Chongqing building on location advantage
Updated: 2016-01-29 07:49
By Zhang Hongming(China Daily Europe)
The western municipality has become the frontier of the Belt and Road Initiative
Located in western China, Chongqing is the largest municipality directly under the central government. It is also known as mountain city and city of fog for its spectacular mountains and frequent fog.
Chongqing is the cradle of Bayu culture and enjoys a written history of over 3,000 years. In ancient times, Chongqing was the capital of the Ba Kingdom; 800 years ago, it was the capital of Daxia Kingdom; and during World War II, it was the provisional capital of the national government, and a political, economic and cultural center. Therefore, Chongqing enjoys the name of "the land of three capitals".
On this fertile and beautiful land, the hardworking, intelligent and enthusiastic people have added to the glory of the great Chinese civilization.
Since reform and opening-up, the central government has positioned Chongqing as one of five key cities along with Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Chongqing has become the largest economic center in western China and the upper reaches of Yangtze River region, an important transportation hub and an inland port. With relatively rich economic and educational resources, Chongqing plays a strategic role in the economic development of central and western China.
The Belt and Road Initiative has led Chongqing to a new historical starting point and endowed it with a new mission. Chongqing has unique advantages in the Belt and Road Initiative due to its favorable location. With the smooth operation of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway, Chongqing has become the frontier of the Belt and Road Initiative.
In November, China and Singapore launched the third Sino-Singapore cooperation project, for which Chongqing is the operations center.
According to the protocols, themed as "modern connectivity and modern service economy", Chongqing and Singapore will collaborate mainly in financial services, aviation, transportation, logistics and information technology. The Sino-Singapore project will highlight the crucial role of Chongqing as the economic and trade center serving Europe and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations. This generates valuable opportunities for Chongqing to push forward the inland open economy and strengthens the role of Chongqing in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The financial industry in Chongqing is an active part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
First, financial institutions, products, and services continue to be strengthened. Chongqing continues to strengthen regional cooperation, conducts cross-border and cross-regional cooperation in some industries and continues to expand the scale of overseas investment. At the same time, the financial industry is constantly improving the standards of services and trade, facilitating the development of an open economy based on ports and supporting cross-border e-business, cloud computing and big data industries, and cross-border settlement, investment and financing.
Second, the finance industry is making full use of the opportunity of the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthening its financial functions including the new settlement dynamics of offshore finance, cross-border e-business and financial product market.
Chongqing is developing direct financing and cross-border investment and financing channels, optimizing social financing structures and encouraging enterprises to list in Singapore. Chongqing is implementing the "ministry-city cooperation agreement" with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, encouraging innovation in the service and risk guarantee capacity of insurance, and building a national pilot project for creative insurance development.
Third, the finance industry is pressing ahead with the building of a platform for comprehensive functions, facilitating cooperation with surrounding countries and regions, and attracting various kinds of financial institutions. The city is also strengthening overall cooperation with Singapore in financial industries, exploring financial innovation like currency swaps with Central and Eastern Europe countries, and building the China-Hungary Two Rivers Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The author is director of the Chongqing Financial Development Service Center. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
(China Daily European Weekly 01/29/2016 page8)