(Yicai Global) March 26 -- Lujiazui Financial City and the City of London jointly hosted the Shanghai-London Roundtable that convened in Shanghai March 22 with the theme of Redefining China-UK Financial Market Opening and Cooperation, pledging to enhance collaboration in Green Finance, fintech and financial market deregulation and create platforms for cooperation between governments, companies and institutions.
The program marks an important step toward establishing Lujiazui Financial City as the core platform for financial cooperation between the two countries.
Alderman Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of the City of London, inaugurated the Green Finance Committee of Lujiazui Financial City Council and the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) at the meeting. The two organizations will collaborate in depth in sustainable development education and practical research in green fintech business incubators, sustainability and green finance training and scholarly exchanges and formulation of supportable development presentations, practice-sharing and participation platforms.
Their partnership is a follow-up to the bilateral deal on high-end talent training that Lujiazui Financial City and the UK Department of International Trade (DIT) hosted last March. The move will stimulate development of the financial sector, international exchanges of human resources and research activities, and create a global platform combining business norms with academic studies, said a source with Lujiazui’s management committee.
Green Finance Sprouts
The Lujiazui Green Finance Committee and Lujiazui Internet Finance Association have also signed a memorandum of understanding with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) to jointly develop a global green project database, foster opinion leaders in financial technology, and form an alliance of financial investors in keeping with Lujiazui’s strategic positioning as a modern global finance and trade center. This tripartite deal will promote innovation-driven development of fintech, green finance and related industries.
Insightful discussions revolved around green capital market development and eco-friendly Belt and Road and global financial innovation and cooperation among representatives from the DIT, London Stock Exchange Group, PWC, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co., HSBC Holdings plc, the New Development Bank (formerly the BRICS Development Bank), the Alipay online payment arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) and Aberdeen Investment Management PLC.
Mayor Bowman is on a March 22 to 23 visit to Shanghai, where he will meet with his local counterpart Ying Yong and attend a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony that marks the new partnership between the City of London and Shanghai governments -- a deal that will usher in a new era in financial cooperation for both cities, two decades after the first partnership formed in 1996.
A New Era Dawns
With China-UK relations embarking on a golden age in recent years, Lujiazui Financial City serves an ever-greater function in facilitating bilateral financial collaboration. It hosted a conference jointly with the City of London to promote the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and Aberdeen Investment was founded in Lujiazui three months later as the first foreign-asset management institution in China. It was officially recognized as one of the Achievements of the Seven’s China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. Lujiazui Financial City Development Bureau concluded a deal with the ICMA to boost the development of the global financial center in Shanghai by sharing international best practices in September 2016. The transaction is seen as one of the highlights of the Eighth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. The bureau later signed a MoU with DIT last February on joint initiatives to promote high-end financial talent training and cooperation between Chinese and UK companies.
The Green Finance Committee of Lujiazui Financial City was established by the bureau last March as a ‘co-governance’ platform, whereby market participants are brought together to translate green finance ideals into practice. The committee is actively preparing for the creation of the Integrated Green Finance Development Platform of Lujiazui Financial City, the first regional platform of its kind in China committed to transforming Lujiazui into a national center of green finance innovation and experimentation, and propelling industry development and ‘ecological civilization’ by pooling and introducing Chinese and foreign green capital, projects and information and matching them with each other.
China became the world’s largest green bond market in 2016. The City of London contributes to maintainable eco-friendly finance and Belt and Road construction with the support of the Chinese and British governments. The City of London and China Green Finance Committee will sign a green investment memo next week to practice green financial investment. The memo also acknowledges London as the center of the Belt and Road Initiative in the West. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect is set to open with the sound cooperation of the two financial centers, Bowman said at the roundtable seminar.
Big Data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and mobile payments have led to frequent procedural shifts and business model innovations in financial services and practices, and all international financial centers have identified fintech development as a main priority.
The Shanghai-London Roundtable seeks to intensify cooperation in this area between the countries, and secure funding while facilitating market access for both countries’ fintech enterprises, leveraging bilateral mechanisms such as the China-UK Fintech Bridge. Lujiazui will also introduce incubator, innovation training and conference programs in partnership with PwC to promote fintech-based inclusive financial services in both national markets.
Lujiazui lies on a peninsula formed by a bow in the Huangpu River on its east bank in Pudong New Area. If forms Shanghai’s signature skyline with the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower set in its midst that is famed for its nocturnal lightshows.