WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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 at the close of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) held in Beijing May 24th-25th:

“The Engage China Coalition encourages active cooperation and dialogue between the United States and China, which we view as the most constructive means to ensure that the citizens of both nations mutually benefit from the growing bilateral economic relationship. The S&ED provides a vital forum for leaders to address the major economic issues facing both nations and to work toward further modernization and reform of China’s financial markets.

“After reviewing the fact sheets released by policymakers at the close of the talks, Engage China appreciates the renewal of commitments to promote a strong economic recovery and more balanced growth; to promote more resilient, open, and market-oriented financial systems; and to create opportunities for U.S. financial services firms to participate in, and facilitate China’s continued development.

“Our members are of the view, however, that opportunities were missed to advance these important goals. Given the annual nature of the talks, the S&ED provided a valuable and rare forum to address concrete steps that could assist in the global economic recovery, create jobs in America and China, and help China achieve its stated goal of a more balanced economy.

“Opening China’s financial sector to greater participation by foreign financial services firms is the fastest way for China to develop the modern financial system it needs to achieve its goals. Foreign financial institutions would bring world-class expertise and best practices with regard to products and services, technology, credit analysis, risk management, internal controls, and corporate governance, and would contribute to economic growth, job creation, and the further structural reforms China seeks.

“Reform of China’s financial sector should focus on achieving the following core objectives: (1) eliminating barriers to foreign participation in China’s financial sector; (2) eliminating limits on foreign investment in Chinese financial entities, corporate forms of choice, geographic expansion, and product offerings; (3) ensuring that foreign financial sector participants and investors receive the same treatment from regulators and other authorities as domestic participants and investors; and (4) improving regulatory and procedural transparency.

“Fair and competitive access to China’s fast-growing economy also presents a great opportunity for American businesses and workers. Progress on this front would help spur U.S. economic growth and create jobs. It also will play a critical role in achieving President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports within the next five years, as he stated in his most recent State of the Union address.

“We commend Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo for their leadership on this vital dialogue, and encourage them to continue to work for modernization of China’s financial sector.”