On Aug 28, the CEO of LC Venture, Gaston Chee joined the distinguished panel of speakers at the Finance China 2020, an event organised by The Asian Banker, a research and intelligence powerhouse providing relevant and up-to-date information on strategic developments in the financial service industry in the Asia Pacific region. The Asian Banker organises yearly events and conferences and round table discussion as part of its yearly Forums. The Country-level Annual Finance Conferences cover over half a dozen countries in Asia and in West Africa.
Finance China is one of the leading Finance Conferences and brings together financial institutions, regulators, policymakers, economists and services providers every year to meet and share professional insights, work on detailed solutions and discuss the latest trends in the industry. This year’s Finance China 2020 conference was held in the city of Shenzhen, the tech and innovation hub of China and was sponsored by LexingFintech and Kaixin Financial Service Co. Ltd. and organised in partnership with Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF), The Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium (FISCO), Shenzhen Association of Entreprises with Foreign Investment (SZAEFI) and other financial and tech associations located in Shenzen. Held under the theme: A new decade of Reforms, Challenges and Opportunities, the Conference focused on how China’s financial institutions can turn the existing pandemic crisis into an opportunity, accelerate industry development through further opening-up measures as well as the wider and deeper application of disruptive and innovative technologies. The event brought together over 20 speakers from leading Chinese banks, regional and international organisations and many financial institutions and fintech companies.
Robert Koopman, Chief Economist and Director, Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization (WTO) was invited as the keynote speaker. Speaking to the attendees from Geneva via live stream, he stated the WTO has recorded the lowest trade momentum in trade volume barometer and a record low in global GDP. He said the WTO remains confident for a recovery in 2021 although the current decline is expected to continue in 2020.
The conference also discussed comprehensive reform of the financial sector for an open global economy, the next wave of opportunities unlocked by technological innovation, easing financing difficulties for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), further opening up of financial sector and global supply chain and rebuilding global confidence through cooperation and collaboration.
Gaston Chee joined the Cooperation and Collaboration – Rebuilding Global Confidence Panel and was joined by Professor Cao Heping from the School of Economics, Peking University and Hu Bofei, Deputy General Manager of International Business Department at China Construction Bank (CCB). Professor Cao presented how the digital economy will be key in the continued economic rise of China while Ms Hu spoke about the leading role commercial banks in China are taking as major players globally and combining innovative technology such as blockchain to support many foreign trading fintech companies expand abroad.
Sharing his transnational investment experience in the Sino-UK business environment and especially in the context of the pandemic, Gaston Chee said more than ten years since he first travelled to China, the country has come a long way in attracting inbound investment and echoed how the process of opening-up has accelerated in recent years, especially in the education sector where LC Venture has made major investment and continues to invest.
Gaston also stressed the commitment from the CPC leadership in creating an investor-friendly environment and especially commended the measures taken during the early days of the pandemic and the resulting stability, which is why he thinks China will continue to attract more and more inbound investment in the future. The flexibility shown by local businesses and the business-friendly policies adopted by the Chinese government and the country’s well-developed e-commerce infrastructure were also key in ensuring minimal disruption from the pandemic and ensured an economy recovery in record time.
Further discussing on outbound investments, Gaston highlighted how the UK also mirrored these advantages largely due to well-established institutions and the comprehensive institutional policy which makes the UK an attractive destination for cross-border Chinese investments. He also stated measures taken by the UK government in providing much-needed fiscal support to UK-based businesses, with a cash injection and interest-free loans, had ensured SME’s were able to continue operating in the UK and abroad.
Speaking on the role of technology to sustain global cooperation and help investment, Gaston highlighted that in the wake of the existing disruptions from Covid-19, tech-based businesses will continue to attract foreign investment in the future due to their adaptability. Using BeGo Education, one of LC venture’s the highest investment portfolio as a case study, Gaston shared how the firm had to restructure its operation to incorporate cutting-edge technology to be able to continue to serve its body of clients closely during the pandemic and to offer its services to the community. He also mentioned how BeGo Education even opened-up its premium online classes for free to students from Wuhan.
Gaston concluded his speech by affirming that although technology and innovation will continue to play a huge role in future, is it important to realise that technology is just an enabler and companies should not neglect the human element to their operations and should remain customer-centric while continuing to strengthen their management team and be flexible to adapt to rapid changes.
Held at the St. Regis Hotel in Shenzhen, the Finance China 2020 conference was conducted hybrid where there were hundreds of participants in attendance and over 20,000 attendees who joined via a live streaming.
The full video record of the Conference is available here.