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Shanghai evolving into an open financial center

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated:2020-10-13

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With the wider opening of China's financial sector, Shanghai is now a hot investment destination for world-renowned financial institutions. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

According to the latest Global Financial Centres Index, published Sept 25 by London-based think tank Z/Yen Partners and the China Development Institute, Shanghai was ranked third among the 111 financial centers surveyed, rising 18 places from 2015.

The unremitting efforts of the city have contributed to its improvement over the past five years.

Shanghai has seized the opportunities created by the country and proactively integrated into overall national development.

Banks in Shanghai have reduced regional barriers and rolled out an array of innovative measures to promote financial integration, in an effort to accelerate the smooth flow of production factors in each region.

Blessed with the valuable experience in financial innovation created by the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Shanghai has shifted its focus to develop the financial industry in the newly established Lingang Special Area, with several innovative measures rolled out including promoting cross-border renminbi settlement facilitation.

Shanghai has also focused on the deep integration of technology and finance, and promoted the coordinated development of its position as an international financial center and a hub of science and innovation. Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and cloud computing have been widely used in the city, in order to improve the ability of the financial institutions to serve investors and manage risks in the real economy.

With the wider opening of China's financial sector, Shanghai is now a hot investment destination for world-renowned financial institutions. Among the more than 1,600 licensed financial institutions in the city, one-third are foreign-funded.

Industry giants BlackRock Financial Management, Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC and Fidelity have also declared plans to establish mutual fund subsidiaries in Shanghai, while BlackRock was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission this August to set up a wholly-owned mutual fund unit in Lujiazui.

Shanghai has also explored new ways to connect domestic and overseas markets by launching many innovative projects, such as Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Shanghai-London Stock Connect and Bond Connect, all of which have offered a platform for promoting financial connectivity.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, said that as an international financial hub, Shanghai can take a step further to free the usage of RMB and achieve the convertibility of capital accounts.

Local authorities said that Shanghai has become a gathering place for finance with complete financial infrastructure, and the city will make pioneering and innovative efforts to promote the development of the city and push construction of its role as an international financial center to a new level.

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