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Pierre Gramegna’s mission in China under the banner of sustainable finance and the strengthening of ties between Luxembourg and Chin

Published Friday September 21 2018

In Beijing, Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna had a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Liu Kun. They discussed the macroeconomic situation and the risks associated with the recent rise in protectionism and trade tariffs. Pierre Gramegna underlined the high degree of openness of the Luxembourg’s economy, as well as the country’s support for the “belt and road” initiative launched by the Chinese government. He has been a strong advocate for strengthening multilateralism, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as a broader opening of the Chinese market.

The Minister had a meeting with Yi Gang, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, focused on macroeconomic trends, as well as on collaboration in the development of sustainable finance and the subject of the taxonomy of green bonds. . The Minister called for the adoption of clear global standards to limit the risks of “greenwashing”, in order to ensure investor confidence in the corresponding financial products. On this point, the two interlocutors agreed on further collaboration between the corresponding authorities of the two countries.

Pierre Gramegna also met the leaders of some of the main Chinese financial groups in Luxembourg, including Zhu Linan, Executive Director and Liu Chuanzhi, Founder and President of Legend Holdings, Wang Zuji, Chairman of China Construction Bank (CCB), Gu Shu, President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Ren Deqi, President of the Bank of Communications (BoComm). He also met with Wang Qunbin, CEO of Fosun International, together with Michael Bentlage, CEO of Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers, who is now part of the Fosun Group. The Minister discussed with these senior executives the strategy of their respective groups and in particular their Luxembourg entities.

The Minister of Finance also had a working luncheon with Jin Liqun, Chairman, and Sir Danny Alexander, Director of the Asian Investment Bank for Infrastructure (AIIB), whose general meeting will be held in 2019 for the first time in Europe, in Luxembourg. This event, which dates back to an initiative of Minister Gramegna, will be a unique opportunity to promote Luxembourg as a leading financial center and key player in the economic rapprochement between Asia and Europe.

Pierre Gramegna also traveled to Hangzhou for a meeting with Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial, to discuss the company’s international development strategy and the role that Luxembourg could play in this context. At this meeting, Eric Jing confirmed that Ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay, China’s largest mobile payment platform, has chosen Luxembourg as its European hub, to help connect their Chinese customers with merchants established in the European Union.

As part of his mission, the Minister of Finance also participated in two seminars organized by Luxembourg for Finance for Chinese financial professionals in Beijing and Shanghai. A delegation of more than a hundred representatives of the Luxembourg financial center went to China for the occasion. In his introductory speeches, Pierre Gramegna underlined the commitment of Luxembourg and Europe in favor of multilateralism and the development of international trade and investment. He warned of the rise of protectionism and nationalism, which in the long run may threaten peace in the world.

Finally, the Minister’s witnessed the signing of agreements between Bank of China and Cargolux; the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (CCDC), and also between the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Bank of China, and between LHoFT and Shanghai-based DeepBlue Technology, which is active in payments and artificial intelligence.


Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna commented: “The present mission has made a tangible contribution to further strengthening the ties between Luxembourg and China and, thanks to our efforts in recent years; the number of Chinese banks in Luxembourg has increased from 3 in 2013 to 7 in 2018, today employing more than 440 people. Additionally, two Luxembourg banks were invested by Chinese shareholders, and 3 Fintech companies of Chinese origin are developing auspiciously. Others, as Alipay, have announced their arrival. Since 2014, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange has been able to conclude 6 collaboration agreements with Chinese partners. Thus, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange is now recognized as a key player in China, particularly in sustainable finance. Finally, nearly one third of all funds invested in China are now domiciled in Luxembourg and thus contribute to the influence of our financial center at the international level. These results illustrate the success of the strategy for the promotion and development of the financial center, implemented during the current parliamentary term, particularly with respect to China. “