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Leveraging Opportunities in China

An interview with Lisa Robins, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Asia-Pacific and Frank Wu, Head of Trade Finance and Cash Management for Corporates, Greater China, Deutsche Bank

How do you see China’s ongoing importance as a strategic market for your clients?

Despite a slowdown in China’s growth in 2011, we are still envisaging growth of about 8% in 2012, far higher than that of other, more troubled regions, such as Europe and North America. * Consequently, we anticipate that China will remain a key strategic market for our corporate clients. However, there are some important macroeconomic trends that will continue to affect our clients’ treasury, cash and trade finance requirements. For example, the growth slowdown of China’s GDP as a result of depressed overseas demand for Chinese exports is encouraging a greater focus on the development of the domestic economy. This provides opportunities for foreign exporters providing goods and services into China.

Another change is the development of the Renminbi (‘RMB’) as an international currency. As the range of trading, investment and financing options in offshore RMB (CNH) continues to increase, so are companies who are looking at the opportunities of doing business in RMB in addition to exploring options onshore. However, it is important to understand the regulatory framework which remains complex and challenging, with which experienced banks such as Deutsche Bank can assist.

How should treasurers respond to this changing environment?

Treasurers need to remain focused on how best to manage their cash, working capital and the associated risks, and ensure that they have the right banking partners to help them. We are finding that senior treasurers, both in China and overseas, are seeking our help to navigate the complexities of cash and trade in China and understand emerging opportunities, such as RMB trade settlement, financing and investment offshore.