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Friday, March 16, 2001, updated at 15:59(GMT+8)
Business  

Shanghai to Become an Int'l Financial Center in 15 Years: Expert

The world famous "Economist" Group held its annual session in Shanghai March 13-15. It was the first time that the Group ever held its annual meeting in China and the 6th roundtable meeting for its CFOs (Chief Financial Officers). "Shanghai's financial status" is one of the important topics of the meeting.

"As the economic center of China, Shanghai attracts worldwide attention", said Tom Leander, chief editor of "CFO Asia", another member magazine besides "Economist" of the Group. Tom Leander showed great excitement in his words and manners when talking about Shanghai, "I like the mysterious and splendid buildings here. The city is always full of exciting things."

Tom Leander cast an eye especially on the prospects of Shanghai's development. He told the journalist that he believed that Shanghai will become an international financial center in 20 years. "Oh, no. It should be in 15 years", he corrected himself after a split second of thought. Tom explained that Hong Kong is superior for a set of advanced legal systems constructed; however, with China's access to the WTO, Shanghai will also be able to win the confidence across the world.

Tom reminds people that Shanghai has had a solid infrastructure foundation that is just under progress to become an international center. The first task now is to improve the construction of laws and regulations here. It is also a problem for the whole country presently. He said the Chinese government played a considerably active role in the reform over the past several years, however, there are more unavoidable problems that have to be overcome one by one, for instance, to provide a favorable institutional environment and improve the transparency of work, etc. He regarded the recent appointment of Laura M. Cha as a step of the efforts made by the government for overcoming the above problems.

When asked if China's entering the WTO will affect its financial field, Tom answered that both Chinese enterprises and foreign-funded enterprises have equal opportunities after China's further opening to the outside world. Influence, if it does exist, will only be the first step. The final result must be that both Chinese and foreign enterprises coexist and jointly develop in this country. Tom added China's financial industry shoulders heavy responsibilities. Fundamental reforms are to be carried out in many fields such as securities market.

In many people's heart, Shanghai is "China's New York", said Leander, when many people in other places are behaving in accordance with the "government's guide", Shanghai residents have devoted themselves to practical pioneering work. He emphasized that taking the opportunity brought about by the annual session, "CFO Asia" and the "Economist" Group will pay much more attention to the city.



By PD Online staff member Du Minghua



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Tom Leander cast an eye especially on the prospects of Shanghai's development. He told the journalist that he believed that Shanghai will become an international financial center in 20 years. "Oh, no. It should be in 15 years".