Synergy in Singapore! Britain opens dialog with Asian tiger on renminbi, financial technology, infrastructure and payments

The United Kingdom and Singapore held the inaugural UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue in Singapore at the end of last week. The Dialogue was chaired by Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Mr Charles Roxburgh, Director General (Financial Services) of HM Treasury, and attended by senior officials from MAS, the Ministry of Finance (MOF), HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The Dialogue facilitated deeper financial and economic cooperation between the two countries. Discussions covered a broad range of issues encompassing the global economy, financial regulatory reforms and financial market development – including offshore Renminbi (RMB), fintech and payments, infrastructure financing, Islamic finance, insurance and asset management. The meeting deepened mutual understanding and strengthened financial ties between both countries.

The Dialogue discussions identified areas of joint interest and fostered a commitment for further collaboration across a number of issues. In particular:

  • Both sides welcomed the private sector-led Singapore-London RMB Forum which took place on 27 January, and looked forward to further cooperation between the two countries’ financial institutions.
  • Singapore and the UK agreed to collaborate in promoting greater private financing of infrastructure development in SE Asia, including through public private partnerships (PPP), and agreed to host an event on the issue.
  • The UK welcomed Singapore’s decision to participate in the next meeting of the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group (GIFIG) and agreed to work together more broadly to promote the development of the global Islamic finance market.
  • Singapore welcomed UK support for financial integration in ASEAN, particularly in capital market development. Both sides recognised the importance of ASEAN and the opportunities for trade and investment for the region and beyond.
  • Both sides welcomed the launch of the TheCityUK’s ASEAN Market Advisory Group, a private sector initiative that will further deepen trade and investment ties between the UK and SE Asia, including Singapore.
  • Both sides shared experiences relating to the implementation of measures to tackle financial crime, including the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards set out in the G20 High Level Principles on transparency of beneficial ownership. Both sides also agreed to work closely through the FATF on the issue of de-risking.

The establishment of the Financial Dialogue and RMB Forum was first announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam in February last year. Both sides agreed that the next Financial Dialogue would take place in London in 2016.

For the official announcement from the MAS click here.

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