China’s commitment to reducing pollution will create opportunities for Europe, according to HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver. Speaking at an HSBC conference in London, Mr Gulliver said China “has introduced strict environmental standards and enforcement; state lenders have been told to increase green finance; and Chinese investors have been asked to source sustainable investments both at home and overseas. This isn’t a political sop. It is a serious statement of intent.”

He added that European companies and countries are well positioned to benefit from China’s shift to a more sustainable economic model because of their expertise in clean technology and experience of developing forms of sustainable financing such as green bonds. Exporting this knowledge could provide commercial opportunities as well as improving the global environment, he added.

Mr Gulliver was speaking at the ‘New Roads to China – China’s global future, RMB and reform’ conference that was held on 16 October. It brought together economists, businesses and investors to discuss recent developments and long-term reform in the world’s second-largest economy.

Mr Gulliver acknowledged China’s recent stock market volatility and slowing export growth, but said that the long-term case for greater engagement with the country remains strong: China is set to urbanise further, incomes will continue to rise and the renminbi will become more integrated into the global financial system.

He added: “Volatility is absolutely natural in any market-driven economy and it should not be allowed to distract from the fundamentals of China’s journey.”

HSBC Global Research forecasts that the Chinese economy will grow by 7.1 per cent in 2015.

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