Deloitte: China continues to attract foreign investors in financial services despite pandemic
By CGTN's Global Business

The Chinese government's continued reforms and opening up had managed to attract a "large number" of foreign services firms into the country this year, despite a dampened global sentiment due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Deloitte on Friday.

Vivian Jiang, Vice-Chair of Deloitte China, said that China's continued policy reforms have further attracted global investors, especially in the financial services and healthcare sectors.

"We've actually seen a large amount of foreign investors even during the pandemic. For example, brokerages, securities houses, and insurance companies. Those have a pretty very strong inflow into China despite the pandemic situation," Jiang told CGTN in an interview on the sidelines of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

In recent years, the Chinese government has undertaken reforms that allowed greater accessibility for foreign investment firms, including relaxing ownership restrictions. One major milestone was when the foreign investment law came into effect on January 1 this year, seen as a major tool to level the playing field and expand market access.

Earlier this week, Citi announced it had become the first U.S. bank to receive a domestic fund custody license from the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Citi was the latest among other foreign financial institutions to expand their operations in the Chinese market.

Other examples include asset management giant BlackRock receiving approval to set up a wholly-owned asset management business in China, Daiwa Securities receiving the nod to open a joint securities venture in China, and German insurer Allianz becoming the first fully foreign-owned insurance holding company in China.

"From a policy perspective, we've had the Chinese government continue to open up."

"This year in 2020 is really the first year where the foreign investment law is in play. By lifting foreign investment restrictions, it allows more foreign investors to participate in the China market," she said, adding that there's huge potential in China for these foreign firms.

Jiang also said that new IP protection and data security rules and regulations also enhance foreign investors' confidence level to operate in China in terms of service sectors.