• Coinciding with the resumption of quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland following three years of restrictions, the success of the 16th Asia Financial Forum marked a promising start to Hong Kong’s financial development in 2023, Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Deputy Executive Director Patrick Lau Hui-ping said. “As the first major international event of the year, AFF brought together thousands of global business leaders, financial and wealth management experts, entrepreneurs, technology giants and economists, far exceeding our expectations,” Lau said. “It’s clear that everyone knows where the real financial opportunities are.” Organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the HKTDC, the AFF kicked off on Wednesday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The two-day event was held in physical format with digital extension. Following two years of being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first time that the forum had returned to physical format. The forum attracted more than 1,000 participants on the first day, including more than 100 global leaders and officials invited as speakers. “We are delighted to see the tremendous interest from financial and business leaders from around the world in joining the forum and enthusiastically participating in the discussions and activities,” Lau said. “The first day of the forum was a great success. It fully demonstrated the vitality of Hong Kong’s financial industry and reflected the potential of Hong Kong as an international financial center.” This year, more than 40 panel discussions and workshops were held to explore major global issues, such as environmental, social and governance, sustainable development, inclusive capital markets and family office challenges. The forum also featured investment project matching sessions to connect global investors and project owners in order to facilitate more concrete business cooperation. “The AFF has built an exchange platform full of opportunities for all the participants to have closer interaction and create more business opportunities, through which international participants are able to match more business partners in the Hong Kong ecosystem,” Lau said. “It once again showcased Hong Kong as a vibrant international financial and business hub.” Outside the two-way forum, a variety of exclusive travel, food and hotel discounts for overseas delegates were provided by the HKTDC, to enrich their stay in Hong Kong. Regarding the resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland from Sunday, Lau expects to see more Hong Kong companies entering the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area market to deploy their business in the future. Following the resumption of the normal cross-boundary travel, more initiatives or activities will be introduced this year to help local companies expand in the mainland market, especially in the Greater Bay Area, he said. “Especially as this year coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, we expect to see closer ties between the two sides.” “The HKTDC will actively promote business cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland, and leverage the city’s international advantages to serve the country and help mainland enterprises go global.”
  • The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region plays a crucial role in developing charities in the country, thanks to its unique position as a bridge between the Chinese mainland and overseas, and its access to knowledge from global organizations, panelists said at a panel discussion at the Asian Financial Forum on Thursday. In Hong Kong, "we have the international community and we are the gateway to a huge market on the mainland. So we have the best mix of markets and professionals. (We can get) advice from international organizations with a lot of experience," Secretary-General of Yidan Prize Foundation Edward Ma Yat-ling said at the panel discussion, which was themed "Philanthropy in the Post-pandemic Era" and sponsored by China Daily. Hong Kong "is also a very convenient place to convene for everyone to share ideas, and it's easy to partner with and visit organizations as well," he added. Ma Weihua, chairman of the board at China Global Philanthropy Institute, said that the mainland's charity system can learn from Hong Kong's strengths in its private sector and robust legal system. Mutual communication between the international financial center and the mainland will benefit the development of the country's philanthropy. "Hong Kong people are not only doing good in their own city but are also going north to do charities, helping boost the mainland's public welfare," he said. According to Hong Kong think tank Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society, donations from local individuals account for 32 percent of the budgets of charities in Hong Kong. In addition to talking about the situations in Hong Kong and on the mainland, Ma also noted there had been significant changes in philanthropy during the pandemic. One was that people's awareness of the need to support charities has been enhanced in the face of global disasters. He said that a charity fund he chairs saw rising donations in the past few years despite facing external headwinds like an exodus of talent. "The number of participants getting involved in charities is growing, illustrating that people increasingly realize they have a shared future," he said. David Fong Man-hung, managing director of Hip Shing Hong (Holdings), said the city is "a good place" to start philanthropy and gain experience as it is a financial center where East meets West. Fong, who is the son of Hong Kong billionaire Fong Yun-wah, said a charity needs to keep reforming itself before it gets disrupted or becomes irrelevant, and be very observant of what the world and society need. These are also reasons why foundations need to connect with peers and get themselves involved in a lot of government activities, so they can stay in touch with society, he said. Fong described the COVID-19 pandemic as a wake-up call for his foundation and business, saying he came to realize that humans are very vulnerable and people's lives are fragile. He added that the company or the foundation could easily lose balance and direction if the chairman of the business or charity were hit by the pandemic. "We need to spend a lot of time and effort preserving that harmonious family relationship as well as cultivating the board cultures. Because once the chairman, particularly the founders, tends to be very dominant, they set the direction, and they set the investment direction as well," Fong said. "Once that is lost, it makes business and charity very difficult. And that's why we are spending a lot of time preparing ourselves for crisis as well as upgrading our governance, and our board members, such that all our values are aligned," he said. "And if the chairman is no longer there, I think the charity will keep running as it was." Daniel Chan Ching-yan, chairman of Po Leung Kuk - a Hong Kong-based social service organization and fundraiser - said there are a lot of rich people who are willing to make big donations, but what they look for are people and organizations that can really do something, rather than just hand out money. "We have been making our role as a unique connector between Hong Kong government, enterprises and other local organizations or NGOs and our local citizens, especially those people that need it," Chan said. The two-day forum, held both in-person and virtually, assembled thousands of top entrepreneurs, senior officials and opinion leaders from over 70 countries and regions to share their insights on issues related to global finance and the economy, and explore cooperation opportunities.
  • 2023年1月12日,由中國日報與亞洲金融論壇合辦題為“後疫情時代的慈善事業發展”的專題研討會於香港會議展覽中心舉行,此次研討會是亞洲金融論壇系列活動之一,吸引到逾百名基金會負責人、慈善機構、企業家及金融、法律界人士參會。 亞洲金融論壇AFF為全球政府、金融及商界領袖提供上佳平台,促進他們交流真知灼見及發掘投資商機。論壇為期兩日,由香港特區政府與貿易發展局合辦,適逢香港與內地首階段免檢疫通關,亞洲金融論壇以實體回歸灣仔會議展覽中心,彙聚各地財金商界領袖親身到場出席。 行政長官李家超在開幕演講時表示,外部因素的不確定性將在今年對香港構成壓力,短期前景可能充滿挑戰,但未來一片光明。在祖國持續支持下,香港作為連接內地與世界其他地區的國際金融中心優勢必將進一步增強。他強調,香港可以為企業和投資者提供良好的營商環境,與國際接軌的法規、資本和人員的自由流動,以及和內地發展深度融合帶來的豐富機遇。 本屆亞洲金融論壇的主題為“推進轉型:創效•共融•創新”,第八任聯合國秘書長潘基文、紐西蘭前總理海倫•克拉克、Global Optimism聯合創辦人及《聯合國氣候變化框架公約》前執行秘書菲格雷斯、盧森堡大公國財政部財政部長Yuriko Backes閣下、菲律賓財政部長Benjamin Diokno、泰國財政部長Arkhom Termpittayapaisith等多個國家及地區的政府官員、金融及商界領袖共同交流探討投資商機。 本次專題研討會已是中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇與亞洲金融論壇的第十二次合作,經歷過兩年的線上論壇,終於在2023年初回歸線下。專題研討會由保良局主席陳正欣博士、協成行發展有限公司董事總經理方文雄先生、一丹獎基金會秘書長馬逸靈先生、深圳國際公益學院董事會主席馬蔚華博士擔任討論嘉賓,共同探討後疫情時代下慈善事業面臨的機遇與挑戰,中國日報亞太分社多媒體總監大衛•克拉克博士擔任主持。 陳正欣提出,很多人都願意捐款,但根據我們的經驗,他們希望捐贈給真正能做點什麼實事的人和組織,而不僅僅是分發一大筆錢。 方文雄認為:“作為一家慈善機構,我們需要不斷自我革新。與此同時,我們需要對世界需要什麼、社會需要什麼保持敏銳的觀察力。這也是為什麼我們需要與許多其他慈善基金會建立聯繫,並參與大量政府活動,這樣我們就可以與社會保持聯繫。我認為這是非常重要的一點。一旦我們失去(與社會的)聯繫,我們就會迷失方向”。 馬逸靈認為,慈善機構應當在後疫情時代緊密合作。我們將更具戰略性地考慮慈善事業的長期影響。 我可以看到亞洲慈善事業正在興起。香港是召集慈善活動,分享想法和合作的最佳場所。 馬蔚華說:“疫情給慈善事業帶來其中一個巨大的變化的領域是數字公益。例如,騰訊公益發起的‘99公益日’,自2019到2021年,在互聯網平臺上的籌款數額從17.83億到30.44億到41.69億(人民幣)。互聯網數位技術打破了過去只有捐款捐物這種模式,拓展了公益的邊界,完善了公益的生態”。 馬蔚華指出,另外,財富管理與公益慈善是緊密相關的,有很多家族辦公室值得關注。特別是疫情後,家族企業的年輕一代迅速崛起,他們將成為新思想的豐富來源,深圳國際公益學院也在積極探索如何為他們提供成長路徑。 當世界各國在努力應對全球大流行病的經濟影響時,緊迫的社會和環境問題開始成為首要問題。慈善不僅僅是捐贈財產,其主要目標是支援那些對社會有積極影響的事業。 今年亞洲金融論壇舉辦超過40場不同形式的討論環節及工作坊,探討環球財金經貿及可持續發展等熱點話題,論壇亦特別增設“環球視野”系列,並續辦“明日對話”及“爐邊對話”環節,讓與會人士可以更宏觀角度,掌握全球最新形勢。 有關中國日報 中國日報是中國國家英文日報,是中國與世界交流資訊的重要管道,已形成全球化、分眾化、多語種、全媒體傳播體系。全媒體用戶總數超過4億。中國日報新聞使用者端擁有180多個國家和地區的3900萬使用者,是我國唯一下載量過千萬的英文新聞用戶端。中國日報在微博、微信、臉譜和推特等海內外社交媒體平台上不斷提升影響力,其中,臉譜帳號粉絲數於2022年10月超過1.05億,位居全球媒體帳號粉絲數第二位。 有關中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇 中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇(, 創建於2010年,旨在搭建一個由亞洲國家和地區的政、商、學界領袖和社會精英參與的高端對話和交流平臺,圍繞亞洲地區經濟、商業、產業和社會發展等具有戰略影響的重要議題展開討論和分享見解,以增進中國與亞洲國家和西方國家的交流和理解。迄今,在港澳和亞太多個國家和地區舉辦近110屆,逾6萬名決策精英參會。 有關亞洲金融論壇 亞洲金融論壇AFF為全球政府、金融及商界領袖提供上佳平台,促進他們交流真知灼見及發掘投資商機。超過66,700名觀眾彙聚于2022年的亞洲金融論壇探索引導思維和建立人脈網路,並體驗嶄新的金融科技新一代的商業理念。
  • Hong Kong is ramping up financial technology innovations and green and sustainable finance initiatives to ensure the city can contribute to the building of a global inclusive, innovative and sustainable economy. Political heavyweights and policymakers made the remarks at the two-day 2023 Asian Financial Forum on Wednesday and Thursday, organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, with participants from more than 70 countries and regions. This year’s forum invited more than 100 participants to share their insights on international finance and economy, trade, sustainability and other issues. There were more than 2,000 live participants, with 3,000 others attending the event online. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said the HKSAR administration has launched two rounds of the Fintech Proof-of-Concept Subsidy Scheme in the past two years to encourage fintech players to test innovative concepts that can boost operational efficiency and expand customer services. “The scheme approved more than 90 projects in 2021, covering key financial service areas such as wealth management, regulatory compliance, insurance and payment. It also funded the trial of robo-advisors and the digitization of anti-money laundering, risk monitoring, client authentication, insurance claims and ESG (environmental, social and governance) technology assessment,” the chief executive said. The funding plan’s second round is still open and more than 120 applications have been received to date, Lee added. With the administration’s efforts to promote fintech, Hong Kong now boasts more than 800 fintech companies, up from about 180 five years ago, providing services from virtual banking, asset management and insurance technology, to robo-advisory, blockchain, digital trading, payments and cybersecurity, he said. “We are working closely with our financial regulators and public agencies to enhance Hong Kong’s fintech infrastructure, provide an enabling regulatory framework, encourage financial innovation and nurture talent,” Lee noted. The Faster Payment System, launched in 2019, is another fintech innovation that helps in promoting financial inclusion in Hong Kong. FPS registrations reached some 11 million in 2022 with more than 80 percent of government departments providing the service as a payment option. The Commercial Data Interchange, launched in October last year, allows enterprises to share their data with banks through a central platform, enabling more convenient financial services. Besides fintech innovation, Hong Kong is eyeing a green and sustainable financing hub status to make a contribution to building a global sustainable economy. Last week, Hong Kong SAR issued $5.75 billion worth of ESG bonds denominated in US dollars, euros and offshore renminbi, the world’s largest ESG bond issuance in Asia to date, and the first issuance of green bonds by an Asian government in a triple-currency offering. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu said, “The financial industry is an important part of Hong Kong’s economy, and the industry should not only serve its own interests but can also use capital to benefit society.” The financial services chief added that the recently launched carbon credit trading platform can help Hong Kong to become a hub for green and sustainable finance. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President and Chair Jin Liqun concurred, saying “Hong Kong is well placed to become a regional carbon credit trading hotbed matching the financing needs of greenhouse gas reduction projects in the Chinese mainland with global investors and emitters, and the city definitively can play an outsized role in mobilizing financial resources towards Asia’s net-zero transition.” Hong Kong possesses immense potential to emerge as Asia’s green finance hub, Jin argued, with the city’s 67 initial public offerings launched in 2022 whereas 72 percent of the $87.8 billion in capital raised on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was directed toward new economy ventures. Green and sustainable financing is particularly important for Asia as “the region’s development has been carbon intensive, and the region is also likely to suffer disproportionately from climate change”, argued Theresa Kho, director general of the East Asia Department at the Asian Development Bank. “From 2019 to 2022, the ADB has invested the equivalent of $20.4 billion in climate change projects,” Kho said, adding that the ADB in the future will scale up innovative financing solutions, and set up a community resilience financing partnership facility, to catalyze climate finance. The forum saw the attendance of Ban Ki-moon, the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations; Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand; and Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Finance chiefs from Luxembourg, Thailand and the Philippines also joined the forum.
  • Hong Kong may face short-term challenges due to the uncertainty shrouding the global economy, but the future looks bright, thanks to the continuing and wide-ranging support of the country and the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said. The chief executive made the remarks on Wednesday at the opening of the two-day 2023 Asian Financial Forum, organized by the HKSAR government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, with participants from more than 70 countries and regions attending in the form of 20 international delegations. This year's Asian Financial Forum has invited more than 100 global business leaders, policymakers, financial and wealth management professionals, entrepreneurs, technology innovators and economists to share their insights on international finance and economy, trade, sustainability and other issues. There are more than 2,000 in-person participants, with 3,000 others attending the event online. Lee cited the International Monetary Fund's data that global economic growth is likely to slow from 3.2 percent last year to 2.7 percent this year, with outlook fraught with uncertainty. That external uncertainty will weigh on Hong Kong this year as the city is a small, open and free economy which relies heavily on external trade and investment. "Thanks to the continuing and wide-ranging support of our motherland, Hong Kong's strengths as an international financial center linking the mainland and the rest of the world are primed to proliferate," Lee said. The chief executive also said the city is actively enhancing its strengths as an international financial center, a global offshore renminbi hub and an international asset management and risk management center, under the clear direction of the 14th Five-Year (2021-25) Plan. The city also strives to continue expanding the mutual access between the financial markets of the mainland and Hong Kong. "Thanks to our 'one country, two systems' principle, Hong Kong is blessed with a wealth of prospects, in financial services, in trade and logistics, in innovation and technology, in arts and culture, and much more. So many good stories to tell. So many opportunities to realize," Lee said. READ MORE: HK residents excited to resume dual-city life as border reopens HKTDC Chairman Peter Lam Kin-ngok told the forum: "We need to revitalize and transform so that we will be better equipped to withstand any crises in the future. Global cooperation has become more important than ever and our collective aim is to stimulate growth." The forum included a plenary session focusing on how global cooperation can be strengthened to tackle challenges ranging from the COVID aftermath to supply chain crises, from geopolitical conflicts to soaring costs of living. "By keeping inflation low and stable, we could create an environment that encourages firms and households to do their businesses, promote productive activities and foster innovations," said Zhang Tao, chief representative of the Bank for International Settlements' Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific.
  • China’s economic recovery will be a significant boost to the global economy, with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region being an “immediate beneficiary”, a forum heard on Wednesday. Describing the economic challenges faced by the world as “very difficult”, HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Mark Tucker said at the Asian Financial Forum that China’s reopening and a package of measures to stabilize the property market will be positive for both the country and the globe despite the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. “Hong Kong and the entire Greater Bay Area are likely to be immediate beneficiaries of the Chinese mainland’s reopening and I expect to see a strong recovery from the second quarter onwards,” he said. The sentiment was shared by the chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China, Gu Shu. “China will strive to accelerate economic recovery in 2023 and will begin to achieve faster growth in the second quarter,” Gu said, adding that the priorities will be given to rebooting confidence and expanding domestic demand. Gu said it’s confidence that could provide the basis for promoting development across different sectors such as consumption, the housing market, and investment from private sectors and overseas entities. “The encouraging policies and measures issued recently will help regain confidence and solid ground for China’s economy to grow as a whole,” he said. Gu added that consumption accounts for two-thirds of China’s GDP, and the country’s ongoing efforts to upgrade its industry system will further promote domestic demand. READ MORE: Border reopening with mainland: Lifeline for HK Addressing the same event, Standard Chartered Group Chairman José Viñals said the reopening of China is going to contribute to Asian growth “very significantly”, adding that the Hong Kong SAR will benefit a lot from that. “Hong Kong, with its amazing resilience and vitality, I think it’s going to contribute to spreading that growth coming from China and play an important part in the recovery of Asia,” he said.
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