Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg led a financial mission to China from the 24th to the 28th October 2016.
His Royal Highness was joined by Luxembourg Minister for Finance, Pierre Gramegna and a delegation made up of 110 professionals from the financial sector. The delegation attended seminars in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzen organised by ‘Luxembourg for Finance’ with the aim of informing the hundreds of participants present about the opportunities in the Luxembourg financial centre for Chinese investors.
The missions saw several agreements signed between Luxembourg for Finance and Chinese financial groups, particularly highlighting an agreement of cooperation signed between Luxembourg for Finance and the Shanghai Financial Association. There was also an agreement signed between the University of Luxembourg and Shanghai’s Fudan University as well as the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China on the establishment of a Confucius Institute at the University of Luxembourg.
The economic mission in China resulted in the aims of two Chinese banks to open branches in Luxembourg as a result of the negotiations. Plans are underway for the China Everbright Bank (CEB) and the Shanghai Pudon Development Bank (SPDB) to join the existing six Chinese banks established in Luxembourg: the Bank of Communications, the China Merchants Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the China Construction Bank.
Of the news, Finance Minister Gramegna said, “We have succeeded in establishing Luxembourg as the gateway for the Chinese financial industry in Europe” with the Hereditary Grand Duke saying of the mission, “Ties between China and Luxembourg extend well beyond financial services” before adding, “building bridges is what Luxembourg does best.”
The banks were not the only parties interested in establishing branches in Luxembourg, however. The Chinese fintech firm ‘Ping Pong’ (which operates in the field of electronic payments) also announced plans to establish a European office in Luxembourg, with CEO Robert Chen saying that he will apply for the necessary permissions from Luxembourg’s financial supervisory body.
This mission marked the second time this year that the Hereditary Grand Duke travelled to China in his professional capacity. In May 2016 he also visited the country accompanied by his wife, Stéphanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg on an economic mission focusing on trade.