China's trade with the rest of the world, which has seen improvements by leaps and bounds over the last two decades, along with the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, were the central themes discussed at the 'Global China, Global Impact' forum held at The Westin, 13 January 2017.
The event also saw the official launch of the websites for the Centre for RMB Internationalisation Studies (CRIS), and the Centre of Excellence International Trading (CEIT) – both of which were set up in the last two years.
Gracing the event, Dr Gao Jian, Chairman of the Board of Directors of China Smart Energy Group Holdings Limited, spoke of the recent "profound change that could lead to greater potential for China to grow".
Dr Gao served as the Executive Vice Governor of the China Development Bank (CDB) between 2003 and 2012, along with several other important positions in China's Ministry of Finance and the Department of Laws and Regulations. He was awarded the honour of 'Special Contributor' by China's State Council in 1999.
At the forum, he pointed out that in addition to the RMB capital account convertibility, currency swap, and other technical initiatives, it is inherently important that continued efforts are made to deepen the domestic debt capital market.
- Provide more diversified financial derivatives
- Form a larger investor base
- Help with domestic and international market integration
- Maintain the yuan's liquidity
Another speaker at the event - Associate Professor Li MingJiang, from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies - believes that from a geopolitical point of view, South East Asia's stability as a whole adds to China's benefit; but while the region has taken notice of the OBOR, it remains hesitant at present.
He asserts that "a multilateral approach would be better for the OBOR" and also emphasised the need to be accommodating of other countries and their ambitions.
Dr Gao added that the internationalisation of the RMB is one for the long run, and its implementation will be gradual at best, with considerations made by the number of policies aimed at preventing capital outflows.
The speeches were succeeded by a question and answer session, followed by the unveiling of the CRIS and CEIT websites by Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng, who is also the Director of the Centre for Applied Financial Education (CAFE) at NBS.