Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | 12:00 AM EDT - 12:00 AM EDT

Fang Xinghai, an alumnus of the National Committee’s Young Leaders Forum and former deputy director of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, became deputy director of Shanghai’s Office of Financial Services in 2006. In his remarks to National Committee members and guests, Dr. Fang focused on steps Shanghai is taking to position itself both as China’s financial center and, over the longer term, an international financial center. He stated that becoming an international center will not be feasible until the RMB becomes fully convertible, a process that he believes should happen only gradually.

During the Q&A portion of the program, the audience raised questions about the transfer of H shares to A shares (and vice versa), the need for greater transparency and a body of law that will facilitate a modern financial sector, and the attraction of Hong Kong’s exchange for mainland Chinese firms.