This week is my fifth visit to China in the two years I have been Chancellor, a clear sign of the strength of our economic partnership and the importance of the relationship between our two countries. I am here to meet political leaders with the clear message that the UK is a committed and reliable partner and a proponent of open trade and free markets.“Global Britain” is not just a strategy for Britain’s economic future. It is a statement about what kind of people we are – and about the economy and the society we are seeking to build. The UK is committed to free and open trade, as we chart a new relationship with our European partners and also deepen our relationship with the rest of the world.Our partnership with China is already deep and strong, and I want us to keep it growing. Financial services cooperation, in particular, has huge scope to develop and thrive. It is already at the very heart of our annual Economic and Financial Dialogues. The UK is a champion of RMB internationalisation and London is the largest offshore RMB centre after Hong Kong. I want to deepen that relationship as China continues to open up, to encourage greater two-way trade and investment and cement the UK’s position as the world’s premier financial centre. Last week I announced a new Global Financial Partnerships Strategy to bring together governments, regulators, and industry to build an enhanced framework for cross-border financial services. This will facilitate access to markets, increase trade, reduce frictions and position the UK as the gateway of choice for global finance.Financial services is a highly innovative industry, always finding new ways to serve its customers. Fintech – the future of global finance – is another area where I want to deepen our collaboration. The UK is recognised as the best place in the world to set up and grow a fintech business, and in China over 700 million people use fintech every day for payments and investment. This is why we have a Fintech Bridge between our countries, to bring our governments, regulators and entrepreneurs together. The UK and China are also key partners in green finance, together leading global discussions in the G20 and driving global standards on green bonds. There is already clear momentum: just last week both ICBC and Bank of China issued green bonds in London. It is my ambition that the UK leads the world in financing green investment, which is why I announced the establishment of a new Green Finance Institute in London. It will mean that firms from across the world can access our one-stop-shop for both world-leading climate science and financial services. This Institute will house our joint work with China, giving it the dedicated resource and expertise needed to take the relationship to the next level.I also want the UK to seize the great opportunities to lead in the financing of the Belt and Road initiative. The unique combination of financial capacity and legal and professional skills in London makes the UK ideally placed to help create a globally-recognised asset class of Belt and Road initiative projects. That is why I appointed Sir Douglas Flint, the former Chairman of HSBC, to be my Belt and Road Envoy and invited him to join my visit here to China this week. I also want to deepen our collaboration in new and innovative financial services.I look forward to welcoming Vice Premier Hu Chunhua to London later this year for the tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue between our two counties. This an important anniversary in our relationship, held against the backdrop of another important anniversary, the fortieth year since reform and opening up – a fitting backdrop for a meeting between partners committed to free and open markets.
Ghana’s exploits in aquatic sport has received a major boost with the completion of the very first FINA-approved Olympic standard swimming pool which will be known as the Bukom International Pool.The pool situated within and constructed by the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra, houses other facilities including the popular Bukom Boxing Arena, which has hosted many high profile boxing events, the ‘Ga Mashie’ Boxing Hall, conference facilities, a gymnasium and a physiotherapy center.The pool has all standard requirements and fittings required for the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA) certification and will be fully operational next month. The standard 25m by 50m pool also has a giant underground, pumping and filtration plant. It is expected to make massive impact amongst children and youth especially in Jamestown, Korle Gonno, Mamprobi and Chorkor which are the immediate communities around the facility. Mr Kwabena Amponsah-Dapaah, the CEO of the Trust Emporium, told Joy Sports in an exclusive conversation, that his outfit is planning to position the edifice as a hub for major competitions in the West African sub-region.“We have worked very hard in the background to ensure the completion of the pool. We look forward to getting many of the kids in school to develop an interest in the sport and further develop their talents.” “The bigger dream is to make world champions and Olympic Gold medalists out of this place. With regular competition and the right support, we are sure to make a major impact in the sport around the world.”According to him, the facility will also be placed under a strict maintenance regimen to ensure it serves many generations. “We are very aware of the maintenance demands of this big edifice and we are committed to it. We will set different standards, especially as we are within close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean,” Mr Dapaah added.Ghana is yet to make an impact at the Olympics in swimming due to the lack of support locally and the inability of the swimmers to get consistent international competitions. Abeiku Jackson and Kaya Forson go down in history as the first swimmers from Ghana to make it to the Olympic Games in 2014 in Brazil. Ahead of the Abeiku who is Ghana’s highest rated swimmer, competed in three events at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.The Trust Sports Emporium was commissioned by former President John Mahama in November 2016, with the Bukom Arena, serving as a pioneering facility. Since then it has hosted boxing, music and basketball events. The edifice is a joint venture between the government of Ghana, through the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and ETC Polska of Poland.