SWFs could help global stability: forum

SWFs, as long-term investors, could play a countercyclical role in providing global financial and economic stability, the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds concluded last week in Beijing.

In a statement, the Beijing Communiqué,  issued after the forum ended, the secretariat said delegates “felt strongly that the Santiago Principles remain a valid, robust, and transparent framework for SWF investing and urged recipient countries to utilise the Principles to maintain openness towards foreign investment, and guard against discrimination of SWFs compared to other institutional investors”.

In his address to the forum, Li Keqiang, vice-premier, State Council of the People’s Republic of China, said the world was undergoing major adjustment and transformation. “It is important to promote global economic recovery and prosperity by addressing the uneven development in the north and south countries,” he said.

Lou Jiwei, chairman and CEO of the CIC, urged the forum to work together and with other countries to promote a non-discriminatory investment environment for SWFs while continuously contributing to the recovery of the global economy and financial stability. The group was also addressed by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor, People’s Bank of China.

Delegates reaffirmed the importance of the forum for better understanding of the Santiago Principles and SWF activities during the post-crisis phase. The forum agreed to a permanent secretariat funded by members, and this would be based at the International Monetary Fund for a transitory period.

Next year’s forum will be in Mexico in May, and the 2013 meeting will be in Oslo, Norway.