|HK banks to start trial operation of personal RMB service(11/18/03)|
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa announced on Nov.18 that approved by the State Council, Hong Kong banks will be permitted to start operation of personal renminbi services on a trial basis around the beginning of 2004 and the People's Bank of China will offer clearing arrangements for this purpose.
He made the announcement at the a press conference held Tuesday afternoon.
The chief executive said personal renminbi services will include deposit, renminbi yuan-HK dollar exchange, cash remittanceand credit card services, which will be gradually unfolded, with the sole aim to facilitate personal consumption in Hong Kong. All licensed banks in Hong Kong will be able to provide such services,he said.
Tung said it is an important measure taken by the central government to support Hong Kong's economic recovery and will help consolidate Hong Kong's status as an international financial center.
He said the People's Bank of China (China's central bank) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority are expected to sign a memorandumon cooperation in providing renminbi services in Hong Kong on Wednesday, under which the People's Bank of China is to provide clearing arrangements for the trial operation of personal renminbiservices by Hong Kong banks.
Tung said with ever closer links between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, the renminbi bank services would be significant in volume.
He recalled that when he met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Beijing in July this year, the premier said when conditions are mature, the central government would consider to let Hong Kong to enjoy preferential policies for establishing offshore renminbi center in Hong Kong.
Tung said though the establishment of the offshore renminbi center is a long-term target, it is a very important step for HongKong's financial development.