A seminar about the internationalization of the renminbi is held in Qianhai in September. Zhong Huadeng / for China Daily
Since the establishment of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in 2010, innovation has been a driving force in the area, most notably innovative financial policies.
Over the past five years, a number of financial policies have been introduced and implemented in Qianhai and have played a large role in promoting financial cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
One financial policy allows enterprises in Qianhai access to Hong Kong's cross-border renminbi business and to acquire loans in the southeastern Chinese city. By the end of September, approximately 31.47 billion yuan ($4.92 billion) in cross-border renminbi loans were issued. Over the first three quarters of the year, roughly 13.31 billion yuan in new loans were issued, representing a 67.6 percent year-on-year increase.
Qianhai has also been making achievements in issuing cross-border renminbi bonds. In April, Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings issued 1 billion yuan in dim sum bonds in Hong Kong with an interest rate of 4.55 percent, marking the first Qianhai concept bond successfully issued in the special administrative zone.
Industry experts say financial innovation is vital for the development of Qianhai, which is included in the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Trade facilitation, investment liberalization, administration simplification and financial internationalization are four elements of any free trade zone, said Ma Weihua, president of China Entrepreneur Club and former president of China Merchants Bank, during an annual conference held in Shenzhen last month.
Among them, financial internationalization is the most important because it forms the backbone for the other financial policies.
Qianhai paces economy with new financial policies
"Financial innovation is a priority," Ma said.
The favorable financial environment in Qianhai has attracted a large number of financial organizations.
By the end of September, roughly 26,000 financial institutions and related service organizations had been registered in the zone, accounting for 51.7 percent of the total number of enterprises registered. Among them, 19 are banks, 52 are securities companies and 14 are insurance firms.
Another of Qianhai's financial innovations has come in the Internet finance sector. By the end of September, 1,681 e-finance firms had been founded in the zone, including the first privately owned e-bank nationwide, WeBank.
Established by Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, WeBank seeks to offer loans in a more efficient and convenient way. One of its products, Weilidai, began providing services in May, allowing individuals to borrow up to 200,000 yuan through QQ and WeChat platforms. More than 6 billion yuan in loans has been loaned out thus far.