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Collaboration and asset management: focus of the Chinese – Swiss Round Table 2018
Mr. Geng Wenbing, Ambassador, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Switzerland

Collaboration and asset management: focus of the Chinese – Swiss Round Table 2018

At the fourth “Chinese – Swiss Financial Round Table”, high-level industry representatives from China and Switzerland discussed opportunities for stronger links and collaboration between the two financial centres. The round table is organised by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the China Banking Association (CBA) and was held on 14 November 2018 in Lugano.

Significant potential exists in the area of asset management, as was underscored by Herbert Scheidt, Chairman of the SBA: “Swiss expertise in international asset management combined with our stable and reliable financial centre can be used to the benefit of both financial centres.” Switzerland has a broad range of relationships with China and has been a reliable partner to China and its companies even before the conclusion of the free trade agreement in 2013.

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Herbert J. Scheidt, President of the SBA

Opening as an opportunity

For the Swiss financial sector, China’s ongoing opening in the area of finance also facilitates stronger collaboration and partnerships with Chinese companies. At the round table, representatives from the authorities and industry from both countries discussed the opportunities arising from the opening of the Chinese financial market for both sides. In recent years, Chinese banks have opened branches in Switzerland and Swiss institutions are expanding their presence in China, which is evidenced by the recently announced majority stake of a big Swiss bank in a Chinese financial institution.

Asset management hub Switzerland

The economic importance of the interconnection between small countries such as Switzerland and the major global economies was emphasised in connection with China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”. A key topic in this regard was Switzerland’s strong and internationally-oriented asset management, which is an important pillar of its financial centre. The know how and experience of the Swiss asset management hub, in particular in the areas of sustainable investments, pensions and alternative investments, were identified by the participants in the discussion as growth drivers for the financial centre as a whole.

Institutionalised dialogue

Switzerland and China have traditionally enjoyed good trade relations. The signing of a free trade agreement in 2013, which came into force in 2014, has further deepened these relations. An annual financial dialogue between the Chinese and Swiss authorities has been held since then, and is followed by the round table initiated for the sector by the SBA and CBA. The fourth annual round table is a further step towards stronger collaboration between the financial sectors and companies in both countries. The previous round tables were held in the Zurich region (2014), Beijing (2015) and Geneva (2016).

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Mr. Bai Ruiming, Deputy Secretary-General, China Banking Association