As China’s role on the global stage expands, Bank of China’s Yunfei Liu talks to flow about the foundations needed to build bridges in international trade, the popularity of RMB financing in Belt and Road countries, and where Western banks fit into the picture
When Yunfei Liu finished high school in Beijing, she didn’t choose a career in international trade finance; it chose her. As one of China’s new generation of professional women entering the workforce a decade after the state set about economic reform and opening up, and fired up with a passion for learning, her path was set after she took a university entrance examination to determine what she should study.
She assesses the impact this had on her future: “It is important that you do well in this examination because if you pass it, you have a chance to change your life for you and your family.”
And change her life it did. With a degree in economics and financial policymaking, one might guess that she obtained this in Beijing, China’s political and cultural centre. Instead, she headed for her mother’s home city, Shanghai – Middle Kingdom’s hub of fashion and finance – where she studied from 1987−1991. Given that most universities in China are government-owned, students are usually placed with local entities after they graduate. But Liu had worked hard and achieved high marks, so was immediately assigned to Bank of China’s graduate programme back in the Beijing head office.
This article takes a closer look at her long career with the Bank of China and provides some context around the bank’s relationship with Deutsche Bank. Their shared cultures of loyalty and passion for making trade happen have not only resulted in longevity, but have also set the tone for future bridge-building.
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