In recent years, China-EU relations have been characterized by pragmatic stability, and both sides are considered each other's most important trading partners. In 2019, in the face of the complicated international situation such as the sprawl of trade protectionism and the Brexit, bilateral economic and trade exchanges will still remain the strategic foundation of China-EU relations.
Date: May 1, 2019
Venue: Honorable Artillery Company, London
Host: China Development Institute and Z/Yen Group
Theme: Belt, Road & Bridge: Creating New China-Europe Connections
09:00 Welcome Address
Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister Of State For Asia And The Pacific At The Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Focus: Objectives for the day and cooperation between London and China
09:30 Session 1: The New Silk Road-Economic Prospects for Trade Between China-EU
Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group
Fan Gang, President, China Development Institute
Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at
King's College, London
Rebecca Harding, CEO, Coriolis Technologies
Focus: Current trends and initiatives, opportunities and threats relating to joint trade, and growing and deepening co-operation in finance and trade.
10:45 Refreshments and Networking
11:15 Session 2: Growing Digital Economy: The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Fintech
D’Maris Coffman, Professor of Economics and Finance of the Built Environment & Director, Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, UCL
Alexander Van de Putte, Chairman, AIFC Academic Council & Chief Strategy Officer, AIFC Governor's Council
Xu Jianguo, Senior Research Fellow of Digital Finance, Associate Professor of National School of Development, Peking University
Henry Tillman, Founder and Chairman, Grisons Peak & Founder and Editor, China Outbound Investments
Alderman Gregory Jones QC, City of London
Focus: Current trends and initiatives, the impact of smart technology on finance, regulation and policy.
12:30 Lunch and Networking
13:30 Measuring Financial Centre Success
Mike Wardle, Head of Indices, Z/Yen Group
13:45 Session 3: Sustainable Futures: Mainstreaming Green Finance
Simon Mills, Consultant, Z/Yen Group
Wang Yao, Director General, International Institute of Green Finance, CUFE
Simon Zadek, Principal, Project Catalyst, United Nations Development Programme
Rongrong Huo, Executive Director, Investment Institute, Investec Asset Management
Alderman Prem Goyal, Global Markets Consultants
Focus: Opportunities for mainstreaming green finance, drivers and policy instruments, and innovation in green finance.
15:00 Refreshments and Networking
15:30 Session 4: Light On Our Feet: Removing Regulatory Barriers
Mark Yeandle, Director, Z/Yen Partners
John Adams, Director, HR China, Financial Training and Recruitment
Dong Yan, Director of Trade Department, Institute of World Economics & Politics,
Chinese Academy of Social Science
Sir Mark Boleat, former Chairman of Policy & Resources, City of London Corporation
Alderman Emma Edhem, City of London
Focus: Current developments in the regulation of finance and trade, challenges and solutions, and balancing risk and reward.
16:45 Closing Remarks
How to promote China-Europe further cooperation under the BRI framework
In his speech, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Mark Field said that the UK and China are both the world’s major powers with a global vision. The UK welcomes development opportunities brought by the BRI as an initiative driving global economic growth. The City of London has unique strengths in financial and professional services, and the UK can play a vital role in many areas in “Belt and Road” construction. At the same time, we hope to encourage dialogues under the BRI framework to facilitate pragmatic cooperation between businesses of China, the UK, and Europe at large.
Fan Gang, President of the CDI responded by saying that the Belt and Road Initiative has brought new development opportunities for both sides. First, China and Europe shall strengthen cooperation on industrial parks along the Belt and Road, and jointly explore effective models of foreign assistance to help developing countries along the “Belt and Road” industrialize. Secondly, China and Europe should jointly support necessary reforms of the WTO, to enable developing countries to share in the benefits of globalization on an equal basis and to effectively integrate themselves into the global value chain. In addition, China and Europe have their own strengths. Both sides should engage in innovative cooperation to boost high-quality development of the financial sector in future. To this end, the Global Fintech Hub Index has been published to analyze trends of the global fintech sector.
Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Studies at King’s College, London, shared his insights on the potential impact of “Brexit” on UK-China relations. On the one hand, the UK welcomes more investment from China as well as trade, financial cooperation and technology exchanges with China, and expects even closer partnerships in infrastructure and professional services between the two countries. On the one hand, in face of the uncertainties brought by “Brexit”, the UK shall have a clearer stance and policy to turn the potential for cooperation with China into concrete reality.
How to expand new opportunities for China-Europe fintech cooperation
Alexander Van de Putte, Chief Strategy Officer of Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), believes that the fourth industrial revolution will spur the development of digital trade, among which, robots, AI, nanotechnology, IOT and block chain all will provide strong momentum for the economic growth of emerging markets along the “Belt and Road”, including GDP growth and the increase of jobs in financial services. However, at the same time, the development of digital trade will face a myriad of risks, including inadequate digital trade rules, big divide between countries in digital trade, and difficulty to get funding for SMEs.
Xu Jianguo, senior research fellow with the Institute of Digital Finance at Peking University (IDF), analyzed effective ways to facilitate cooperation on fintech between China and Europe. He noted that China has heavily invested in fintech start-ups, and has great strength in third-party payment. Proven Fintech practices in China can be applied to these emerging markets. The governments of China and Europe shall reasonably support international cooperation on fintech along the “Belt and Road”, which will help fintech businesses innovate and expand their business presence, as well as further promote fintech connectivity between China and Europe.
Gregory Jones QC, Alderman of the Court of Common Council of the City of London, believes that high-quality cooperation in science and technology between Europe and China plays a pivotal role in the BRI. Our ability to bring together core technology resources of Europe and China to promote cooperation on technology innovation industries will tremendously affect the common future development of technology businesses in Europe and China. Innovations in fintech made by these businesses and the increasing demand of financial institutions for fintech have provided a broad market prospect for fintech businesses in China, the UK and Europe at large.
How to achieve sustainable development of green finance and economic growth
Wang Yao, Director General of the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), analyzed the role and prospect of China’s green finance in the BRI. She pointed out that promoting green BRI construction is a long-term project, and that green growth will be considerably promoted if Chinese and international funds can be directed to support the development of green technologies in Belt and Road countries. She also made suggestions to further boost green finance in China, such as incorporating “green elements” into laws and regulations, strengthening preferential policies for green finance, advancing the standardization and evaluation of green finance, and enhancing international cooperation on green finance.
Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen Group, believes that using green finance to promote green BRI represents a unique opportunity to promote the development of green technology. The BRI will benefit the world by helping to achieve the sustainable development goals. The BRI will also play its role in narrowing significant funding gaps to achieve the SDGs. In particular, the UK has rich experience and rather mature systems in the international financial sector, and has maintained close cooperation with many other countries along the Belt and Road, especially in the areas of financing and green finance. The UK is therefore a ready partner in BRI construction.
Prem Goyal OBE JP, Alderman of the Court of Common Council of the City of London, noted that Europe and China are the biggest markets for green finance in the world, and should work together for standard harmonization in international green and sustainable finance, so as to reduce the cost of identifying green finance and facilitate cross-national investment in this sector. Differences in the stage of economic development, policy orientations and resource endowments make it difficult to reach complete consensus on green standards in the short term. But in the long run, Europe and China shall take steps to harmonize standards towards finally achieving highly aligned common standards.
How to facilitate China-Europe trade and investment connection
Dong Yan, Director of International Trade Research Department, Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that with the continued development of economic globalization, there has been a gradual shift from commodity exchanges to the integration of production processes between countries. This has promoted the development of a global value chain, which is in need of a more open and interconnected market environment. In this regard, through institutional opening-up, China can foster a system of economic and trade rules aligned with internationally well-established bilateral and regional free trade agreements, foster an enabling business environment for the market in a new pattern of all-round opening-up. Meanwhile, in the process of economic globalization, cooperation mechanisms for global regulation also need to be constantly developed and upgraded.
Mark Boleat, former Chairman of City of London’s Policy and Resources Committee, noted that China is an important partner for Europe, and vice versa. For the UK, this partnership is crucial, as a lot of trade between Europe and China is facilitated by London’s financial services. A strong finance sector provides pivotal support for both trade and infrastructure construction. Thus we are now seeing a lot of thriving banking services set up by the UK in China, and vice versa. Mr. Boleat looks forward to more in-depth cooperation in emerging fields along the Belt and Road, especially innovative cooperation in the financial sector.
John Adams, Senior Consultant with Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), highlighted the need to pay attention to a level playing field in face of the many opportunities brought by the BRI. This means all businesses along the Belt and Road shall have equitable access to these opportunities, and that participating countries shall comply with standards of the European internal market. Moreover, if new cooperation projects have been identified, consideration should be given to feasible financing plans, as well as economic, fiscal and environmental sustainability.