BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Global financial giant Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) is set to bank on the continuous opening-up of China, the largest contributor to the network income of the group in 2018.
"China's 2019 GDP growth target at 6-6.5 percent is reasonable and achievable, and we've seen a robust start for the Chinese economy this year such as stabilizing corporate capital expenditures," Bill Winters, group chief executive of SCB, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the just-concluded China Development Forum 2019.
Winters observed that while there are still many domestic and overseas uncertainties, the Chinese government has many policy tools in store to stimulate economic growth if necessary.
China's deleveraging in the financial sector might weigh upon economic growth, but it is necessary as the campaign improves transparency and reduces debt risks, he said.
SCB is among the first batch of foreign banks locally incorporated in China in 2007 and now has about 6,500 employees across nearly 30 cities in China. SCB China saw its profits triple in 2018, with its income up 15 percent year on year.
Winters said SCB is excited about the prospects of the continuous opening-up of China's financial sector, especially after China adopted the foreign investment law. The Renminbi internationalization, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, international expansion of Chinese corporations and further opening of Chinese capital markets offer plenty of opportunities for the group.
"Opening-up is important for China to not only offer a better product or service for its domestic customers, but also acquire a better ability to compete on the global stage," Winters said.
SCB has been a committed supporter for the BRI, which has become a bright spot in its business. The company's BRI-related income reached 680 million U.S. dollars last year, up 16 percent year on year. It also launched a 10-km run to promote the initiative this year, which finished its Hong Kong leg in February and will be completed in Beijing in May.