BIS opened its Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

11 July 1998

Press release

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) today opened its Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China.

The office will serve as a regional centre for the activities of the BIS in Asia. Through the establishment of its first representative office, the BIS aims to strengthen further the relations between the BIS and central banks and monetary authorities in the region, to improve the exchange of information and data, to facilitate the organisation of meetings and seminars and to contribute generally to cooperation among central banks and monetary authorities. The BIS has previously operated only from its headquarters in Basle, Switzerland.

The opening ceremony was attended by central bank governors of the major industrial and other regional economies, and by representatives of the host country authorities. Alfons Verplaetse, BIS President and Governor of the National Bank of Belgium, welcomed guests and expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, The People's Bank of China and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for their support in establishing the new office. The ceremony was followed by a reception at Government House, with Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, as guest of honour.

The office and its staff of six are headed by the Chief Representative, George Pickering.

The BIS, founded in 1930, is an international financial organisation with a membership of 45 shareholding central banks. Its main objective is to provide a forum for international monetary and financial cooperation. The BIS also hosts the secretariats of various committees comprising representatives of national financial authorities, e.g. the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems and the Euro-currency Standing Committee, as well as the secretariat of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. Additional information about the activities of the BIS is available on the BIS Web site (http://www.bis.org).