Shanghai forum calls for quality development
While China's major economic indicators have shown marginal improvement amid the COVID-19 epidemic, continued efforts are needed to make the nation's prudent monetary policy more appropriate and flexible to better serve the real economy, Vice-Premier Liu He said in a letter addressed to the two-day 12th Lujiazui Forum, which opened in Shanghai on Thursday.
To better serve economic development, China's monetary policy should stress countercyclical adjustments, and the credit supply should be kept at an appropriate level while securing reasonable and sufficient liquidity in the market, Liu said. A beneficial balance can be thus sustained between finance and the real economy, he said.
Supply-side reform should be deepened to ensure higher-quality development. The monetary transmission mechanism should be improved to cater to the demands of various market entities. More credit should be provided to micro and small enterprises and manufacturing companies, he added.
In addition, deepened reform and further opening-up will take place in the financial sector. In this regard, more financial opening-up policies will be introduced to better protect the legal rights of foreign companies in China, Liu said.
Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Banking Corp, said that opening-up has been one of the top priorities of China. The country will promote further opening of the financial sector in an orderly manner and allow greater market access for foreign investors to the domestic market and encourage more domestic financial companies to do business in overseas markets.
More reform measures are expected to be released in the country's foreign exchange management system after China made substantial progress in the reform of its market-oriented interest rate system, he said.
"The construction of free trade zones and ports will continue to be improved, the procedure for cross-border trade and investment will be further streamlined and the legitimate interests of foreign companies will be better protected," he added.
According to the State Council's decision announced in 2009, Shanghai should grow into an international financial center which is compatible with the country's economic power and the renminbi's international status.
As Liu concluded in the letter, Shanghai has already grown into an important driver of China's economic development. The city is striving to be a new hub of financial opening-up by exploring integration among finance, technology and industries, he said.
Toshiyasu Iiyama, head of the China Committee at Japanese financial institution Nomura Holdings, said that Shanghai has one of the most vibrant financial markets in the world and has become an international financial center by developing a multilayered primary market for securities, including one where it is easy for innovative companies to raise money in early stages of their life cycles.
"Shanghai has already attracted some big funds from around the world. Clarifying criteria for acquiring publicly offered licenses and designing clear and simple rules will be essential to attract more foreign asset management companies. Also crucial will be enabling the development of more investment-type asset management products that can supplement individual public pensions as people shift from savings to investment," he said.