Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna with special representative Hong Kong economic and trade affairs to the European Union Shirley Lam
Photo: Matic Zorman
More Chinese banks are considering opening European headquarters in Luxembourg, finance minister Pierre Gramegna said on Thursday.
Photo: Matic Zorman
Speaking at the Chinalux Chinese new year reception at the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, Gramegna said “there is going to be a lot happening” as a result of the chamber’s last mission to China in November 2017.
“China Everbright is the seventh Chinese bank that chose Luxembourg for its European base. There are some more banks considering it,” the DP minister said on 22 February, adding: “It’s clear that for the authorities Luxembourg is the ideal base for Chinese banks to develop in the European Union.”
More information will likely emerge between now and the next two major missions to China in 2018, including an official financial mission to Beijing and Shanghai from 10-14 September and an economic mission to Hong Kong and Shanghai and the China International Import expo from 5-10 November.
The latest Chinese joiners
An eighth bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, announced plans to open a Luxembourg office back in 2016 but they have yet to come to fruition.
Three fintech firms, meanwhile, announced they would open Luxembourg offices during the November mission. These include China Union Pay, Ant Financial and Ping Pong. Regarding the latter, Gramegna joked that among the main attractions of Luxembourg were the clear and efficient administrative procedures which mean “we don’t play administrative ping pong with companies.”
The occasion was organised half-way through the Chinese New Year celebrations, which began on 16 February, to mark the start of the year of the dog. Gramegna, who was born in the year of the dog, explained it is a year characterised by honesty, loyalty and pragmatism, qualities “a finance minister should have.”
Over 300 people attended the reception at which students from the ISL performed traditional Chinese music. Attendees also learned more about the launch of the new House of Startups, expected to open 1 June, according to director general of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce Carlo Thelen.