China’s financial opening can inspire riven world

By Xiao Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/24 21:43:40

Photo: IC

The latest pledge to open China's financial markets, coming from the central bank governor, further sets apart the reform-minded economy from a group of economies, notably the US, that are addicted to backward thinking.

After having created an economic miracle, the nation, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, has set its sights on powering up its economy through further opening-up, especially in the financial sector.

Gearing up for a financial market that allows for sufficient competition and that is aligned with the global market will surely sharpen the edge of the Chinese economy that has been encouraging direct financing to ease debt reliance.

Market access to the banking, securities and insurance sectors has been substantially eased, and restrictions on foreign shareholding in the financial sector will be lifted next year, Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, told a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Figures revealed by Yi at the event featuring the 70th anniversary celebration show China's potential for further financial deregulation. 

There are more than 4,500 banking sector financial institutions, more than 130 securities firms and north of 230 insurance firms in China. 

The nation's financial sector has 300 trillion yuan ($42.22 trillion) in total assets, with banks accounting for 268 trillion yuan, topping the global list by asset size. The nation's markets for bonds, stocks and insurance are the world's second-largest.

There are 989 foreign bank branches and agencies operating in China, plus 13 foreign-invested brokerage firms and 57 foreign-invested insurers.

Decades of efforts have built a viable financial market in China from scratch and put in place an opening-up mechanism intended to engage foreign investors on an equal footing. 

China is now well poised to go further down the road to open its financial market even wider to foreign investment, which might one day pit the nation against the US in the global equity market.

In a sign that China's financial opening endeavor has gained greater international recognition, Chinese mainland shares have lately been included in more key global benchmarks.

With the government adamant about financial opening - the most recent move was the foreign exchange regulator's announcement in September to scrap investment quotas under two programs to give overseas institutional investors full access to the nation's equity market - China will arguably give the global market, which is riven by populism and protectionism, an idea on how to ensure shared, sustainable growth. 

China's record of accomplishment and its resolve to lead the way toward an open-minded globalized path is the key to correcting misguided thoughts on growth and development that would make some great again only at the cost of others.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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