Germany, China to sign deals to deepen cooperation in financial sector: document

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and China want to sign two agreements to deepen their cooperation in the financial sector later this week, a German government document seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A student holds flags of China and Germany before a welcome ceremony hosted by China's President Xi Jinping for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

The deals are part of German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s efforts to convince China through dialogue that opening up its economy for foreign businesses is in its own interest.

According to the government document, Scholz will attend a signing ceremony on Friday in Beijing where German financial market regulator Bafin will sign two agreements.

The first deal will be an agreement with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to deepen cooperation and the second with China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the document showed.

“We are in the final stages of sealing the two agreements with China,” a senior government official said.

“There is still some back and forth on a few details. But we hope that the last hurdles can be removed during our talks in Beijing,” the official added.

During his two-day visit to Beijing that starts on Thursday, Scholz will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for talks to deepen Sino-German cooperation.

Scholz, a senior Social Democrat and vice chancellor in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government, wants to use the talks to press China to further open up its economy, in particular for foreign banks and insurance companies.

In November, Beijing let Germany's Allianz Group ALVG.DE establish China's first foreign insurance holding company.

During his visit to Beijing, Scholz will also push for Germany to become a central hub for Chinese and renminbi-denominated financial products in Europe.

Germany hopes to benefit from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union as banks are shifting operations from London to Frankfurt to maintain access to the bloc’s single market.

International debt is another important issue for Germany. China has become one of the largest lenders in emerging markets while not being a member of the Paris Club of creditors.

“Scholz will call on China to agree to a better exchange of data with the Paris Club in order to increase debt transparency,” a finance ministry spokesman said.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin