Premier seeks deeper reforms
Bank of China in New York will become the first renminbi clearing bank in the US.
China still has a long way to go to modernize and needs to pursue development through deepening reform, opening up further and safeguarding the environment, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday at United Nations headquarters in New York.
Li said China has become the first nation to submit a report to the UN on how it is implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint endorsed by the UN last year for ending poverty and hunger, promoting equality and protecting the environment in the years leading up to 2030.
While addressing the general debate of the UN General Assembly, whose theme is The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform Our World, the premier vowed that China would carry out a new round of opening-up and work to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.
Li said that for the sustainable goals to be attained, current norms regarding the international order and relations must be maintained. These norms, formed in the wake of World War II, have ensured peace in the world for more than 70 years, he said.
“They have been proved effective and must be safeguarded with resolve,” he said.
The premier also said that the world economy’s sluggish growth must be reversed, or sustainable development will have no foundation.
He said international organizations should prioritize developing countries in allocating new resources.
Meanwhile, Bank of China said in a news release that it has become the first renminbi-clearing bank in the US after Li announced on Tuesday night that China had decided to designate a domestic bank to serve as the clearinghouse for yuan transactions in New York.
Li spoke at a gala dinner cohosted by the Economic Club of New York, the National Committee of US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council.
Li did not name the bank, but also mentioned foreign banks in New York that met the eligibility requirements are welcome to become clearing banks for yuan.
The establishment of a clearing bank in the US will “promote the growth of renminbi activity in the US and help accommodate an increase in volumes and demand for renminbi products and services”, Timothy Geithner, former US Treasury secretary, told the Financial Times.
Ming Ming, head of fixed-income research at Citic Securities, who previously worked on renminbi internationalization at the PBOC, told the newspaper that the lack of a renminbi-clearing mechanism in the US, a center of global finance, was “a major missing piece of the puzzle for renminbi internationalization”.
“The designation of Bank of China in New York means the global framework is now basically complete,” Ming said.
Xia Le, chief economist for Asia at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News: “This is an important step in building the global infrastructure, as the yuan-clearing system now covers 24 hours.”
In September 2015, China and the US agreed to further boost cooperation on renminbi business. At the conclusion of the eighth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June in Beijing, both countries announced that they would further develop renminbi trading and clearing in the US.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang walks to his limousine upon his arrival at the Ottawa International Airport in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday.