New Commerce Ministry, CIC heads likely
BEIJING: China will likely appoint savvy international dealmakers to run its giant sovereign wealth fund and Commerce Ministry in a soft power push to soothe fears over a planned spending spree to boost Beijing's ownership of strategic global assets.
Securities regulator Guo Shuqing is tipped to take the helm at the US$482 billion (RM1.49 trillion) state investment vehicle, China Investment Corp (CIC), and China's chief trade representative, Gao Hucheng, is seen running the Commerce Ministry, two sources with leadership ties said.
The appointment of seasoned, English-speaking financial negotiators to run the two agencies is a sign that China's new leaders will make commercial logic a major thrust of the push for market access that Beijing needs for planned acquisitions of US$560 billion of overseas assets in the five years to end-2015.
"The next government will pay more attention to trade policy and investment policy and the direction will be more open," said Tu Xinquan, associate director at the China Institute of WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Sources with ties to the leadership at China's top ministerial think-tanks say the change of personnel reflects the focus president-in-waiting Xi Jinping and premier-designate Li Keqiang have on furthering China's ambitions in the global economy.
"Here you have people who know the global system, and this is about China becoming much more active in it," said Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business at Indiana University. Reuters