An executive at the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) called for China to further open its market to Taiwan’s banking sector in a bid to meet the financing needs of many small and medium-sized enterprises in China.
TWSE president Samuel Hsu (許仁壽), who is also an associate professor in the Department of Finance at National Chengchi University, said many Taiwanese banks, which are well experienced at extending loans to small and medium-sized firms in Taiwancould use their expertise to serve the business sector in China.
Speaking at a business forum on Friday night held in Lujiazui, a financial district in Shanghai, Hsu said that because there is room for direct financing in China to grow, the presence of Taiwanese banks could provide financial assistance to many Chinese enterprises.
Hsu said since Taiwan has about 1.2 million small and medium-sized firms, its banking sector has accrued extensive experience in working with businesses, in particular in the provision of credit to these firms.
“If China allows more Taiwanese banks to provide services in its market, I am sure that the banks will be able to share their experience with their Chinese counterparts and grow with the mainland market,” Hsu said.
In addition to the banking business, Hsu urged Chinese financial authorities to relax regulations on investments in the securities and insurance businesses for Taiwanese operators.
Bank of China (中國銀行), one of the leading lenders on the mainland, opened a branch in Taipei earlier this week, making itself the first Chinese bank to operate in Taiwan, while Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行), the largest lender on the island, has not been allowed to open a branch in China.
Bank of Taiwan is eyeing the huge Chinese yuan denominated business and gearing up to become the primary settlement bank once a currency settlement mechanism across the Taiwan Strait is established.
As Bank of Communications (交通銀行), another leading mainland lender, is scheduled to open a branch in Taipei this month, Hsu said, he expects cross-strait financial exchanges will increase accordingly.
Hsu said that with economic cross-strait exchanges on the rise — bilateral trade last year totaled US$160 billion and accumulated Taiwanese investments in China have exceeded US$100 billion — Taiwan is looking forward to more financial cooperation and forging closer business ties with China.
He added that he hoped Taipei and Beijing would sign a currency settlement agreement as soon as possible.