China Daily Gathers Industry Experts to Explore Cross-border Green and Sustainable Finance Opportunities in the GBA

Kate Yau

China Daily Gathers Industry Experts to Explore Cross-border Green and Sustainable Finance Opportunities in the GBA

Hong Kong, Jan 25, 2024 — Co-organized by China Daily and the Asian Financial Forum, a panel discussion session themed “Exploring Cross-border Green and Sustainable Finance Opportunities in the GBA” was held on Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event drew over 230 investors, private equity administrators and investment professionals from diverse financial institutions across the globe.

To achieve the central government's 3060 decarbonization goal, the country is expected to reach peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In alignment with this policy, Hong Kong launched its Climate Action Plan 2050 with the aim of achieving zero-carbon emissions and creating a livable and sustainable city, with substantial growth in the green finance market expected to play a key part.

Leveraging Hong Kong’s robust financial regulatory regime and green bond platform, along with the connectivity mechanism among Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) cities, Hong Kong can play a vital role in facilitating the issuance of green bonds involving various currencies within the GBA. This would enable overseas investors to access mainland bonds via Hong Kong, as well as other cross-border sustainable business ecosystems, while at the same time contribute significantly to the global progress toward carbon neutrality.

Given that green and sustainable finance is a rapidly expanding and promising area of financial activity, this panel discussion session examined how the GBA can contribute to the mainland’s low-carbon economy and what opportunities green finance can bring both to Hong Kong and the GBA.

This session marked the 13th year of collaboration between China Daily and the Asian Financial Forum. Mr Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Group, publisher, editor-in-chief of China Daily Hong Kong and chairman, Asia Leadership Roundtable, kicked off the session with some welcoming remarks. Chaired by Dr DJ Clark, multimedia director, China Daily Asia Pacific, the session featured many esteemed speakers, including Ms Meng Meng, senior advisor, Green Development Institute; Dr Stan Ho Ho Ming, academic dean, the Institute of Sustainability and Technology, adjunct professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Hong Kong; Mr Fei Lau, senior vice-president of Sustainability Strategy, Economics and Strategic Planning Department, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd; Banking – Financing the Transition Working Group Representative, Hong Kong Green Finance Association, joined the panel discussion and shared their insights on the topic.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr Zhou Li said, “Leveraging its robust financial infrastructure, Hong Kong is positioned to facilitate the issuance of green bonds within the GBA. This not only allows overseas investors to access mainland bonds via Hong Kong but also contributes to global progress toward carbon neutrality.”

Mr Fei Lau said, “If we want to achieve carbon neutrality, we have to see ourselves (in the GBA) as one ecosystem and mutually dependent on each other so that we can actually connect all the dots from Hong Kong and the mainland.”

Meng Meng said there are “abundant” investment opportunities in green finance brought about by both the establishment of bilateral and multilateral carbon markets amid the global climate drive. Meng Meng added, “It is essential to leverage the advantages of the GBA and collaborate to promote broader cooperation in carbon markets.”

Dr Stan Ho said, “As the only city in the world that has five universities ranking in the top 100”, Hong Kong holds a significant role in leveraging education for the development of green finance and the entire spectrum of ESG. He added that he hopes students in Hong Kong go beyond just taking one or two relevant courses and instead “be fully proficient in all aspects of ESG”.

About China Daily
Founded in 1981, China Daily reaches 440 million readers and users worldwide through diversified platforms, including newspapers, websites, mobile devices, and social media. As of August 2023, the number of China Daily followers had reached 64 million on Weibo, 20 million on the WeChat blog platform, 105 million on Facebook, and 4.2 million on Twitter.

About the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable
The China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable is a by-invitation network of movers and shakers in Asia, providing platforms for focused dialogue and investigation and possible collective action on strategic issues relating to Asia’s economic, business and social development. Our aim is to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding between China and Asian and Western countries. Roundtable events are held in major cities across Asia.

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Ms Nancy Xiao
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Email: nancyxiao@chinadailyhk.com