Quarter One 2007
The 11th December 2006 was the fifth anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The anniversary marked the deadline for China to complete the programme of reforms set out by its agreement with the WTO. The most important of these reforms, as far as corporate treasurers are concerned, relate to the Chinese banking industry. The full implications of these measures are discussed in this quarter’s Treasury & Finance News section.
Reforms within the banking sector have opened up many new opportunities for corporate treasurers working in China. Domestic banks are launching new products and offering new services at a breathtaking pace. One such new product is the commercial card. These cards offer corporates attractive opportunities to rationalise and streamline their purchasing models. In this quarter’s Cash Management article we look at commercial cards and the opportunities they present to the corporate treasurer.
One of the most crucial elements of China’s WTO reforms has been the opening of the banking industry to foreign banks. Foreign-owned banks can now apply for a banking licence to conduct renminbi business and offer products such as credit cards. Foreign banks have an important role to play in the development of China’s banking sector, particularly because of their in-depth knowledge of techniques which are relatively new in China. It is important that treasurers are aware of these techniques and the opportunities they create.