HONG KONG, Jan 5, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - As a highlight event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the 15th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), organised by the Government of the HKSAR and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will be held entirely online through the AFF virtual platform on 10 and 11 January. This decision has been made with public safety as the primary concern, and in line with the tightening of the government's public health measures in response to the latest pandemic developments. The two-day forum will help participants from both Hong Kong and overseas build business connections, exchange market intelligence and seize global opportunities.
Wilson Chow, PwC Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader; Patrick Lau, HKTDC Acting Executive Director; Mary Huen, Chairperson, AFF 2022 Steering Committee; and Ma Jun, Chairman and President, HK Green Finance Association [L-R]
Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance
Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank
Running on the theme "Navigating the Next Normal towards a Sustainable Future", more than 170 global business leaders, policymakers, financial experts, investors, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists will speak at AFF 2022. In addition to addressing the key issues reshaping the economic landscape amid the gradual global economic recovery, the speakers will shed light on how industries can realise sustainable and inclusive development through impactful venture capital and business strategies. In addition, the forum will host AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Sessions and a fintech exhibition to help participants identify investment opportunities and explore innovative solutions.
A stellar line-up of heavyweight speakers will give the keynote speeches on both days. They include Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank, and Brett King, Founder of Moven and bestselling author. They will impart insights and perspectives on a variety of topical issues across different fields, including how the financial industry, regulators and policymakers should step up their concerted efforts and build a sustainable financial system to mitigate the threats posed by climate change; and how the emergence of innovative fintech enterprises presents both an opportunity and a challenge to the banking and financial industries.
Speaking at the press conference today, Mary Huen, Chairperson of the AFF 2022 Steering Committee and Executive Director and CEO, Hong Kong, and Cluster CEO of Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said: "The pandemic has led us to enter the era of the new normal. The world's economy and businesses are resuming under a new model. Entering 2022, changes in the global landscape continue to deepen, while governments and enterprises in different economies are taking innovative approaches to promote sustainable development. I hope we can see stable growth in the global economy this year."
Patrick Lau, Acting Executive Director of HKTDC, noted: "Even though it has been two years since the onset of the pandemic, businesses are still facing all sorts of challenges, and versions of the new normal are continually emerging in different sectors. We must step further ahead to sense the pulse of the market and generate business opportunities. The theme of AFF 2022 is sustainable development, which is a goal shared by everyone touched by the pandemic. We must strive to conserve our natural resources and minimise the impact of climate change."
Spotlighting policy responses to climate change and economic recovery
The global pandemic has led to paradigm shifts in many aspects of the economic and business landscapes. Economies are taking action to support economic recovery while mitigating the risks of the global crisis brought about by climate change. On the first morning of AFF 2022, Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR, will host a plenary session to address this subject. Panellists will include Vincent Van Peteghem, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand's Minister of Finance; Sean Fleming, Ireland's Minister of State at the Department of Finance; Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Jin Liqun, President and Chairman, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Verena Ross, Chair, European Securities and Markets Authority; Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman, Islamic Development Bank; and Marcos Troyjo, President, New Development Bank.
In the afternoon, a policy dialogue will focus on measures to achieve longer-term sustainability goals and keep climate-related financial risks at bay. The session will be chaired by Eddie Yue, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, who will be joined by Ashley Alder, Chairman of the Board, International Organization of Securities Commissions, and Chief Executive Officer, Securities and Futures Commission; Benjamin Estoista Diokno, Central Bank Governor, Philippines; Klaas Knot, Chair, Financial Stability Board and President, De Nederlandsche Bank; Teresa Ko, Trustee, International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation China Chairman, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and Ma Jun, Chairman and President, Hong Kong Green Finance Association.
Four thematic panels shed light on ESG, sustainability and more
In the nearly 60 sessions being held at AFF 2022, a roster of distinguished global policymakers and business leaders will share their insights on a host of topical issues relating to the event's theme, including the global economic outlook, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, climate change and sustainability.
As the world enters 2022, the global economy is riddled with myriad uncertainties, yet digital transformation could provide new impetus for businesses. At the panel discussion titled "Global Economic Outlook", speakers including Paul M Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG; Liu Jin, President, Bank of China Limited; Tian Guoli, Chairman and Executive Director, China Construction Bank; Shriti Vadera, Chair, Prudential Plc; and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC, will discuss the global outlook and share their thoughts on how corporations and financial institutions can help to shape an inclusive, resilient and sustainable landscape in the years to come. The session will be chaired by Victor Chu, Chairman & CEO, First Eastern Investment Group.
With ESG practices becoming mainstream, it is now incumbent upon all businesses to embrace ESG standards in making successful investment decisions and implementing business strategies. At the first panel discussion on "ESG & Sustainability", speakers including Andrew Erickson, Chief Productivity Officer, Head of International Business, State Street; Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO, Sintesa Group; Amy Lo, Head and Chief Executive, UBS Hong Kong; and Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, International, Federated Hermes International, will join panel chair Stewart James, Chief of Staff, Sustainability Policy & Regulation at HSBC, in exploring how to work together towards a wider implementation of ESG to build a more sustainable future.
Global developments necessitate that the insurance and wealth management industries must continue evolving to keep pace. They must also address the changing demands of investors, leverage market intelligence to seize post-pandemic investment opportunities, and play an active role in addressing climate change. At the panel discussion "Innovating Insurance to Combat Climate Change", Hong Kong's Insurance Authority will speak with experts from the insurance sector to examine using alternative risk transfer solutions for mitigating extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the panel discussion on "Asset & Wealth Management Post-COP26" will see the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and global banking and asset management experts exchange insights on developments in the green and sustainable investment space.
Deciphering tech trends and exploring cryptocurrencies and NFTs
Responding to the rapid development of technologies spurred by the pandemic, AFF 2022 will feature sessions hosted by pioneers in cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Expert speakers will include Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.com and the richest person in crypto, who is also a Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree, talking about his entrepreneurial journey and the outlook for blockchain and cryptocurrency. There will also be sessions examining the prospects of such cutting-edge technologies as digital wealth management, cloud computing and paytech. At the "Dialogues for Tomorrow" session, an array of industry experts and entrepreneurs will outline the roadmap for innovation and future breakthroughs in a range of pillar sectors, including fintech, banking, insurance, energy, food and agritech, property and healthcare.
Growth in global wealth accelerates family office and philanthropy development
On the back of the global wealth boom, especially in Asia, the HKTDC and the Private Wealth Management Association will co-organise a Family Office Symposium at AFF 2022 to shed light on this emerging trend. Speakers including Ronnie Chan, Chair, Hang Lung Properties; Adrian Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, New World Development; and Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Value Partners Group, will explore wealth management trends relating to family offices and discuss their development among Asian families.
In addition, Tony O Elumelu, Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, will share his efforts to improve people's lives in Africa and transform the country through long-term investments in strategic sectors and by empowering young African entrepreneurs.
Other eminent speakers, including Douglas Flint, Chairman, abrdn plc, will discuss market trends in global impact investment. Miao Jianmin, Chairman, China Merchants Group, will share his views on Mainland China's carbon neutrality goals and green finance development, while Ju Weimin, Vice Chairman, President & CIO, China Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund, will analyse the current macro investment trends in Asia and China.
AFF Deal Flow extended with three days of matchmaking meetings
In response to popular demand, this year's AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, jointly organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, will be extended by a day and held over three days from 10 to 12 January. The goal is to facilitate collaboration between project owners, potential business partners and investors. The investment projects covered will span such sectors as deep tech, digital technology and media, healthtech, education, infrastructure and real estate services. A function for identifying ESG-integrated projects will also be debuted for interested investors to understand more about this subject area.
More than 130 exhibitors showcase new technologies and investment opportunities
AFF 2022 also features online exhibitions, where more than 130 local and international financial institutions, tech companies, start-ups and investment agencies will showcase a broad range of advanced technologies in the Fintech Showcase, InnoVenture Salon and FintechHK Startup Salon. Exhibitors will include PwC, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of China, HSBC, China International Capital Corporation and Cyberport. Meanwhile, the Global Investment Zone will showcase a plethora of unmissable investment opportunities through the AFF's virtual platform, including those from Australia, Canada, Italy, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Korea, Qatar and the United Kingdom.
The InnoVenture Salon is also a platform for start-ups to connect with international incubators, investors and potential business partners. With a mission to support entrepreneurship and innovation, the Salon is joining hands with Hong Kong's regulators to help start-ups resolve their business pain-points.
Additionally, the HKTDC, Mizuho Bank and Eureka Nova, a start-up incubation and open innovation platform established by New World Development, will come together for the first time for AFF Accelerate. On the platform, innovators will introduce their innovation and technology solutions and demonstrate how innovative concepts can be commercialised for adoption in the business sector.
As the premier financial and business forum kicking off the new year, AFF 2022 is set to gather and galvanise the global industry to generate synergy for a sustainable future.
- Asian Financial Forum: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/
- AFF programme: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/programme/programme
- AFF speakers: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/aff/en/speaker/main
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Members of the media who joined today's press conference will automatically receive a two-day online media pass for the 15th Asia Financial Forum. Other media representatives who would like to join AFF 2022 should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 7 January for registration details.
Media remarks: All video or audio recordings of the event may be used only in the context of media reporting.
Members of the media interested in interviewing speakers at AFF 2022 can fill out the form at https://bit.ly/3duYAd3 and email it to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 7 January 2022.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
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