Spanish experts highlight potential for China-UK financial cooperation

2015-10-18 09:02Xinhua Editor: Qian Ruisha

On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Britain, Spanish experts have predicted that the first visit of a Chinese head of state to the country in a decade will open a new chapter in bilateral ties, especially in financial cooperation, and revitalize the over 40-year-old relations between China and Europe.

Great potential for financial cooperation

As Britain is a financial center of Europe and China is making great efforts to develop its service sector in the process of economic transformation, there is great potential for the two countries to cooperate in such fields as financial services.

Financial cooperation occupies pride of place in efforts to improve cooperation between the London Stock Exchange, the most important in Europe, and the Chinese stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Federico Saenz de Santa Maria, an economist and professor at the University of Economics in Madrid, Spain, told Xinhua recently.

He said that the first thing European markets do on opening business is to look at the closing data from China.

He underlined that the two countries will look to deepen agreements over direct commerce in their currencies, which will allow London to become a key center for operations with the yuan, or renminbi (RMB), in the West.

In the opinion of experts at the consultancy Delta Economics, which has its headquarters in London, there is a "high potential of movement in currency from the dollar to the yuan," with the yuan becoming the second most important world currency after the US dollar.

Britain could become a perfect partner to develop an effective role in investment between China, the European Union and the G20, Saenz de Santa Maria said.

The professor also highlighted that the Chinese and British economies are complimentary, and the two sides could collaborate in the technology field, such as advanced materials, the photovoltaic industry, oil and gas, infrastructure, nuclear energy, high-speed railways and bilateral high-technology commerce among others.

Beijing-London cooperation helps generate business between China, Eurozone

Although Britain has not adopted the European euro but is still using its own currency, the pound, London is nevertheless the most powerful business center in Europe. Thus an agreement between Beijing and London could help generate business between China and the whole eurozone, said Santiago Nino Becerra, professor of Economic Structures at the Ramon Llull University in Barcelona.

Britain was the first European country to request to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as it views the bank as symbolizing the new vigor of Asia and China and containing transformation mechanisms, said Xulio Rios, director of the Observatory of Chinese Politics in Spain.

The AIIB offers a great opportunity for European companies to do business with China, as 18 European nations are now members of this bank, he said.

Juan Antonio Aguilar, an expert on the Spanish economy, confirmed that there are clear signs that nothing is as it was in Asia and that the operations of regional development banks are vital to understand the reach of "soft power."

China is currently the main business partner of over 100 countries and regions in the world, while the United States holds the same status in less than 80 countries and regions, he said.

"The phase of confrontation has passed and collaboration offers more than discussion. I continue to think that the tendency points towards the creation of an international currency by a mixture of the most important monetary units and in this the AIIB can be important," Nino Becerra said.

There is no doubt that a new world order with various actors is emerging, Aguilar said, saying China faces "a moment of great historic responsibility."


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