THE delegation from the Financial Services Branch has come back after a week-long visit to Beijing and Shanghai with the strong message that Chinese authorities are determined to pursue the course of a market economy despite encountering difficulties. Financial Services Secretary Michael Cartland said the Chinese Government was committed to reform while realising that the way forward was rife with problems. 'One of the major impediments for financial services is the absence of a fully exchangeable currency,' he said. While setting the target for a fully convertible currency in the year 2000, the Chinese Government would constantly review its feasibility. In Beijing, the Hong Kong delegation met officials of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, the People's Insurance Co and the State Council Committee on Securities. In Shanghai, the delegation visited the foreign exchange trading system,the stock exchange and saw the developments in Pudong. Although the Chinese Government is aiming to turn Shanghai into a regional financial centre by the year 2010, Mr Cartland said the city would not pose a serious threat to Hong Kong. 'We both realise that the Chinese economy is already so big that there should be room for two financial centres,' he said.