Leaders of Multinational Companies Seek Further Cooperation Through Belt and Road Initiative

Several leaders of multinational companies offered insights on closer cooperation at the Belt and Road Summit sponsored by the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday.

D.J. Pandian, vice president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said that AIIB can work together with other multinational development banks to develop a common framework for cooperation.

"Investment in infrastructure is huge, one bank cannot do it, so we need to bring other development banks, private banks and commercial banks together," he said.

Douglas Flint, group chairman of the HSBC Holdings plc, said that the internationalization of RMB can be a great driver of the Belt and Road Initiative and the initiative will be a further impetus for RMB internationalization.

He said that investment and trade finance will be predominantly in RMB, and if the bond market is going to take off, it will be a further impetus for internationalization of RMB.

He noted that the success of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect provides an opportunity for Hong Kong to develop the bond market linking the west with the mainland.

Lin Jingzhen, deputy chief executive of BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited said that RMB use is progressively active in countries and regions along the Belt and Road routes, and Hong Kong should take the opportunity to make relevant plans to consolidate and enhance its RMB business advantage.

Lin expected RMB to be a major currency for countries and regions along the Belt and Road routes. He said that the U.S. dollar index will remain relatively strong in the long run, so the yuan can be risk-averse as currencies of countries and regions along the Belt and Road routes are under depreciation pressure.

He added that as an international currency, RMB will play a role in trade settlement, financial transactions and state reserves.

Lin believed that RMB settlement has a huge development potential in commodities, infrastructure financing and e-commerce, suggesting that Hong Kong follow the example of Singapore to introduce measures that can not only benefit financial and business sectors, but also promote the development of offshore RMB market.

"We must improve RMB financing channels which include syndicated loans and bonds, and enhance offshore RMB risk hedging functions," he noted.

K C Chan, secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of HKSAR government pointed out that it is very important to create market-based, safe and predictable conditions for investors.

Editor: Li Jing