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    Financial areas to open up with high standards

    By ZHOU LANXU and CHEN JIA | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-22 07:03
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    A bank staff member counts RMB and US dollar notes in Nantong, Jiangsu province, on Aug 28, 2019. [Photo/Sipa]

    Banking, insurance, securities are among sectors that will see more global participants

    Senior officials pledged on Wednesday to introduce more foreign participation in the nation's financial sector and keep the macroeconomic policy stable, contributing more to global economic and financial stability.

    China will forge ahead with all-around opening-up in the financial industry and create a fair environment for competition, ushering more global participants into banking, insurance, securities, asset management and other sectors, Vice-Premier Liu He said on Wednesday.

    "A new round of development and opening-up with higher standards "will start in the financial system in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, Liu said at the opening of the Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum 2020 in Beijing.

    Liu underscored the importance of strengthening international cooperation, improving global economic governance and promoting financial deepening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Top financial regulators at the conference said foreign competitors would help improve the country's financial resources and align domestic rules more closely with international practices.

    China has rolled out dozens of measures to open up the sector in recent years, substantially raising foreign ownership caps and expanding the business scope of foreign institutions, said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the top banking and insurance regulator.

    The result has been the establishment of China's first wholly foreign-invested insurance holding company and life insurer, as well as the first foreign-controlled wealth management company, Guo said at the conference.

    The commission will further improve regulations to deepen opening-up and sharpen the country's financial competitiveness while safeguarding financial security, he said.

    "We will steadily push ahead rule-based capital market opening-up," said Yi Huiman, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the top securities watchdog, adding that the commission will refer to mature market practices when improving fundamental rules of the capital market.

    The commission will improve the capital market's institutional framework, with market-oriented reform of initial public offerings as a key focus, work to streamline and unify the channels for foreign capital to take part in domestic markets, and further open the futures and bond markets, Yi said.

    Vice-Premier Liu also called for maintaining the stability of the country's monetary policy and keeping market liquidity reasonably ample, adding that it is important to strengthen international macro policy coordination to promote global recovery.

    Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said at the conference that China will maintain a prudent monetary policy and improve the structural financial policies for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to achieve growth targets for the year as a whole.

    The central bank governor forecast positive GDP growth this year, based on the robust economic recovery in the third quarter, although uncertainties still exist due to the pandemic.

    "Some policies have completed their temporary missions, but some measures, especially for supporting small, micro and private companies and stabilizing employment and green development, must continue in order to facilitate the nation's dual-circulation development pattern," he said.

    The dual-circulation pattern means relying more on the domestic economy to drive growth while the domestic and foreign markets complement each other.

    Prudent monetary policy will be more flexible and targeted, to balance growth stability and risk control. China will sustain conventional monetary policies as long as possible, and policies beneficial for the sustainable growth of the economy and society, while facilitating the competitiveness of renminbi-denominated assets in the global market, he added.

    Yi also said he expected a stable debt-to-GDP ratio in the next year, as GDP growth continually accelerates and the overall money supply remains reasonable for risk control.

    Du Juan contributed to this story.

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