On April 10, 2022, CF40 held its 14th Annual Conference in Beijing themed “Finance in Support of High-Quality Development: Reform and Outlook”. The event comprised of a closed-door seminar in the morning, a luncheon, and two parallel sessions in the afternoon.
The closed-door seminar, moderated by CF40 Secretary-General Wang Haiming, kicked off with a keynote speech by Zhou Xiaochuan, President of China Society for Finance and Banking and former Governor of the People's Bank of China. He focused on the funding of China’s healthcare and senior care sectors, calling for intensified research and discussions on several core issues: 1) how to determine the contribution of the business sector to social security programs so as to ensure sufficient funding without causing too much burden to businesses; 2) how to resolve legacy obstacles from the era of planned economy; 3) how to balance the roles of central and local governments in funding healthcare and pension programs; 4) whether equal access to these programs by all groups of people and regions is realistic; and 5) how to define a proper central-local government relationship with sound accountability mechanisms to avoid moral risks and adverse selection.
The speech was followed by a CF40 report presented by Zhang Xiaohui, CF40 Nonresident Senior Fellow and Dean of the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University, on “Finance in Support of Technological Innovation.” Xiao Gang, CF40 Nonresident Senior Fellow and former Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), and Liu Guoqiang, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC), provided comments.
The luncheon revolved around “International Situation and China’s Coping Strategies”, featuring a keynote speech by Yu Yongding, CF40 Advisor and Academician at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The session was moderated by Qian Yingyi, Professor at the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University.
Parallel Session I in the afternoon concentrated on China’s macroeconomic situation and capital market, and was moderated by Wang Haiming. Zhang Bin, CF40 Nonresident Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) at CASS, and An Qingsong, President of Securities Association of China, delivered keynote speeches titled “New Economic Policies are Needed to Revive the Economy” and “The Registration-based IPO System Injects New Momentum into China’s High-Quality Development” respectively.
According to the experts, the downward pressure on the Chinese economy at the moment mainly comes from market contraction, as exhibited in four aspects: a crippled service sector; a strained real estate sector and depressed local government financing vehicles (LGFVs); Covid resurgences and control measures containing economic recovery; and commodity price hikes and supply chain disruptions. They called for interest rate policy adjustment to bolster up market confidence, intensified fiscal efforts to support market participants struggling amid the pandemic’s blow, as well as measures that stabilize expectations regarding regulatory policies and prevent excessive slide in the real estate market. Yin Yanlin, CF40 Advisor and Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, Levin Zhu, member of CF40 Executive Committee, and Gao Shanwen, member of CF40 Academic Committee and Chief Economist at Essence Securities, provided comments.
Parallel Session II explored how to promote the high-quality development of China’s financial sector. Wang Yi, CF40 Member and Deputy General Manager of China Everbright Group, first addressed the audience on “Fundamental Issues in Promoting High-Quality Financial Development”, which was followed by a presentation by Huang Yiping, CF40 Academic Committee Chairman, on “Financial Regulation: From Form to Essence”. Gao Xiqing, CF40 Advisor, Professor at the School of Law of the University of International Business and Economics, and former Vice Chairman of the CSRC, Yang Kaisheng, CF40 Advisor and former President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and Liao Min, member of CF40 Academic Committee and Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, then shared their views on related issues of concern. Wang Xin, CF40 Member and Director-General of the PBC Research Bureau, moderated the session.
Speakers pointed out that China is finding itself in an increasingly complicated environment at home and abroad in pursuing high-quality financial development, with mounting systemic risks and slowed economic growth in addition to sluggish financial innovation and impaired ability of the financial sector in boosting the real economy. One cause of the problems is a lack of effective regulation. The experts advocated for more substantial, open, transparent, fair and consistent regulatory frameworks and rules as well as appropriate incentives to address these problems. They further suggested China renew its endeavors to build a comprehensive financial safety net with clearly-defined accountability and risk sharing mechanisms.
More than 300 experts from policymaking agencies, the financial industry and academia attended the conference.