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Tokyo seminar on Hong Kong as Offshore Renminbi Centre for Global Businesses (with photos)

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), together with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, organised a seminar on "Hong Kong: Offshore Renminbi Centre for Global Businesses" today (May 15) in Tokyo.  The seminar attracted over 200 representatives from corporates, banks, fund managers and government agencies in Japan.

     In his keynote presentation, Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, said, "Over the past three decades, China has experienced a phenomenal economic growth, supported by rapidly expanding trade and investment links with the world.  In recent years, China is playing an increasingly important role in intra-regional trade in Asia, and it is now Japan's largest trading partner.  In 2011, Japan's exports to China accounted for one-fifth of Japan's total exports while over 20 percent of Japan's imports were from China.  The growing trade links between China and Japan present a strong business case for the use of renminbi in enhancing the efficiency of these activities."

     Mr Chan suggested further that, "The internationalisation of renminbi involves linking of the onshore and offshore renminbi markets through three bridges, namely trade settlement, direct investment and portfolio investment.  The renminbi trade settlement scheme has largely been liberalised and this bridge is the widest, while arrangements for the use of renminbi for inward and outward direct investments are in place already.  The bridge for portfolio investment in renminbi is also being built progressively.  For instance, offshore central banks/monetary authorities, banks and insurance companies have now been granted with quotas for investing in the Mainland interbank bond market.  The HKMA's quota was RMB 15 billion yuan initially and it has been increased recently to RMB 30 billion yuan."

     Commenting on the role of Hong Kong, Mr Chan said, "As the internationalisation of renminbi progresses, the demand for offshore renminbi financial services and products by customers will increase rapidly and offshore renminbi business will be developed in different parts of the world.  Hong Kong represents a comprehensive one-stop platform which can facilitate Japanese companies and banks to conduct various kinds of offshore renminbi business, from corporate and correspondent banking, financing to wealth management.  We are glad to see that there are 13 Japanese banks participating in Hong Kong's renminbi clearing platform and 6 Japanese companies having issued over RMB 3 billion yuan of dim-sum bonds in Hong Kong."

     The panel discussion was joined by Mr Takehiko Nakao, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Ministry of Finance and senior representatives from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, HSBC, and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited.

     The seminar in Tokyo was the sixth in a series of overseas roadshows conducted by the HKMA. It was part of the "Think Global, Think Hong Kong" promotion programme organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in Japan.

Ends/Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:25


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