On September 29th, the Second Annual Conference on Finance of Renmin University of China (2018) was held in Beijing with the theme of "China's 40 years of reform and opening up and the development of China's financial discipline". The conference was hosted by Renmin University of China (RUC), and was jointly organized by the School of Finance, School of Business, School of Economics, Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies (RDCY), Institute of Finance and Securities, and Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion. The conference attracted nearly 500 participants including the faculty and students from School of Finance of RUC and other universities, experts and scholars from social financial research institutions, and media representatives.
Jin Nuo, chair of RUC University Council, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. Wu Xiaoqiu, vice president of RUC, and Li Yang, former vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, gave keynote speeches. The opening ceremony was presided over by Zhuang Yumin, dean of the School of Finance and executive director and dean of RDCY.
Jin Nuo said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up and the 40th anniversary of the restoration of RUC. Over the past 40 years, the process of China's financial marketization has been accelerating, the structure of the financial system has changed, and the influence of technology finance has also played an unprecedented role. The talents cultivation of the financial discipline faces a series of new challenges. She said that RUC’s excellent financial discipline has contributed to the development of Chinese financial discipline, laying the foundation for the leading position in China's financial higher education.
Wu Xiaoqiu stressed that in the past 40 years, China's finance has undergone profound changes in terms of scale, structure, format, function, competitiveness and international influence. China's finance has transformed from a relatively traditional backwardness with the characteristic of planned economy to a market-oriented finance with modern financial characteristics. He said that the top priority for China's finance at present is to build a modern financial system and achieve the goal of financial power at a "low-profile, firm, and pragmatic" pace.
Li Yang pointed out in his speech that there are still many debt issues in the world despite ten years after the after the financial crisis. As of April 2018, the global debt was as high as $320 trillion. Global debt of developed economies and emerging economies are all rising. When talking about the issue of deleveraging, Li Yang said that even if the whole process of de-leveraging is controllable, due to the large volume and complicated structure, it is difficult to ensure that there is no systematic problems spreading in reality. Therefore, de-leveraging needs a comprehensive and careful consideration.
Zhuang Yumin presides over the opening ceremony
Then, Qu Qiang, director of China Financial Policy Research Center, presided over a roundtable forum. Eight scholars, including Song Min, Dean of Economics and Management School of Wuhan University, Wu Weixing, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of International Business and Economics, Wang Guogang, Professor of the School of Finance of RUC, Wang Changyun, Dean of Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance, Zhang Chengsi, deputy dean of the School of Finance, Liu Zhenya, professor of the School of Finance, Song Hua, deputy dean of the School of Business, and Chen Zhongyang, Professor of the School of Finance, had a multi-angle discussion from the perspectives of financial reform, market economy, capital market innovation, real estate bubble, development of financial discipline, the relationship between politics and finance, RMB internationalization, technology finance, supply chain, and risk management.
Zhao Xijun, deputy dean of the School of Finance, presided over the luncheon session. Wang Wen, Executive Dean of RDCY, firstly gave an introduction to Danilo Türk, former president of Slovenia and non-resident senior fellow of RDCY. Wang said that Mr. Türk is a world-renowned politician, jurist and social activist, who is also remarked as the first national head of state to be a Chinese Think Tank researcher in the history.
Then Mr. Türk delivered a speech. He pointed out that global environmental issues, especially the utilization and distribution of water resources, are more important than short-term hot issues. In the construction of water conservancy infrastructure, several financial issues such as cost, capital investment, and risk control need to be paid more attention.
Lu Lei, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, delivered a speech at the luncheon. He stated that gradual reform and innovation as well as the decisive risk mitigation have been going through the past few decades. In the new historical period, the major initiatives of the 40 years of reform and opening up, including financial reforms, naturally have the original intention of problem-oriented and risk-solving.
In the afternoon conference presided over by Wang Changyun, eight research reports released by professors from various Schools of RUC, such as “The Agency Cost of Political Connections: Evidence from China’s File”, “Short sales, investors’ information exploitation and price efficiency: Evidence from the Chinese market”, “Understanding Housing Demand in Urban China”, which confirmed that RUC financial discipline “has a very strong theoretical foundation and a well-balanced talent pool” mentioned by vice president Wu Xiaoqiu in the previous speech.
The conference concluded with the summary of Zhang Jie, director of the Academic Committee of School of Finance, and the session was presided over by Tan Songtao, deputy dean of the School of Finance.