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City outlines steps to develop global financial center status

SHANGHAI will step up efforts to lure more talent, beef up development of its legal system and improve its credit database as part of efforts to develop a global financial center, Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao said yesterday.

The city will also enable financial markets and institutions to play an important role in financial innovation and make the Pudong New Area a pioneer for financial reforms, Tu told the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai.

"To realize our goals, we need a combination of forces," said Tu. "We need guidance and support from the central government in terms of rules' drafting and coordination. We also need financial markets and companies to make contributions."

Shanghai must have "breakthrough and innovation" in its measures to attract financial talents, the most important element in building the city into an international financial hub, Tu said.

The city should also have a solid financial legal system and the municipal government is working to improve the arbitrary, hearing and verdict processes of financial cases, according to Tu.

He added that local government will cooperate with the People's Bank of China to improve the city's credit environment. One focus will be the establishment of a credit ratings system for small- and medium-sized enterprises to facilitate fundraising, Tu said.

Xu Lin, Party Secretary of Pudong New Area, told the forum the district will shore up its preparation for financial innovation, including establishing an over-the-counter equity exchange for start-up technology firms.

Pudong will also trial programs to settle cross-border trade using the yuan and to set up consumer finance companies to fund people's purchases of durables such as home appliances and electronics.

Xu also noted that Pudong will fast track the development of financial services for the shipping industry as China pursues building Shanghai into an international financial and shipping hub by 2020.

"The district will encourage capital from various sources to help innovation and upgrade industry," Xu said. "More credit support will be given to small companies in terms of innovation."

Financial experts attending the two-day Lujiazui Forum, which ended yesterday, called on the city to take more measures to retain talent and financial institutions.

"The major European and US markets are reshuffling after the crisis and it has created a good opportunity for Shanghai to lay a sound basis and infrastructure for rising as an international financial center," said Laura Cha, deputy chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.

"We should learn lessons from them and avoid the mistakes they have made."

Shanghai is still lagging behind in terms of financial talent both in quality and quantity, she added.

She suggested shoring up the city's financial high education sector and rotating financial talents to develop more overseas experience.


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