7th Wee Cho Yaw Singapore-China Finance and Banking Forum, Beijing, 18 June 2015

China at the Economic Financial Crossroads:Experts tell forum Beijing should continue to liberalise and marketplayers should respect the rules


19 June 2015, Beijing – Experts have told a forum organised by the NationalUniversity of Singapore (NUS) Business School that China should push aheadwith the liberalisation of its markets and currency, the Renminbi (RMB). However,they said, the rules have to be clear and players should respect the regulations.


At this year’s Wee Cho Yaw Singapore-China Finance and Banking Forum,experts discussed the economic implications of Beijing’s policies for banks andfinancial institutions in Asia, particularly China and Singapore, as well as theoutlook for the RMB. The Forum was also told that trading in China sharesrecently accounted for 61% of the global figure in a single day’s trading data. 


This year’s theme is ‘China at the Financial Economic Crossroads: The CriticalNext Steps'. The Forum, moderated by Professor Anthony Neoh, Dean's VisitingProfessor at NUS Business School and former Chief Adviser, China SecuritiesRegulatory Commission (CSRC), featured experts Dr Huang Haizhou, ManagingDirector, China International Capital Corporation (CICC); Mrs Lim HweeHua, Executive Director, Tembusu Partners, and a former Cabinet Ministerin Singapore; Madam Sau Kwan, President of E Fund Management; andProfessor Gao Xiqing, the former President and Chief Investment Officer of theChina Investment Corporation (CIC).


"The liberalisation of the markets and asset prices like interest rates andcurrency value was a key topic in the Forum. All the speakers told us to open thedoor but to make the players respect the fundamentals,” said Bernard Yeung,Dean of NUS Business School and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor. Headded: "Reforms are clearly needed to improve the efficiency of the capitalmarket which is vital for China's sustainable growth. We need leaders withwisdom and a caring heart, as well as positive international engagement;sustainable growth of China’s economy is critical for its citizens and the rest ofthe world."


Madam Kwan provided insights into the development of the fund managementindustry highlighting the exceptional 1500% growth for mutual funds in Chinaover the past decade. In terms of reforms in China,she commented that, “Reforms are moving in the right direction but China needsto do more, and at a faster speed. My personal wish-list includes the setting-upof a pilot programme of the Free Trade Zone for the asset management sector inShanghai, and the removal of the quota system for QFII and QDII in the nearfuture.”


Another panellist, Mrs Lim, spoke broadly on the policy impact of financialreforms, saying: “Whatever reforms China undertakes, these have a significantimpact on Asia and the rest of the world, so getting them right is important.These include introducing the move towards more market forces at play, havingwell-established and well-capitalised banks with the right leadership, andallowing bad institutions to fail as any mature market would.” 


Madam Wu Xiaoling, a former Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China(PBoC) delivered a keynote speech, with opening remarks by Mr Wee EeCheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of United Overseas Bank (UOB). 


“China has made incredible strides on the financial and economic fronts in recentyears with respect to capital market reforms and connectivity, in improving itsfinancial systems and mechanisms, the internationalisation of its RMB, and infighting corruption and improving governance,” said Professor Joseph Cherian,Director of NUS Business School’s Centre for Asset Management Research andInvestments (CAMRI).  


“Many of the financial and political economic reforms that are taking place inChina are informed using best practice from around the world, includingSingapore. In fact, Singapore has been collaborating with China on its economicdevelopment since the 1970s. But as our eminent panellists and speakers noted,it’s still a work-in-progress. There are economic, political and legal challengesrelating to financial reforms, with issues needing top level attention, along withthe prospects for real change in both form and substance,” Professor Cherianelaborated.


Held annually in Singapore or China, the Forum is organised by CAMRI with theaim of fostering a deeper understanding among industry professionals andscholars of the challenges and opportunities in the finance sectors of China andSingapore. 


The Wee Cho Yaw Singapore-China Finance and Banking Forum was establishedin 2008 with a generous donation from the then-Chairman of UOB, Dr Wee ChoYaw, and his family. The inaugural Forum was held in Beijing in August 2010 inconjunction with the 20th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relationsbetween Singapore and China. 


Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of UOB, said, “China is3integrating actively with the rest of the world. Geographical proximity, historicalrelations, overall trade, investment and tourism connections meanthat Singapore and Southeast Asia will feature strategically in China’sprogress to become the world’s largest economy. As a Singaporeheadquarteredbank with one of the strongest Southeast Asian networks andfranchises, UOB welcomes the economic and business opportunities thatChina’s new economic and financial market policies bring to the region.”


Along with UOB, the Forum’s other main strategic partner is the Sun YefangEconomic Science Foundation.


This year, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of NUS Business School, thehalf-day Forum featured a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session,attended by more than 200 industry professionals.


More information about the Forum can be foundat http://bschool.nus.edu/tabid/3339/Default.aspx. The Forum will also becovered extensively on NUS Business School’s Think Business portal.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Janet LOH 

Associate Director, 

Corporate Communications 

NUS Business School 

National University of Singapore 

DID: (65) 6601-3018 

Email: jloh@nus.edu.sg Miss Bridget KOW 

Senior Account Executive 

The Hoffman Agency 

DID: (86) 21 6203 3366 

Email: NUS_CN@hoffman.com



About National University of Singapore (NUS)


A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) isSingapore's flagship university, which offers a global approach to education andresearch, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.


NUS has 16 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative educationincludes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and crossfacultyenrichment. Over 37,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community withtheir diverse social and cultural perspectives.


NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence (RCE) and 26 university-level researchinstitutes and centres. It is also a partner in Singapore's fifth RCE. NUS shares a closeaffiliation with 16 national-level research institutes and centres. Research activities arestrategic and robust, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering,life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences. It also strives tocreate a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within itscommunity


This year, NUS celebrates its 110th year of founding together with Singapore’s 50th year of independence. As the island’s first higher education institution established by the local community, NUS prides itself in nurturing generations of leaders and luminaries in Singapore and Asia.


For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg. Details on NUS’ 110th Anniversary celebrations are available at nus110.sg.


About NUS Business School


The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School is known for providing management thought leadership from an Asian perspective, enabling its students and corporate partners to leverage global knowledge and Asian insights.


The school has consistently received top rankings in the Asia-Pacific region by independent publications and agencies, such as The Financial Times, Economist Intelligence Unit, and QS Top MBA, in recognition of the quality of its programmes, faculty research and graduates. In the Financial Times Global Rankings, the NUS MBA is ranked 31st, while the NUS-UCLA Executive MBA and Asia-Pacific Executive MBA were ranked 4th and 18th respectively in 2014.


In the biannual Forbes rankings for two-year MBA programmes, NUS Business School was ranked top in Singapore and Asia in 2013, and second among business schools outside the United States. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has also ranked the school 12th in the world for accounting and finance.


The school is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), endorsements that the school has met the highest standards for business education. The school is also a member of the GMAC Council, Executive MBA Council, Partnership in Management (PIM) and CEMS (Community of European Management Schools).


For more information, please visit bschool.nus.edu.sg, or go to the Think Business portal which showcases the School’s research (thinkbusiness.nus.edu).


About United Overseas Bank (UOB)


United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world’s top banks: AA1 by Moody’s and AA- by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings respectively.


In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, as well as branches and representative offices.


UOB plays an active role in the community, focusing on art, children and education. It has, over more than three decades, held the longest-running art competition in Singapore, the UOB Painting of the Year, which has since been extended across Southeast Asia. In recognition of its contributions to the arts, UOB was conferred the Singapore National Arts Council’s Distinguished Patron of the Arts Award for the tenth consecutive year in 2014. UOB also encourages its employees across the region to be involved in its regular volunteer activities. This includes the annual UOB Heartbeat Run which is held in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.


About The Sun Yefang Economic Science Foundation


The Sun Yefang Economic Science Foundation was founded in June 1983 in honour of the distinguished Chinese economist Sun Yefang for his significant contributions to economic science and to encourage the growth of younger economists and the prosperous development of economic science in China.


The role of the Foundation is to grant prizes to those economists and entities who have made contributions to China’s economic science, to organize and award research and consulting work on important practical economic issues, to develop and carry out domestic and international academic exchanges and cooperation.


Since 1984, the Sun Yefang Economic Science Award, supported by the Foundation, has biennially presented awards to economists who have made significant contributions to economic research in China.


The Foundation is under the authority of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and its operations are under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs