The Shanghai authorities have delayed this week’s 14th Lujiazui Forum with no specified resume date. 

The yearly Lujiazui Forum is the city’s most important financial gathering, initially set for September 7th and 8th after being postponed from June. 

According to Bloomberg, the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau said event organizers had to have additional talks over crucial topics. 

An unidentified official told the South China Morning Post that it is unclear if the forum could be held this year. The official attributed this to COVID uncertainties and the unavailability of numerous top banking regulators.

The source said financial officials might be directing their focus toward China’s most important political event, the 20th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party, on October 17th. They might be busy formulating new policies once the congress concludes later in the month. It would leave them little time to attend the two-day conference in Shanghai until the end of the year.

This week’s cancellation of the Lujiazui Forum coincides with China’s heated battle with COVID outbreaks. While holding fast to its Zero-Covid tolerance policy, the country saw nearly all of its provinces ravaged by the novel virus. As a result, just last month, Shanghai requested conference and exposition organizers to postpone or scale down events for the pandemic.

The Lujiazui Forum traditionally takes place in June but was rescheduled for September as the financial hub was recovering from an all-encompassing lockdown. It is jointly organized by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), and the China Securities and Regulatory Commission, among others.

In this year’s meeting, officials are expected to discuss themes ranging from financial opening up and regulation.

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