On the morning of June 18 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended the China-UK Financial Forum in London and delivered a speech.
Li Keqiang said that in recent years, China and the UK have witnessed an increasingly closer and fast-growing collaboration in financial sector, which has become a highlight of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. London has also become one of the most important offshore RMB markets beyond Asia. We have announced the establishment of the RMB clearing bank in London this time to realize the direct transaction between RMB and British pound, which is conducive to improving the market infrastructure, reducing transaction costs and exchange rate risks, and promoting the better development of bilateral investment and trade.
Li Keqiang pointed out that China will deepen financial reform and opening up, follow market principles, comply with the development needs and eliminate unreasonable policy barriers, so as to provide necessary and fundamental services for financial and economic cooperation and development at home and abroad. We are accelerating market-based reform of interest rates, expanding the floating range of the RMB exchange rate, and relaxing threshold for private capital into the financial industry. The opening up of service industry including the financial sector will be further enhanced.
Li Keqiang stressed that the advantages of Chinese and the UK financial industries are complementary, and their cooperation is facing new opportunities. Hope that both sides could, in the spirit of “openness, mutual benefit, practicability and cooperation”, further strengthen communication and exchanges, and promote bilateral financial cooperation to a new level, so as to inject strong vigor into the China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne of the UK said in his speech that financial cooperation is an important part of the UK-China cooperation, and has made positive progress in recent years. Premier Li Keqiang’s announcement during his visit to establish the RMB clearing bank in London and launch the direct transaction between RMB and pound would promote financial cooperation between the two countries to a new level, and greatly contribute to bilateral trade and investment cooperation. The UK side is willing to further enhance the level of cooperation with the Chinese side, and looks forward to a greater role of RMB in international monetary system.
China-UK Financial Forum was jointly held by the People’s Bank of China and HM Treasury of UK, and approximately 200 representatives from financial sectors of China and the UK were present.
On the same day, Mme. Cheng Hong, wife of Premier Li Keqiang visited at invitation the University of Oxford of the UK, and had an informal discussion and made exchanges with part of faculty and students on campus.