LONDON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- With the Shanghai-London Stock Connect being in the limelight, the just concluded China-UK economic and financial dialogue has sent more messages beyond the ground-breaking event, particularly in terms of upholding multilateral trade system and China's efforts to open up further.
Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond co-chaired the 10th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in London on Monday, with extensive discussions ranging from macroeconomics and global economic governance, trade and investment, big project partnership to financial reform and financial market development and cooperation in new areas.
Against a backdrop of rising protectionism and unilateralism, China and Britain reaffirmed their support for multilateralism and commitment to the rules-based international economic system, according to the policy outcomes released by both sides.
"Both countries should work to improve global economic governance, safeguard multilateralism and tackle global challenges," Hu said at a joint press briefing with Hammond after the dialogue, calling for closer cooperation within existing multilateral frameworks.
"We have discussed this morning our shared commitment to the multilateral system. And I've talked about how we can cooperate to strengthen the multilateral institutions particularly the IMF and the World Bank to underpin that system," Hammond told reporters.
LOOK BEYOND BREXIT
Currently, the UK is in a crucial period of the Brexit process and political change. By holding the 10th dialogue as scheduled, the Chinese and UK governments have fully demonstrated that they view bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming wrote in a signed article on a local Chinese-language newspaper ahead of the dialogue.
Both sides identified greater potential for cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including in third-party market infrastructure investment cooperation.
To explore financing mechanisms to attract private investment to the BRI, China welcomed qualified British enterprises to issue RMB-denominated BRI-related bonds in China, and both sides welcomed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the first Chinese bank via its London branch to make use of a green loan to support green projects and promote cooperation in green finance.
Other achievements at the dialogue included widening market access for British beef and pork to China and establishing a new private sector fund worth up to 1 billion pounds (1.25 billion U.S. dollars) to help UK firms expand into Chinese markets.
"The Department for International Trade will continue to support UK businesses to increase their share in this growing market and build on our substantial export figures, as we progress towards leaving the EU," said Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade.
Looking to the future, the two countries agreed to tap new potentials in both countries' industrial strategies, including cooperation on new energy vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, digital economy and clean energy.
On Monday morning, prior to the dialogue, Hu and Hammond attended the launch ceremony of the Shanghai-London Stock Connect, under which Shanghai-listed companies can list on the London Stock Exchange via Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) issuance, while British companies can issue China Depositary Receipts (CDRs) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Nanjing-based Huatai Securities became the first Chinese company to list in the UK via the long-awaited mechanism.
The launch of the mechanism marks a crucial step in China's capital market opening-up and a major part of the China-UK pragmatic cooperation in the financial sector, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said on Monday.
Calling the move a significant milestone for both China and the UK, J.P. Morgan said it would help expand A-share companies' fund-raising from overseas markets and provide international investors with new access to China's capital markets.
Welcoming the launch of the stock connect, both sides eyed a UK-China bond market connect in the future, agreeing during the dialogue to continue the feasibility study on the arrangement, including the potential extension of Chinese bond trading hours.
"Many British businesses are now well-established in China, making an important contribution to the development of China's economy particularly in the area of sophisticated financial services. And there are many more British businesses that are looking at the opportunities Chinese market offers," said Hammond.