Now I declare the founding of China Unionpay Co., Ltd. in Shanghai! This event constitutes a significant breakthrough in the history of development of bankcards and an important measure of the reform on the Chinese banking sector as well. On behalf of the PBC, I would like to extend my warm congratulations on this historical development. I'd also like to extend my best wishes for the newly-born China Unionpay, and my heartfelt thanks to all the leaders from various ministries and departments of the State Council and the Committees of CPC and governments of the Shanghai Municipality and other Provinces, Autonomous Regions and Municipalities and friends from all walks of life.
China Unionpay is established based on the construction of the "Golden Card Project" and successive achievements made in upgrading the acceptance environment of bankcards. Since the inception of the "Golden Card Project" advocated by General Secretary Jiang Zemin in 1993, the PBC and various commercial banks, under the leadership of the State Council and with the support of governments of various localities, have adopted a series of measures to promote the acceptance environment of bank cards. In 2001, the whole nation implemented the instructions of Premier Zhu Rongji as regards promoting acceptance of bankcards, and significant headways were achieved in the work of bankcards. The set targets of the "Golden Card Project" have already been attained. At present, bank card information exchange centers and a national switch center have been established in 18 cities, basically linking up the bank card networks of various commercial banks, and there has preliminarily formed a national cross-bank and cross-region exchange network of bank card information. By the end of 2001, China has issued 383 million bankcards, and the transaction volume has reached RMB8.43 trillion yuan, including RMB92-billion-yuan worth of inter-bank transactions. Bank cards combining modern financial means and information technology have entered thousands of households, greatly benefited the daily life of the masses, expanded social consumption and promoted the development of the national economy.
Distinguished guests, comrades,
At present, with the economic and financial globalizaiton and the development of information technology and financial innovations, there is an ever more clear trend of electronic-based advancement of the monetary and financial transactions, and in particular, with China's entry into the WTO and the successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001, there have been pressing requirements of enhancing the service level and overall competitiveness of the Chinese banking sector. The founding of China Unionpay is just a significant measure of further promoting the construction of the "Golden Card Project" and the acceptance environment of bank cards, of developing the Chinese national bank card industry and of enhancing the overall competitiveness of the Chinese banking industry under the new circumstances. The founding of China Unionpay will, by relying on sci-tech progress and institutional innovation, help plan in a scientific manner the cross-bank information exchange network of bankcards, implement in an all-round way the universal business norms, technical standards and the logo of China Unionpay and speed up the construction of the acceptance environment of bankcards. It will help unite resources of various commercial banks, establish the mechanism of virtuous development of "market resource sharing, joint business development, equitable and orderly competition and service quality enhancement", promote development of the industrialization of bankcards in China. It will also help enhance the service of the Chinese financial sector, speed up the realization of electronic-based financial transactions, adapt to the competition requirements set for the Chinese banking sector after the entry into WTO, and provide favorable environment for the successful hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games.
The PBC will continue to strengthen its leadership in the organization and coordination work of improving the acceptance of bankcards and beef up the supervision on businesses of bank cards. In accordance with the requirements of the leaders of the State Council, the PBC will take the lead in laying down the plan of construction of the credit information system for both the enterprises and individuals. The system will be implemented after approval by the State Council to create a favorable environment for the development of bankcard industry. By 2002, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the Bank of China (BOC) and the China Construction Bank (CCB) should realize the utilization of bankcards within their respective networks in 300 cities. Cross-bank utilization of bankcards will be tried in 100 cities, and the "China Unionpay" cards for cross-bank and cross-region utilization will be introduced in 40 cities. By the end of the 10th 5-year plan period, China will strive to realize completely the inter-city cross-bank utilization of various bank cards. Under the leadership of the PBC and together with various commercial banks, China Unionpay will make great efforts to attain various targets set for improving the acceptance network of bank cards and to turn China Unionpay into a modern financial enterprise with advanced technology, efficient management, first-rate services and outstanding quality.
In the past, we have gained support from international bankcard companies in the development of bankcard businesses in China. The Chinese bank card business boasts the most extensive market. From now on, we would like to cooperate more broadly and deeply with international bank card companies and large commercial banks so as to speed up bankcard business development in China.
Distinguished guests, comrades, We believe, with the rapid development of the Chinese bank card business, the target of " one card in hand, easy travel across the country" will surely be attained!
Thank you all!