IFF Roundtable: Building the Greater Bay Area as an International Financial Hub through Coordinated Development

GUANGZHOU, China, Dec. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — International Finance Forum (IFF) 2021 co-organized a roundtable discussion with the Nansha Management Committee of China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, inviting 14 speakers to share their views and suggestions on the opportunities, challenges and competition surrounding the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).

To build the GBA as an international financial hub, Zhu Xian, IFF Vice President and Secretary General, and Former Vice President of New Development Bank, said the area needs to accelerate internationalization of the Chinese yuan.

Zhu pointed out that as the area covers two independent customs zones, it is necessary to have a mindset of top-level design to take into account the interests of each region, while giving full play to their particular advantages to avoid excessive competition. Talent-wise, Zhu said the area needs to ensure smooth transportation and reduce living costs to attract and retain talents.

Meanwhile, Ding Shuang, Chief Economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), said to address emerging challenges, innovation is key to reduce reliance on American technology. Also, China’s "dual carbon" national goals mean the country’s industrial structure would have to undergo significant adjustments.

Another mission for the GBA is to contribute to China’s goal of common prosperity. Essentially, that means an expanding middle class and narrowing the gap for income and wealth, Ding said, adding the area can contribute by playing a key role in the "China+1" supply chain strategy. Additionally, the area can work toward becoming a national and regional center for scientific innovation and green finance.

Antony Leung, IFF Vice President and Former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said the area has great opportunities, with Hong Kong bringing in huge potential for stock and fund markets. Prestigious universities gather world-class scholars and researchers, so the area has a firm footing in developing life sciences and technology, especially in AI and robotics, given the rapid technological development in Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Qi Ye, IFF Academic Committee Member and Director of Institute for Public Policy at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the GBA can serve as an exceptional demonstration for the various pilot zones across the nation given its experience in economic development, technological advancement and social governance.

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