On May 2nd, China General Chamber of Commerce–USA (CGCC) and Standard Chartered Bank co-hosted the Market Update Seminar and Welcoming New Members Reception at the Standard Chartered Bank Office in New York City. Speakers from the government, academic, and business field convened at the seminar to share their latest markets perspectives from trade negotiation and the Federal Open Market Committee / Global Foreign Exchange Markets Outlooks. More than 80 guests attended this event.
Torry Berntsen, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Americas opened the seminar by welcoming CGCC’s guests, and said, “We are very glad that today’s event will provide an opportunity for us to contribute back to the Chamber members and its community.” “Standard Chartered Bank has deep roots in China”, he added, “we opened our first branch in 1858 and we are one of the largest and oldest foreign banks in the country, with presence across 30 cities”. Standard Chartered Bank has become a member of CGCC since 2018.
Steve Englander, Head of Global G10 Foreign Exchange Research and North America Macro Strategy at Standard Chartered Bank then delivered a keynote speech about the global economic outlook, recent US-China trade talks, and how the inflation trend in the foreign exchange market could have an impact on the US-China businesses and investors. Englander mentioned, “There is still near term concerns about the upside risk of US-China trade talks. But incentives from both sides to conclude with a deal remain strong. With the caveat that this deal may not be perfect, but as long as everything is moving in the right direction, investors from both countries will benefit from it.”
A panel of four practitioners of Standard Chartered Bank then continued the discussion covering more in-depth market issues including the recent movements of Fed rates and its implications on both developed and emerging markets. The panel is formed by Sonia Meskin, US Economist, Ilya Gofshteyn, Senior EM Macro Strategist, Kai Lin, Executive Director of FX Cash Trading at the bank, and moderated by Anton Chan, the Bank’s RMB Specialist.
At another keynote speech after the panel discussion, Jeffrey Sachs, Director of Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and Senior UN advisor, touched the broader topics of US-China economic relations and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. As a world-renowned economist and long-time advocate for international sustainable development, he stressed the paramount role that a cooperative relationship between the US and the Chinese government can play in global issues such as technology, clean energy, and infrastructure. “China is making great strides in the innovation of advanced technology. This is an important step that any country must take to break through the middle-income trap, and further boost economic growth by increasing the total factor productivity”, said by professor Sachs. He then acknowledged the multilateral approach in the Belt-and-Road Initiative as it provides great opportunities for companies around the world to participate in important projects, but additional monitoring and governance reforms are needed in order to improve its efficiency.
Chen Xu, Chairman of CGCC, President and CEO of Bank of China USA echoed Professor Sachs’ remarks in his speech that followed. He said, “While there is a reason to be concerned about the current state of business cooperation and the regulatory environment, it is my belief that many of the key issues will be resolved soon. That’s not to say there will not be challenges in the future. However, the track record of successful cooperation in virtually every industry and in academic institutions between our two countries has been monumental and mutually beneficial.” Chairman Xu then welcomed the new members who recently joined CGCC, including Bank of America, Beijing Duck Restaurant, Dorsey & Whitney, Montblanc.
Closing remarks were given by Chunfang Gu, the Economic and Commercial Counselor of China in New York. She recognized CGCC’s effort in having members make constructive dialogues and cooperation, “I am glad to see many new faces who have joined the big family of CGCC, including both Chinese companies and American companies. This is very encouraging. Economic and business ties are the cornerstone for China-U.S. relationship. Ensuring stable and healthy growth of our business cooperation serves the fundamental interests of both China and the US.”
New members welcome cocktail reception was held after the speaking program.
Founded in 2005, the China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (“CGCC”) has been recognized as the largest and most influential non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the U.S. Its membership consists of more than 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies, 54 of which are ranked on the 2018 Fortune Global 500. CGCC’s mission is to create value, generate economic growth, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities. CGCC conducts extensive research and provides a broad range of programs, services, and resources to its members and key stakeholders in an effort to foster the mutual understanding, trust, and engagement between China and the U.S. As of 2018, CGCC’s Chinese member companies have cumulatively invested over $120 billion, employ more than 200,000 people, and support over one million jobs throughout the United States.
CGCC is a national organization and includes CGCC-New York (CGCCUSA-HQ), CGCC-Chicago, CGCC-Houston, CGCC-Los Angeles, CGCC-San Francisco and CGCC-Washington D.C.