Perspectives on the Future of Financial Centers
On May 11th, Dr. Biedermann, Managing Director of World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) visited ZIBS, and was invited to share his perspectives on the future of financial centers as they adapt to the changing economic and digital landscape.

During his welcoming address, Prof. BEN Shenglin, Dean of ZIBS, warmly welcomed Dr. Biedermann, underscoring the crucial role of globalization in the present-day world.

Dr. Biedermann began by introducing the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) and highlighting its jobs and projects. Financial centers play a crucial role in sustaining economic growth by providing the necessary infrastructure for investment and savings, which drive entrepreneurial endeavors and economic progress across industries and communities. Furthermore, they are increasingly contributing to sustainable development and improving financial literacy. Financial centers embrace financial innovation and actively participate in its development. Therefore, WAIFC aims to share the best practices and cross-fertilization among International Financial Centers and to enhance dialogue with public authorities on an international scale.

The alliance's objectives, Dr. Biedermann explained, include promoting the vital role of financial centers in financing the economy and serving as a service industry for their respective countries, corporations, and global businesses. Simultaneously, financial centers need to remind their governments of their roles. WAIFC also facilitates the sharing of practices and promotes collaboration among financial centers, encompassing both cooperative and competitive aspects of innovation.

Dr. Biedermann outlined three WAIFC Objectives. First, WAIFC promotes international financial centers on a global scale via media and other partners. WAIFC shares best practices and communicating jointly. Secondly, WAIFC works to establish robust partnerships with knowledge partners, including consulting firms, universities, and research institutes. The third one, WAIFC adopts a project-driven approach with each project sponsored by one or more financial centers. The value of WAIFC and for the sponsors is in the success of those projects.

After sharing the significant updates regarding WAIFC, Dr. Biedermann provided a comprehensive overview of their various projects, including FinTech Initiative, Sustainable Finance, Inclusive Finance, Green Transformation of Supply Chain, Women in Finance, and the Future of Financial Centers. With regards to the Future of Financial Centers, Dr. Biedermann emphasized that by 2030, these centers would be characterized by being green, smart, innovative, customer-centric, and inclusive.

After sharing the important news about WAIFC, Dr. Biedermann gave a detailed description of their projects, including FinTech Initiative, Sustainable Finance, Inclusive Finance, Green Transformation of Supply Chain, Women in Finance and Future of Financial Centers. When it comes to the part of Future of Financial Centers, Dr. Biedermann pointed out that in 2030, financial centers will be green, smart, innovative, customer-centric, and inclusive. 

Furthermore, Dr. Biedermann discussed the international activities of finance centers, highlighting their roles and the impact they have on the global financial landscape. He emphasized the importance of both competition and collaboration among finance centers. Additionally, he acknowledged several challenges that finance centers face, such as talent shortages in developed markets and geopolitical tensions. Dr. Biedermann stressed the need for finance centers to address these challenges proactively and make concerted efforts to mitigate potential problems.

Moreover, Dr. Biedermann introduced the Young Academic Award established by WAIFC, which recognizes the top three research papers globally on financial centers, the future of finance, and relevant topics like sustainable finance. Expounding on the future of finance, Dr. Biedermann proposed key aspects such as digital transformation, big data and artificial intelligence, regional development, economic change, and sustainability, among which, he highlighted sustainable finance, sustainable investment, and inclusive finance and emphasized the reasons why these areas warrant attention, specifically underscoring the significance of financing the circular economy.

During the Q&A session, a wide range of topics were covered including the relationship with financial centers in Russia, the membership in the association, and the future development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Prof. DAI Yuwen also mentioned FinTech and TechFin, inviting Dr. Dr. Biedermann Biedermann to comment on which will be the trend in the future. ZIBS professors and students expanded their horizons and gain valuable insights into the future of the financial center.
Perspectives on the Future of Financial Centers