Recent news that closer links are being forged with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), with the aim of promoting ‘closer collaboration’ between the UK and the Chinese Government, will be good news for IT contractors in the finance sector. According to the UK Treasury, this is because London may well become an offshore trading centre for the renminbi (RMB) – which is the Chinese currency. In a situation where London gains offshore trading status, IT contractors could find themselves in high demand almost overnight, with many thousands of new contracts and £1bn of new business being created as a result.
The news comes after a meeting between Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and The Rt. Hon. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer which took place in mid January during the Chancellor’s visit to Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The launch of a joint private sector forum, which will be facilitated by HM Treasury and the HKMA, was announced. This will ‘enhance cooperation’ between Hong Kong and the UK and will support the Chinese Government’s policy to develop of an offshore RMB market. The forum will include representation from financial organisations in London and Hong Kong, with Bank of China, Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered already on board. Commenting on the developments Mr Osborne said, “London and Hong Kong are uniquely placed to assist in the development of this exciting market and, further to last summer’s agreement, I am delighted that the financial services industries in both financial centres are working together to achieve this goal.”