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UK official urges financial liberalization in Taiwan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-16 06:21 PM
The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Fiona Woolf, finished her two-day visit in Taipei Wednesday. During her visits with some high-ranking officials in Taiwan, she expressed concern over Taiwan’s tight regulation over financial products and its initiative to develop an offshore renminbi(RMB) market.

Speaking of Taiwan's capability to develop an offshore RMB center, Woolf said frankly that the poor diversity of RMB financial products and services would deprive the country of good opportunities to attract more RMB deposits. Woolf advised the Taiwan government to properly deregulate its financial market to lure more RMB deposits to the island.

In response to Woolf's call, an official from the Central Bank said that market relaxation should be carried out in a steady process instead of a rapid change. The official added that Taiwan's RMB business serves different purposes from London’s. The former is provide convenience to Taiwanese businessmen in China in conducting trade, unlike the latter which focuses on foreign exchange transactions. Also, political sensitivity needs to be taken into consideration in RMB business development, said the CBC official.

FSC Chairman Tseng Ming-chung said the visit with Woolf touched on financial products in the UK that are available to Taiwan's institutional investors and how Taiwan's banks can learn from London. In response to her disagreement with tight regulation as weakening Taiwan's market competitiveness, Tseng said Taiwan can still take advantage of close trade relations as well as geographical convenience with China to develop an offshore RMB market which will be of benefit to Taiwanese businessmen. At the same time, Taiwan is ready to greenlight 26 types of financial businesses which might help Taiwan move closer to becoming an offshore RMB center.

Woolf said although she was impressed by the volume of Taiwan's RMB deposits and saw great opportunities with Taiwan, the red tape binding new financial products could discourage financial activities. She advised the Taiwan government to observe the rule of the free market to attain greater innovation and efficiency.

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