Liu Mingkang, Chairman and President of the Bank of China has been made the Vice Chairman of the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The IIF is the global association of banks and other financial institutions which represents their interests around the world.

Liu's elevation to the second most important job in the Institute is a further example of the growing international integration of the Chinese banking system. After China's accession to the WTO, international investment is now queueing up to enter the Chinese banking market. In the same process, Chinese banks are desperate to learn all they can about modern, international banking practices as they await the onslaught of foreign competition.

Sir John Bond of HSBC fame is the Chairman of the IIF and Liu will join three other Vice Chairman on the board - Bill Rhodes from Citigroup, Josef Ackerman from Deutsche and Tasuku Takagaki from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

Speaking about his appointment, Liu said: "I am delighted to become a Vice Chairman of the IIF. China has just become a member of the World Trade Organization and we anticipate a growing integration of the Chinese economy with the global economy. The IIF will play a key role in this process on behalf of financial institutions. I look forward to being part of the leadership of this unique organization."