As the countdown to the beginning of the COP22 conference continues, it’s important to understand what the perspectives of the major stakeholders will be. It’s no coincidence then that Joël Ruet, our well-traveled Chairman at The Bridge Tank, decided to make a trip to China this past weekend. Mr. Ruet spent Sunday, October 30, in Guangzhou, a sprawling port city and mega metropolis in the southeast of China, where he participated in a discussion on a topic that is sure to be on everyone’s mind going into the COP: finance.
The conversation was organized around a series of presentations followed by a round table discussion with experts on this area. The co-organizers were the People’s Bank of China, Guangdong University of Finance, and the Guangzhou-Tianhe Central Business District.
Mr. Ruet delivered one of the presentations with the title: “Financial Innovation and the Development of the Banking Industry Based on Global Perspectives”. His talk was split into three components: current challenges, banking business opportunities, and an action-oriented set of solutions for tackling existing obstacles and seizing present opportunities. Although the presentation took a global perspective, it was also tailored to the mostly Chinese crowd, and focused on financing green projects. This has been one of the recent research focuses of The Bridge Tank, given that it will feature as a critical issue in moving the objectives of the COP22 forward.
Mr. Ruet was then invited as one of the speakers in a round table discussion on the topic: “Opportunities and Challenges for the International Business of Commercial Banks Under the Background of RMB Internationalization”. The host of the discussion was Daner Li, president of the Guangdong-Nottingham Advanced Finance Institute. Other speakers included Mohamed Shaban, professor at the University of Sheffield; Yujing Xing, president of the Shenzhen branch of People’s Bank of China; Xingnan Wang, vice president of the Guangdong University of Finance; and Xinghua Cai, deputy director of the Guangdong branch of the Bank of China. The discussion was lively and focused on innovative steps forward.
The conference provided a preview of what’s to come at the COP22, and underlined the importance of finance and action on following up on the promises and objectives set forth in the Paris agreement last year. Mr. Ruet will be spending another day in China before racing home to share his findings with the team and prepare for the culmination of all of this work and globetrotting: the COP22 in Marrakech.