Round Table Discussion with the Alumni of Peking University
On Sunday, 9th December 2018, PHBS (UK) had the honour of hosting a round table discussion between our students and two distinguished alumni of Peking University - Ms Xu Yan, the Chief Representative of the China Development Bank (CDB), London Representative Office, and Ms Jin Mei, the Chief Representative, The People’s Bank of China, in the Representative Office for Europe.
Ms Xu Yan started the Round Table Discussion with a brief history of the establishment of the UK branch of the State Development Bank of China - the first official institution set up by the CDB in a developed western country, and is also one of the major achievements of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK. Her talk focused primarily on the Belt/Road Initiative (also known as The One Belt, One Road initiative) spearheaded by President Xi to combat the global economic crisis. In particular, she highlighted the importance of the building of proper infrastructure in the Belt/Road Initiative; Any country along Belt/Road Initiative would have their infrastructure improved, and alongside this developed infrastructure, businesses and trade will flourish alongside the improved infrastructure. This would result in positive economic development and progress for any country along the Belt/Road Initiative.
The next part of Ms Xu Yan’s talk focused on how the monetary resources can be obtained for such a massive development - namely a key partnership with China’s 2 Development Bank. China’s Development Bank was established in 1994 to support the nation’s building and development initiatives. The one thing that set the Development Bank apart from other commercial banks was the fact that the Development Bank is able to execute China’s policies without worrying about commercial risks. In addition to managing various overseas investment portfolios, the Development Bank acts as an intermediary between China and its external investors who are in support of the nation’s initiatives. The Development bank also acts as a facilitator in order to promote the nation’s development.
The next speaker is Ms Jin Mei from the People’s Bank of China. Her talk is focused on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Chinese Ren Min Bi (RMB). Her talk is largely divided into two broad categories: firstly, the importance of the IMF and China’s role in the IMF, and secondly how the RMB became a foreign exchange reserve currency of the IMF and how it will continue to play a significant part on the world’s trading stage.
Ms Jin Mei first took the students through the establishment of the IMF with 34 other countries in 1945, to the role that China plays on the global financial stage, in particular, the IMP. She pointed out that the Chinese-IMF relationship focuses on the governance of the IMF and the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR). As the current global economic crisis has opened the floodgates towards a reform of the global financial system, China’s strategic goals in this reform are twofold: The first goal is to ensure the stable external economic settings for China’s domestic sustainable development, and the second goal is to promote its own capacity-building in contributing to global economic governance for 3 the sake of a better systematic framework on strong, balanced, and sustainable growth of the world economy.
The second part of Ms Jin Mei’s talk focused on the role of the RMB and the SDR basket. As China’s RMB officially joined the SDR basket on 1st October 2016 Ms Jin Mei talked about what is the SDR basket, what makes a currency a part of the SDR basket, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of having a supplementary foreign-exchange reserve assets as defined and maintained by the IMF.
The round table discussion ended with a lively question and answer session between our invited speakers and our students. Our students asked very interesting questions and our speakers were able to use the questions as a platform to expound on the ideas that they had presented during the talk. The round table discussion was a rousing success; The lack of barriers between the speaker and audience promoted a relaxed and engaging environment which was extremely conducive for an exchange of ideas between our speakers and students.