World / Europe

London 'determined to work with China despite market fluctuations'

By Cecily Liu ( Updated: 2015-09-14 16:44

Fluctuations in the Chinese financial market have not deterred London's desire to work with China in a wide range of financial sectors, said Lord Mayor of the City of London Alan Yarrow.

Yarrow was speaking to journalists in London ahead of his forthcoming China visit, between September 16 - 25, during which he will meet with representatives from the government and business community, to promote closer UK China financial cooperation.

He said that China's economic slowdown is not a surprise because the Chinese economy has already grown significantly in the past decade and such a high growth rate is inevitably going to slow as China transforms to a more sustainable rate.

He said the recent turmoil in the Chinese financial markets, including the fall in value on stock market and the currency depreciation, are reasonable consequences of the cycle of boom and recession of an economy.

But from the City of London's perspective, there is still a lot of potential for cooperation with China, especially in the area of renminbi internationalization, the development of China's capital markets, green finance, financial technology and maritime services.

The City of London, which is the local government body that looks after London's traditionalfinancial center, known as the Square Mile, has closely cooperated with the Chinese government and companies in recent years. One big initiative has been the work done to make London an offshore renminbi center, which started in late 2011.

Since then, the City of London has supported various banks in London to develop renminbi products and services, and has liaised with the British and Chinese regulators to make possible the creation of infrastructure such as London's renminbi clearing bank and the currency swap between the two countries' central banks.

Yarrow, who is the 687th Lord Mayor of the City of London, will be visiting Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. He will take a big delegation, consisting of companies from various sectors including property, banks, fund management, accountancy, insurance and law.

In Hong Kong, he will meet Financial Secretary John Tsang, as well as representatives from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the Financial Services Development Council as well as and British and local businesses in Hong Kong.

Yarrow will also meet senior government officials of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. He will witness the signing of Memorandums of Understanding renewal between the City of London and Shanghai, and join the 6th International Shipping strategic development forum in Shanghai. He also will address the City of London-Qianhai Second RMB International Forum on cross border RMB services in Shenzhen.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit China during my mayoral year. China is a key trade and investment partner of the UK, both the City and the UK government are so committed to advancing UK-China economic relations," Yarrow said.

"The UK is by far the largest recipient of Chinese direct investment in the EU, and London is a western centre for RMB business. Rather than rest on our laurels, we would like to encourage further collaboration and to facilitate inward investment for Chinese firms across all sectors," he says.

China's economic plan, for example, the One Belt One Road strategy, unlocks untapped potential with opportunities for shared growth and from which British firms can also benefit, Yarrow says.

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