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Opportunities and Challenges for China-ASEAN Financial Cooperation | Insights

By ZHAN CHEN|Dec 01,2021

The Changes in the Global Economy: China-ASEAN Financial Cooperation, Opportunities & Challenges was held in Chongqing on November 24. It's a subforum of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit 2021. Guests shared their opinions and exchanged ideas through offline speeches and real-time online videos.

Cai Yunge, Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People's Government, attended and addressed the event. Senior executives, experts, and scholars from the world were invited to have heated discussions and share their insights and knowledge about three topics: enhancing strategic mutual trust, facilitating cross-border trading, and promoting finance in the pilot free trade zones.

Over the past 30 years since China and ASEAN established dialogue relations, the two parties have experienced an extraordinary journey together. Recently, China has officially announced a comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN, indicating a new milestone in the relationship between the two parties. It will give a fresh impetus to the peaceful, stable, and prosperous development of different regions and the world.

In 2016, the Chongqing-ASEAN Highway Class Connecting the Maritime Silk Road was launched. (iChongqing file photo)

Chen Kewen, Secretary-General of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association, implied that since 2013 the economic interconnection between China and ASEAN has constantly sped up, and the financial collaboration has also been strengthened. Meanwhile, a multi-level regional financial cooperation mechanism has been established. More than 60% of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA) members are from ASEAN countries and China, including Bank of China, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China Galaxy Securities, and China UnionPay actively serving the ASEAN market. Members from different industries and regions work together to promote the vigorous development of China-ASEAN financial cooperation.

"AFCA members have been highly concerned about and actively involved in ASEAN-China economic cooperation and RCEP-related work. We look forward to more progress and achievements in improving the mechanism of cross-border financial exchange and cooperation, promoting cross-border and cross-industry member network cooperation, and stimulating local currency settlement and cross-border cooperation of wealth management in the future." He said.

Chen Gongyan, Chairman of China Galaxy Securities Co., Ltd., expressed at the subforum that China Galaxy Securities became the trailblazer to succeed in China-ASEAN securities industry cooperation in the past few years. It had gradually established a cross-border financial service network covering China and ASEAN countries and an international business system with Southeast Asia as the core, covering Asia and focusing on Africa, Europe, and America. He said the company would provide higher-quality financial services to solidly promote the development of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity by jointly cultivating the China-Singapore financial cooperation ecosystem participating more actively in the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, and further strengthening cooperation in Fintech.

According to Zhang Zhijian, Managing Director of International Management Department of United Overseas Bank Limited, we face severe challenges under the dual pressure of recurring COVID-19 and economic downturn. Thus it is necessary to build a resilient business operation mechanism to ensure sustainable growth.

"Everyone is at risk in the post-pandemic era, and cooperation is the only way out." Zhang believed that to promote cooperation among bilateral financial institutions in many aspects, it was necessary first to build a platform to connect the supply chain and the industrial chain and promote "bringing in and going global" cooperation, then to carry out green financial cooperation and incorporate the green economy into the long-term development strategy of financial institutions and implement and promote it in phases.

In addition, there are two financial reports published during the subforum. The one is the research of China-ASEAN Financial Cooperation: Structure-based Entry and System Dockingfrom, from Fan Zuojun, member of the Standing Committee of CPC Guangxi University Committee and Vice President of Guangxi University. And another report of the China-Singapore Collaboration for New Journey — Observation Report on China-ASEAN Key Factor Flow from the Perspective of Global Financial and Shipping Index (2021-2022), released by Cao Zhanzhong, Director of Index Division of China Economic Information Service and Head of IFCDI & ISCDI Global Project.


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