Guernsey's Chief Minister Lyndon Trott has met with Madam Fu Ying, Vice Foreign Minister in the Chinese Government, during a delegation to strengthen relationships between the two jurisdictions.

The meeting took place at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing a year after Madam Fu visited Guernsey in her previous London-based role as the Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St James's.

During the meeting she proposed the launch of an exchange programme between pupils from her old school in Inner Mongolia and students from the Guernsey College of Further Education.

"It was a pleasure to meet again with Madam Fu," said the Chief Minister.

"Guernsey's relationship with China has grown steadily over the last year or so and much of the credit for that success rests with Madam Fu due to the significant influence she has in her role as one of China's most senior diplomatic officials."

Madam Fu visited Guernsey at the start of November 2009. At the conclusion of the visit, she spoke of her admiration for the way Guernsey had developed as a leading international finance centre during the last 50 years and praised the Island for its bold and innovative decision to establish a representative office in Shanghai at the end of 2007.

Madam Fu's three-year tenure as the Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St James's, commonly referred to as the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, concluded earlier this year. She then took up her post in Beijing as only the second female Vice Foreign Minister since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.

Earlier today she met with the Chief Minister who is leading a ten-day delegation from Guernsey to Beijing and Shanghai. He is being accompanied by Peter Moffatt, Director of the Investment Business Division of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) and Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry.

Mr Niven said: "We were very privileged to be able to have this hour long meeting with Madam Fu because she is so busy with such a heavy schedule. She is set to accompany President Hu Jintao during his forthcoming visit to France and then she will be hosting British Prime Minister David Cameron. Indeed, I believe that she is not seeing any other delegations at the moment but specifically agreed to see us because of the relationship we have built during the last year."

Mr Niven added that Madam Fu was pleased to see Guernsey had signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Chinese Government and she was glad to hear that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office is imminent, while work continues on an MoU with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and signing a similar MoU with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Mr Niven added: "Madam Fu has also launched an exchange programme for school students and is in the process of establishing the scheme with the help of sponsorship funding from Standard Chartered Bank. During our meeting she proposed that pupils from her old school in Inner Mongolia could participate alongside students from the Guernsey College of Further Education.

"This is something that both the Chief Minister and I fully endorse as a way to broaden the understanding of Guernsey within China while at the same time providing our own younger generation a fantastic opportunity to have the experience of visiting this rapidly developing nation.

"Overall, we had a very positive meeting with Madam Fu which has further strengthened our ties with China."

The Guernsey delegation will now move on to spend a week in Shanghai where the Chief Minister is expected to sign the MoU with the Shanghai Municipal Financial Services Office and there will also be meetings with the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shanghai Bar Association.

Mr Niven will then lead finance industry trade delegations from Guernsey to a wealth management conference and an investment fund conference in Hong Kong, as well as holding discussions to progress gaining approval for Guernsey companies to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).

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