Asia cooperation group launched
The Asian Financial Cooperation Association, a nongovernmental organization proposed by China to promote exchange and cooperation among Asian financial institutions, will make its debut in Beijing on Monday.
Chairman of Bank of China Tian Guoli has been elected chairman of the AFCA; Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Banks Yue Yi, chief supervisor; and former executive vice-president of the China Banking Association Yang Zaiping, secretary-general and legal representative.
The AFCA is committed to strengthening the region’s financial stability, supporting the development of the real economy and facilitating joint governance and sharing of services and achievements by all members.
The initial idea of the association dates back to Presid en t Xi Ji np i n g ’s ke yn o t e speech at the Boao Forum for A sia in 2015, when he broached the possibility of establishing a communication and cooperation platform for Asian financial institutions.
Af ter wards, Premier Li Keqiang expressed his support to establish the AFCA at a number of international conferences, including the East A sian L eaders’ Mee tings, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference and the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, which involved members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as China, Japan and South Korea.
O n Ma rc h 2 5 , 2 01 6 , 3 8 financial institutions from 12 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and the Americas signed the Letter of Intent for Originating the Asian Financial Cooperation Asso- ciation at the AFCA Originating Institutions’ Meeting.
At the Working Meeting on the Establishment of AFCA, held in Beijing in May, preparatory work for the association was completed and, with the approval of its mission and its leader list for the first term.
The members of the association are mainly financial institutions and associations, professional service agencies and influential executives and senior specialists in the industry, covering banking, securities, insurance, funding, assets management, financial education and other sectors in the financial industry.
With the philosophy of “connec tivity, cooperation, joint governance and shared benefits”, the organization has gathered 107 founding members from 27 countries and regions from around the world.
Among the 107 members, 89 are from Asian regions. The other 18 are from the rest of the world, accounting for 16.8 percent. Eighty-five members are from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, accounting for 79.4 percent.
The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
“Financial cooperation can no longer be limited to one country,” said Yang Zaiping, secretary-general of the AFCA. “We should extend our vision to the whole of Asia.”
At the starting stage of the association, what worried founders was whether there would be a response from overseas institutions. The results showed that the team worried too much at that time, Yang said.
Janos Muller, chief adviser of the Hungary Banking Association, expressed his congratulations in a letter. He said it is a great honor to participate in the association and he hoped he can call it “our” AFCA.
Yang said that it is the most pleasing situation to see foreign members call the association “our” AFCA. “Hopefully, there will be more members, especially from abroad, calling it ‘our’ AFCA.”
The AFCA logo was created by South Korean designers organized by the Korea Federation of Banks.
Levente Kovacs, secretaryg en e r a l o f th e Hu ng a r i a n Banking Association, also sent letters to show support to the AFCA.
Though established in China, the AFCA is a nonprofit international NGO, based on joint governance and volunteer participation.
Its structure is composed of general meeting, board of direc tors, exec utive board, board of super visors and secretariat. The first board of directors consists of 46 directors, including 23 vicechairmen in the first executive board and 11 supervisors in the first board of supervisors.
Financiers from China and abroad participate in the originating institutions’ meeting of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association in Hainan province in 2016.