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Forum seeks ideas to turn Shanghai into global center
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Shanghai hopes a high-level annual international financial forum to be held in the city will generate many interesting ideas and initiatives from home and abroad to help it build itself into a global financial center.

The theme of the first Lujiazui Forum will be ''Deepening financial reform: China and the world,'' with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng and central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan co-chairing the conference.

Shanghai hopes to establish the event, which is named after the financial zone in the Pudong New Area, as an international brand forum for the city, the government said in a release.

China's central bank, securities, insurance and banking regulators as well as the Shanghai government will co-host the event on May 9 and 10, which will be attended by more than 300 government officials and financial executives.

''Shanghai needs to hear more from both home and abroad in terms of developing a financial center,'' said Fang Xinghai, director of the municipal government's financial services office. ''We hope to build the forum into the best of its kind in China and one of the most influential in the world.''

This year's forum will particularly focus on the recent global financial turmoil led by the United States subprime loan crisis and the outlook for the world's financial markets amid bad-debt challenges, Fang, a former World Bank economist and former deputy chief of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said.

Other topics will cover the management of foreign-exchange reserves, financial innovation and related risks as well as the yuan's convertibility under the capital account, according to Fang.

Participants will also discuss China's macroeconomic scenario and how to deepen the country's financial reform with proper risk controls, Fang said, adding that overseas markets should also be made more open to Chinese companies.

(Shanghai Daily April 24, 2008)

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