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ICBC Successfully Held CIIE Belt and Road Forum for Trade and Financial Cooperation and Innovation

ICBC successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for Trade and Financial Cooperation and Innovation at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) on November 6. The forum was one of the official partner activities for China’s first International Import Expo (CIIE). Sponsored by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and organized by ICBC, the forum, based on the Belt and Road Inter-Bank Regular Cooperation Mechanism, attracted nearly 200 representatives including financial experts and senior managers from 50 international and regional banks and financial institutions and 45 domestic and foreign enterprises. Mr. Chen Yulu, Deputy Governor of the PBOC, Ms. Gao Yan, Chairperson of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Mr. Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of China-Central and Eastern European Fund (China-CEE Fund) attended the forum and delivered keynote speeches.

In the speech, ICBC Chairman Yi Huiman said that financial support is indispensable for liberalizing and facilitating trades. Currently, FinTech innovations such as Big Data, AI, Cloud Computing, Block Chain and Internet of Things, are creating new possibilities for trade upgrades. Financial institutions should leverage its advantages as an intermediary and its enormous customer base to foster communication and negotiation and give full play to the role of financial innovations in liberalizing and facilitating trades. By tapping its advantages in product line, online service, technological innovation and Internet presence at home and abroad, ICBC will promote the multi-channel cooperation such as transaction banking between member institutions of the Belt and Road Inter-Bank Regular Cooperation Mechanism, implementing in earnest trade projects reached at CIIE and cooperation initiative for serving the Belt and Road trade and finance.

During the forum, financial and business leaders from more than 30 countries held in-depth discussions on financial institutions’ cooperation blueprint for bettering services for cross-border trade with a focus on the Belt and Road Initiative, international trade opportunities brought by the opening-up of China’s financial sector, best practices in trade and financial products and services, and latest trends in FinTech.

Francisco Gonzalez, Chairman of BBVA Bancomer and Roland Boehm, board member of Commerzbank, pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative will continue to drive China’s economic growth and benefit global trade in integrating cross-border supply chains, managing trade risks, diversifying transportation modes, and upgrading trade products and digital processing. Mr. Liu Jin, Vice President of China Development Bank, Mr. Huang Liangbo, Vice President of the Export-Import Bank of China, Mr. Huang Zhiling, Chief Economist of China Construction Bank, and Mr. Fu Wanjun, Chief Director of Bank of Communications, shared their views from policy-based development banks and commercial banks on how Chinese financial institutions can grasp the opportunity of financial opening-up and promote trade finance along the Belt and Road and the world at large. Alain Raes, Chief Executive of EMEA at SWIFT, suggested that financial institutions should push forward cooperation on the Belt and Road financial infrastructure and improve payment efficiency for cross-border trades. Trade and financial experts from Standard Chartered Bank, Standard Bank Group Ltd., Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, ICBC, FADB and Maybank shared their success stories in product and service innovation centering on the “comprehensive financial service scheme for facilitating cross-border trade”. Financial experts from Paypal, Citibank, ICBC, JD Finance, UniCredit S.P.A. and DBS, analyzed the direction, approach and mode for supporting cross-border trade and finance.

According to sources, to better serve the first CIIE, ICBC released a comprehensive financial service scheme targeted at CIIE, themed “ICBC serves CIIE by offering worldwide services” to provide inbound and outbound integrated financial services for import and export enterprises around the globe and meet their diverse financial demands. The comprehensive financial service scheme tailor-made for CIIE focuses “connectivity, exchange, speed and settlement”, providing online account opening reservation and witness account opening services to help overseas traders in solving the “last mile” problem. While relying on the reform and innovation of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, ICBC released “Guan Hui Tong” to offer “one-step connectivity” payment convenience for trades. By leveraging the advantage of global settlement network and establishing “ICBC Express” brand, ICBC will provide their customers with “one-click payment” and borderless financial services worldwide.