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Guernsey signs cooperation agreement with Beijing

16 October 2014

The Guernsey Government has signed a Statement of Cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work.

The agreement to cooperate in the promotion of common prosperity and development across both jurisdictions was signed in Beijing today by Kevin Stewart, Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Minister and SHEN Hong, Vice Counsel of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work.

The Minister said: "This agreement demonstrates our continued commitment to not only China but Beijing specifically. It represents the next phase of our relationship to cooperate, exchange ideas and trade together more extensively in the future. We are looking forward to sharing in the mutual benefits of this partnership."

The Minister formally invited Mr SHEN and a delegation from Beijing to visit Guernsey, which was accepted. Mr SHEN said that he was excited to learn about Guernsey and its finance industry and that signing the agreement moves forward the cooperation between Beijing and Guernsey.

He said it was a good time in the Chinese calendar for the Guernsey delegation to be visiting Beijing where the economy is performing steadily and there is scope for finance sector development. Mr SHEN said that Beijing was still a relatively traditional finance centre, with 80% of all assets owned by banks and he was hoping to learn from Guernsey about not just its banks but also its investment funds, captive insurance and wealth management sectors.

Prior to signing the agreement, a meeting was held with the wider Guernsey delegation including Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry; Mark Bright, Chairman of the  Association of Guernsey Banks and Managing Director of Kleinwort Benson's Offshore Business; Mark Huntley, Director of Heritage Group; and Alan Chick, Chairman of Richmond Fiduciary Group.

Miss Le Poidevin said: "I am delighted that this agreement has been signed. It shows the strength of Guernsey's relationship with Beijing and is a statement of intent for developing this further in the future."

She added that Guernsey Finance would work with the equivalent organisation, the Beijing Financial Development Centre, to facilitate exchange programmes, training courses and educational workshops between the two centres. She said that Guernsey Finance would work with local industry associations and their member firms to identify opportunities for them to participate in the cooperation between Beijing and Guernsey.

The Guernsey Government signed a similar agreement with the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office in 2010.

Guernsey's financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), has signed agreements with the Beijing-based China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) in 2011 and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in 2013.

Today's signing ceremony took place during a two-week delegation to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing comprising Guernsey Finance representatives and members of the Island's finance industry. This included sponsoring the STEP Asia conference in Hong Kong, hosting a private wealth event in Shanghai and meeting government bodies, industry associations and financial services firms in both Shanghai and Beijing.

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