Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, will hold its October board meeting in Beijing to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and China.

“We felt that this autumn would be an excellent time for our board to convene in China, which is one of Manulife’s and indeed the world’s most important and fastest growing markets for financial services,” said Gail Cook-Bennett, chair of the Manulife financial board of directors, in a statement announcing the meeting.

Top Manulife executives plan to meet with Chinese leaders and regulators, along with Manulife’s partners, Sinochem Corp., Beijing, and the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in northern China to discuss opportunities in China.

In related news, last week Manulife Global Investment Management announced that Manulife Asset Management, Hong Kong, was awarded a qualified foreign institutional investor quota of around $193 million from China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

This will allow non-Chinese investors to invest in securities listed on Chinese exchanges, broaden the offerings available to Manulife’s investing clients and expand Manulife’s international investments into China, according to the company.

Manulife says it provides insurance, wealth and asset management services to over 1.5 million Chinese clients through 12,000 employees and agents in 42 cities.