies are in talks with the office: Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, Swiss Bank and Deutsche Bank.

The office is also mulling a plan to use the new centers as a lure for the nation's top financial talent.

"We must present a package of policies that will encourage our top people to settle down here," Gao said.

In addition, three back office operations - the clearing center of the People's Bank of China, database center of the Agricultural Bank of China and the R&D center affiliated with China Life Insurance Company - signed contracts yesterday to relocate to the financial zone in Haidian.

At the end of 2006, Beijing was home to 538 financial corporations comprising 59 banking institutions, 226 security agencies and 199 trust and fund companies.

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