Credit: MFIN

During his recent financial mission to China, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, advocated the adoption of clear global standards to limit the risks of "greenwashing".

Minister Gramegna, accompanied by a delegation of a hundred professionals from Luxembourg's financial sector, is currently undertaking a financial mission to China (from Monday 16 September to Friday 20 September 2019). The visit began in Beijing, where Luxembourg's Finance Minister met with the Chinese authorities and key financial figures to further strengthen the economic and financial ties between the Grand Duchy and China.

Pierre Gramegna first met with Jiayi Zou, China's Deputy Minister of Finance. At this meeting, Minister Gramegna welcomed the latest measures taken by the Chinese authorities, including China's removal of restrictions on investment quotas for qualified foreign institutional investors (QFII) and RMB qualified foreign institutional investors (RQFII), with a view to further opening the Chinese financial markets. The Luxembourg Minister encouraged the continued efforts to open the markets, in order to facilitate the distribution of Luxembourg funds in China. He added that it would allow, more generally, Chinese investors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Luxembourg market.

For his part, Jiayi Zou thanked Luxembourg for the organisation of the 4th annual meeting of the Asian Investment Bank for Infrastructure (AIIB) in July. The ministers then discussed new ways of cooperation between China and Luxembourg, particularly in the area of ​​multilateral development. Pierre Gramegna focused on the financing of sustainable and cross-border infrastructures in Asia and Europe and the role that the Luxembourg financial centre can play in financing these infrastructures.

He then met with Guo Shuqing, Chairman of China's Banking and Insurance Regulator (CBIRC), to discuss macroeconomic trends, sustainable finance and China's commitment to open up its financial sector more widely to foreign investments.

Luxembourg's Minister of Finance also participated in the inauguration of the representative office of BIL in China, as well as in a seminar organised by Luxembourg for Finance for Chinese financial professionals in Beijing. In his speech, Minister Gramegna warned of the rise of protectionism and nationalism and underlined the commitment of Luxembourg and Europe to multilateralism, international investment and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on the climate. He also encouraged greater cooperation between China and Europe in strategic areas including finance, connectivity and the fight against global warming. On sustainable finance, he pushed for the adoption of clear global standards to limit the risks of "greenwashing" and to ensure the confidence of investors in the corresponding financial products.

The finance minister also took the opportunity to meet Liqun Jin, AIIB President, and Sir Danny Alexander, AIIB Vice-President. AIIB's leadership gave an update on the organisation of the 4th annual meeting of the bank and discussed future collaborations, for instance in the financing of green and sustainable infrastructures. Pierre Gramegna then met with representatives of innovative companies, which are part of the TusPark accelerator, to discuss the latest developments in the field of artificial intelligence in China, allowing him to highlight the advantages of the Luxembourg ecosystem for the development of FinTech companies.

Finally, Minister Gramegna's visit to Beijing provided an opportunity to witness the signing of an MoU between the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and China International Capital Corporation for enhanced cooperation and the exchange of good practices.

Pierre Gramegna continues his mission to China with a visit to Shanghai on Wednesday and to Shenzhen on Thursday.