FI­NAN­CIAL IN­STI­TU­TIONS SHOW­CASE SER­VICES Many booths high­light of­fer­ings to aid cross-bor­der busi­ness

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA INTERNATIONAL IMPORT EXPO - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Amid the con­sumer goods, eye-catch­ing planes and large ma­chines on dis­play at the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, many over­seas fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are show­cas­ing ser­vices sec­tor of­fer­ings in re­sponse to Shang­hai’s role as China’s fi­nan­cial hub and a ris­ing global fi­nan­cial cen­ter.

Au­dit and ac­count­ing firm EY has ex­tended its busi­ness port­fo­lio to fi­nan­cial ser­vices, dig­i­tal strat­egy and le­gal ser­vices. To at­tract more clients in China, EY is demon­strat­ing tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, au­to­ma­tion and blockchain at the on­go­ing expo in Shang­hai.

“There will be suf­fi­cient com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween con­sumers, ex­hibitors, buy­ers and gov­ern­ments at the expo, which will be ben­e­fi­cial to all,” said Wal­ter Tong, EY Greater China’s key ac­counts leader. EY was the first com­pany to sign up for next year’s expo.

Ro­bots that tar­get money laun­der­ing and ways to en­hance fi­nan­cial ser­vice ef­fi­ciency are the high­lights at the booth of an­other au­dit and ad­vi­sory com­pany, Deloitte.

Dora Liu, Deloitte China’s in­no­va­tion leader, said the com­pany came up with the prod­ucts in re­sponse to tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try.

“Cross-bor­der and cross-in­dus­try ecosys­tems have risen with the new tech­nolo­gies,” she said. “Co­op­er­a­tion has thus be­come a must for the global fi­nan­cial in­dus­try.”

Shang­hai has al­ways been the heart­land for over­seas banks in China. The to­tal as­sets of over­seas banks in the city topped 1.53 tril­lion yuan ($220.8 bil­lion) by the end of June, up 12.6 per­cent year-onyear, ac­cord­ing to the Shang­hai Bureau of Statis­tics. They ac­count for 10.2 per­cent of to­tal as­sets in the Shang­hai bank­ing in­dus­try, well above the na­tional av­er­age of 2 per­cent.

Bank of East Asia, head­quar­tered in Hong Kong, is demon­strat­ing its cross-bor­der fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­clud­ing over­seas ac­counts, set­tle­ment and fi­nanc­ing, tar­get­ing out­bound pub­lic util­ity and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

“Cross-bor­der fi­nan­cial ser­vices are cru­cial to out­bound Chi­nese com­pa­nies and over­seas com­pa­nies tap­ping into China,” said Lam Chi Man, CEO of BEA China. “CIIE will be the best chance for over­seas banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to show­case their lat­est achieve­ments in this re­gard.”

Bri­tish bank Stan­dard Char­tered, which en­tered Shang­hai 160 years ago, is sup­port­ing com­pa­nies’ im­port busi­nesses with ser­vices cov­er­ing short­term trade fi­nanc­ing, cross­bor­der fi­nance match­mak­ing, over­seas ex­change risk man­age­ment, and re­gional risk man­age­ment.

“We will sup­port the flow be­tween goods, ser­vices, peo­ple, cap­i­tal and in­for­ma­tion,” said Zhang Xiaolei, pres­i­dent of Stan­dard Char­tered in China. “In this sense, we will also sup­port China’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and con­sump­tion up­grad­ing, as well as bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral trade all over the world.”

The Shang­hai gov­ern­ment re­leased 100 de­tailed fur­ther open­ing-up poli­cies in July, 32 of which fo­cus on the fi­nan­cial sec­tor. As a re­sult, the ap­proval time for some over- seas banks’ new busi­nesses in Shang­hai has been cut from three months to three weeks.

“The open­ing-up poli­cies are huge en­cour­age­ment to over­seas banks,” Zhang said. “Fi­nan­cial in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers can thus come up with more in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices. We will also be able to co­op­er­ate with Chi­nese banks, which will be mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.”

At HSBC’s booth, the bank’s global net­work helps it demon­strate its cross-bor­der fi­nan­cial ser­vices, which are es­pe­cially pop­u­lar among out­bound Chi­nese busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als study­ing, work­ing or trav­el­ing over­seas.

“Once driven by ex­ports, China has now trans­formed to an econ­omy buoyed by do­mes­tic con­sump­tion,” said Richard Li, ex­ec­u­tive vicepres­i­dent of HSBC China. “It is cer­tain that the coun­try’s out­bound econ­omy and trade will be more ac­tive and bal­anced.”

Sin­ga­pore’s United Over­seas Bank has a booth in the expo’s Sin­ga­pore Pav­il­ion, which was or­ga­nized by the Sin­ga­pore Busi­ness Fed­er­a­tion. It show­cases the bank’s com­pre­hen­sive fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and ser­vices to as­sist more Chi­nese com­pa­nies in their ex­pan­sion into the re­gion, as well as re­gional com­pa­nies’ ex­pan­sion into China.

Citibank from the United States is in­tro­duc­ing its fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and ser­vices cater­ing to the com­mod­ity and ser­vices trades. It is also hold­ing a spe­cial round­table meet­ing to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of in­tro­duc­ing more trade busi­nesses from over­seas to Shang­hai.

“The pur­pose is to bet­ter help the eco­nomic growth in Shang­hai and make our con­tri­bu­tion to the city as it is evolv­ing into an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial cen­ter,” it said.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

A vis­i­tor com­mu­ni­cates with a ro­bot at Bri­tish bank Stan­dard Char­tered’s booth at the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo on Thurs­day.

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