Asian Financial Forum highlights Hong Kong's new opportunities

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Aerial photo taken on June 27, 2017 shows the scenery on the both sides of the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, south China. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hong Kong's new opportunities amid changes reshaping the economic landscape have been highlighted at the 15th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) which opened Monday.

"The distress and disruption caused by the pandemic over the past two years have taught us the importance of preparing for global crises. That certainly includes climate change," said Carrie Lam, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The HKSAR government expects some 30 billion U.S. dollars in public-sector investment over the next 15 to 20 years to support local carbon reduction measures, Lam said via video at the virtual event themed "Navigating the Next Normal towards a Sustainable Future."

"I'm confident this will also create wide-ranging opportunities for our fast-emerging green economy," she added.

According to Lam, the HKSAR government looks forward to the creation of a global voluntary carbon market and carbon-market opportunities as part of Hong Kong's growing cooperation with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Speakers at the forum also highlighted opportunities for Hong Kong's financial development offered by the national development.

China's top securities watchdog said it will firmly support Hong Kong to consolidate its status as an international financial center and promote the complementary development between the capital markets of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said by the end of 2021, the number of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong had reached 1,222, accounting for 47 percent of the total number of listed companies in Hong Kong.

"The listings boost the global allocation of resources for mainland enterprises to achieve high-quality development, and also create good opportunities for global investors to share the dividends of China's long-term stable development," Fang said in a video speech at the forum.

Xiao Yuanqi, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said a lot can be achieved by Hong Kong's wealth management industry, which can take the advantage to allocate the portfolio globally to meet soaring demand on the Chinese mainland.

Growing demand for reinsurance in the Chinese mainland also means opportunities for Hong Kong, which can provide professional and financial specialists as the traditional center of the industry in the Asia-Pacific region, Xiao said in a video speech at the forum.

As a highlight event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the two-day 15th AFF will present the insights of more than 170 global business leaders, policymakers, financial experts, investors, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists.

The forum is organized by the HKSAR government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

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