Lord mayor of London seals financial pacts

Updated: 2016-09-19 17:10

By CECILY LIU(China Daily UK)

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The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Jeffrey Mountevans, sealed agreements with his Chinese counterparts to further financial collaboration during his weeklong visit to China.

His delegation's visit to Beijing,Shanghai,Tianjin and Hong Kong was Mountevans' first visit to Chinasince Britain voted in June to leave the European Union.

Mountevans told China Daily in an exclusive interview he was glad to find that Chinese regulators' and investors' desire to work with the UK had not been deterred by Brexit.

"Going out there,I was actually uncertain what I may be asked about Brexit,but the businesses and government were not so interested(in this). They were much more interested in the opportunities,"he said.

Although Mountevans was an advocate of Britain remaining in the EU,after the referendum he has been keen to promote opportunities for London to strengthen ties with global partners.He feels his views are shared by his Chinese counterparts.

"I had a meeting with an important Chinese regulator, who said,'Before,I thought of London as a European financial center,and now I look on it as a world financial center'," Mountevans said.

He also met with insurance and banking regulators,visited the China Foreign Exchange Trade System,the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shanghai Clearing House.

He said he was impressed by the warm welcome his team received wherever it went.

The trip came before the British government approved the Hinkley Point nuclear power station on Thursday, a key issue for Sino­British relations,with one­third of the investment coming from China."Everyone I met was very positive.Hinkley was not a concern,"Mountevans said.

He said his biggest achievement was to discuss opportunities for more regular financial discussions on specific issues,such as green finance,maritime finance and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Green finance

Mountevans' team in the City of London has contributed extensively toward collaborating with China to push green finance,which was placed on this month's G20 Leaders Summit agenda in Hangzhou by China for the first time.

The G20 green finance study group,chaired by the People's Bank of China and the Bank of England,presented a report with suggestions at the G20 Summit,which was accepted and endorsed by world leaders.

Mountevans also highlighted the UK's enthusiasm to support China's attempts to encourage infrastructure investment as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.The Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives - transportation infrastructure projects linking Asia and Europe were launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

"China has dreamed this imaginative,strategic initiative. The UK can have specialist input in a lot of those projects," Mountevans said.

He also addressed the International Shipping Strategic Development Forum in Shanghai,which is held in partnership with Maritime London,a promotional body of the UK's maritime service industry, which Mountevans chairs.

He said the UK's centuries of expertise in maritime financial services gives it a strong foundation to help China develop in this field.