WASHINGTON, DC – Engage China, a coalition of eleven financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement with China, with an emphasis on continued financial sector reform in China, released the following statement on President Obama’s upcoming trip to China:

“Engage China applauds President Obama’s commitment to build on the critical U.S.-China economic partnership – one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. While efforts have understandably been focused on domestic responses to the economic crisis, it is equally important to recognize the opportunities to create jobs and spur our economy that exist beyond U.S. borders and through engagement with China.

“While current economic circumstances can complicate the relationship, we believe that they also offer a unique opportunity for the U.S. and China to build a more balanced, sustainable, and mutually beneficial relationship.

“As President Obama meets with Chinese economic and policy leaders this week, we respectfully urge the President to focus on greater market opening reforms in China’s financial services sector. Now more than ever, U.S. and Chinese leaders must work together to address the current challenges that face the global economy. There is a critical link between the need for reform and modernization of China’s financial sector, and the G-20’s call for a more balanced pattern of global economic growth.

“As nations around the globe contemplate regulatory reforms stemming from the financial crisis, it is sensible for China to pursue financial services modernization. Such reform and modernization will help China achieve its economic goals, including building a more services-based, consumer-driven economy, while also benefiting the economies of other nations. Further, a more active Chinese consumer is a critical step toward addressing persistent trade imbalances. Moreover, fair and competitive access to China’s fast-growing middle class and business sector represents an enormous commercial opportunity for American manufacturers, farmers, and service providers, with major implications for U.S. economic growth and job creation.

“We wish President Obama a successful trip to China and thank him for his leadership on this important issue.”

The Engage China coalition includes the American Bankers Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, American Insurance Association, the Bankers’ Association for Finance & Trade, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Financial Services Forum, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Futures Industry Association, the Investment Company Institute, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Find out more at www.EngageChina.com.