(L-R): Yuriko Backes, Minister of Finance; Liu Kun, Minister of Finance of the People's Republic of China; Credit: MFIN

Yuriko Backes, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, concluded a visit to China from Sunday 21 May to Thursday 25 May 2023; it was the first visit to this country by a European Finance Minister since the end of the pandemic.

In Beijing, the Minister met with her Chinese counterpart, Minister Liu Kun. Their discussions focused in particular on macroeconomic trends and current geopolitical tensions. The minister spoke about the Russian war in Ukraine and the economic impact of soaring energy prices and inflation on the European and Luxembourg economy. The ministers discussed in particular the development of relations in financial services between the two countries as well as the role of green finance in the fight against climate change.

The Minister then had a meeting with the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), Yi Huiman. They discussed the opening and internalisation of Chinese capital markets, particularly in the field of asset management. In addition, Minister Backes had a bilateral meeting with the Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), YI Gang, on the economic situation and outlook in Europe and China. They also discussed progress in the regulation of sustainable finance and welcomed the common taxonomy between China and the European Union (known as the 'common ground taxonomy'), while emphasising that efforts to converge standards in this field at the international level must continue.

During her visit to Shanghai, the minister was welcomed by the city's mayor, Gong Zheng. During their meeting, they expressed their desire to further strengthen cooperation between Luxembourg and Shanghai, two leading international financial centres. In this context, they stressed the importance of strengthening joint initiatives in the fields of training and sustainable finance.

The Minister also took advantage of her stay to visit the Shanghai Stock Exchange. She discussed with the President, Cai Jianchun, the prospects for cooperation and the importance of further strengthening exchanges and ties between Luxembourg and China, in particular with a view to facilitating access for international and Chinese investors. securities listed on the Chinese respectively European markets.

In both Beijing and Shanghai, the Minister had talks with the leaders of the main Chinese financial institutions present in Luxembourg. These exchanges made it possible to take stock of the development of their activities in Europe and in the Grand Duchy. It was also an opportunity to discuss the evolution of the macroeconomic situation in Europe and China, as well as the main geopolitical issues. Overall, the parties concerned reaffirmed their commitment to Luxembourg and the Luxembourg financial centre.

The Minister also attended a signing ceremony for a first Memorandum of Understanding between the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the China Everbright Bank with a view to promoting the integration of financial markets between Europe and China.

Minister Backes said: “These fruitful dialogues with our Chinese partners not only underscore the strength of our bilateral relationship, but also our mutual commitment to more sustainable finance and a more resilient global economy.”

Two events were organised by Luxembourg for Finance for finance professionals in Beijing and Shanghai, during which the Minister underlined the excellent relations in the field of finance, which have been established between China and Luxembourg in over the past four decades. She also spoke about the importance of multilateral collaboration and the crucial role of sustainable finance in our common future in the face of climate change.

The Minister concluded: “In a globalised and interconnected world, a particular responsibility lies with the large economic blocs. The major challenges of our time, including climate change and the war in Ukraine, require common solutions. Dialogue with China remains essential in this context.