UK, Guernsey Execs Strengthen Relationships with China

September 30, 2010

Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, recently joined the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Nick Anstee, for a trip to Beijing and Shanghai.

“The trip included meeting again with Tu Guangshao, the Vice-Mayor of Shanghai, who has hosted Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott, on several occasions and visited the Island towards the end of 2008,” said a Guernsey Finance bulletin.

“Travelling with Alderman Anstee provided us with another opportunity to strengthen our relationships in Beijing and Shanghai and also reinforced our strong connections with the City of London,” Niven explained.

He added that the trip gave the two men the opportunity “to show our hosts the complementary nature of the relationship between Guernsey and London and at the same time we yet further developed our contacts in the City. For example, as well as Alderman Anstee, I was able to build on friendships with Chris Gibson-Smith, Chairman of the London Stock Exchange and Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors and also initiate new relationships with other members of the delegation, including leading practitioners from London law firms.”

Guernsey has had a representative office in Shanghai led by Wendy Weng since the end of 2007. Niven noted: “Having Wendy on the ground in Shanghai also gave us the opportunity to set-up our own parallel itinerary. This meant that when not attending official appointments as part of the Lord Mayor’s delegation then Wendy and I were able to hold separate meetings with government and regulatory officials.”

The meetings included one with “Dr. Fang Xinghai, Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office, as well as meeting with government tax officials and representatives from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC),” the bulletin continued.

The Lord Mayor’s delegation visited Shanghai while it is hosting World Expo 2010. Some 250 countries, regions and organizations are showcasing their culture in an event themed – under the title ‘Better City, Better Life’ – around sustainable development. Expo is expected to attract 70 million visitors during the six months it is open from 1 May to 31 October this year on a site of 5.3 square kilometers (twice the size of Monaco) and at some $50 billion is anticipated to cost more than staging the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

The bulletin also noted that as part of Guernsey’s “commitment to tax transparency, the Island’s Government and the Government of China are making arrangements for a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) to be signed between the two jurisdictions in the near future. In addition, Guernsey’s Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott, will travel to China in early November to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office.

Guernsey is also continuing to seek approval for its companies to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), has progressed the signing of a MoU with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and is starting the ball rolling on signing a similar MoU with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).”

Source: Guernsey Financial Services

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