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China's fintech innovation boosts real economy

The 2021 Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum, which concluded in Beijing on Friday, highlighted the importance of fintech innovation to serving the high-quality development of the real economy through more convenient and inclusive financing.

"Now, thanks to tailor-made applications developed by banks, small and micro enterprises are able to obtain financing more easily, unlike in the past when it took up to a month for banks to conduct credit reviews. This is a typical practice of inclusive financing that could better serve the real economy," said Ji Zhihong, vice president of China Construction Bank, at the forum.

Participants of the three-day event have reached a consensus that the financial sector should meet the more diversified financial demands of the people and the real economy through technological innovation and digital transformation.

"Fintech innovation plays a fundamental role in promoting the development of the real economy through financial services," said Qi Ye, vice president of China Everbright Bank.

"It can push forward the digital development of the industrial economy, accelerate the transfer of offline business to online business, improve efficiency and reduce enterprise management and operation costs," Qi said.

China's central bank has been actively innovating and using structural monetary policy tools to improve the quality and efficiency of inclusive financing in an all-around way to better serve the development of the real economy.

By the end of September this year, the balance of inclusive financing loans to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises was 18.6 trillion yuan (about 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars), up 27.4 percent year on year, which had benefited over 40 million entities, according to Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.

The manufacturing industry has been the main body of China's real economy, making fintech innovation in the sector more than necessary.

It is the duty of financial institutions to serve the manufacturing industry, which will also help them seize market opportunities, according to Liao Lin, president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

In the first half of this year, the balance of ICBC loans to the manufacturing industry exceeded 2 trillion yuan, with loans to strategic emerging industries amounting to 1 trillion yuan, according to Liao.

"Without the real economy, finance would be like water without a source or a tree without roots," said Wang Jian, vice president of the Bank of Beijing. "Considering the new situation of the high-quality development of China's real economy, finance can only be more innovative when it is actively integrated into the real economy."

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