Asia Financial Forum kicks off 2021
More than 10,000 professionals from around the world attended HK Asia Financial Forum, held online for the first time on January 18 and 19, 2021. Presentations by government officials, regulators and executives from top investment banks explored the conference theme of reshaping the global economic landscape.
The agenda’s broad mix of topics included perspectives on financial inclusion, cybersecurity, and digitalization. In addition, senior Hong Kong and Global Bay Area government agency leaders emphasized their commitment to allocating funding, resources, and infrastructure to foster a business-friendly environment for emerging FinTechs, both local and international.
The two-day format was ideal for a digital event; brief breaks between sessions afforded opportunities for reflection and engagement. The FinTechHK StartUp Salon and InnoVenture Salon showcased fast-paced demos by ambitious startups who pitched ideas and products to seasoned venture capitalists whose feedback helped them communicate even more effectively.
More than 160 business leaders, policy makers and investors covered trending topics, including global economic recovery, FinTech, 5G and sustainable development post pandemic. While the pandemic negatively impacted Hong Kong’s economy and led to a decrease of 2020 GDP by more than 6 percent, the market’s resilience has encouraged investors and stakeholders. Following are opportunities discussed and highlighted by global leaders at the conference:
- Since 2009, HK has ranked the number one market for IPO globally seven times. Throughout the pandemic, investors showed confidence in the market with December 2020 confidence levels about 49 percent higher than the same time period in 2019. In addition, Hong Kong has been recognized as the second largest listing platform for biotech companies worldwide.
- By end of 2019, HK was the largest offshore Renminbi market. Around 75 percent of offshore renminbi payments were processed through HK, with total deposits exceeding 700 billion renminbi by the end of October 2020.
- The Greater Bay Area’s emerging economies, which include Hong Kong, Macau and developed cities from Guangzhou, represent a population of more than 72 million, with a combined GDP of 1.7 trillion USD.
- Government and private sectors have collaborated to create healthy FinTech ecosystems. The launch of the FinTech proof-of-concept subsidy scheme provides incentives for financial institutions to partner with innovative FinTech companies on varied projects. The level of support from both public and private sectors is remarkable.
In the past decade, Mainland China’s middleclass has increased in numbers from 100 million to over 400 million. Fintech leaders expect Hong Kong to play a pivotal role in creating business development opportunities and attracting capital from all over the world to China’s markets.
Tracy Lai, FinTech Consultant, Partner at LYSTAR GROUP
Tracy Lai provides strategic and business development solutions to executives, and entrepreneur. Her professional experience includes work at Fortune 500 companies including Intel and RBS, and startups. Her expertise covers business development, risk management, project management and investor relations, in Financial Services, FinTech, Innovation, Technology and Education. As management consultant and FinTech advisor, she holds multiple senior roles with focus on cross border and cross industry collaboration, including projects in US, Asia and Europe.