HONG KONG, Dec 9, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) -  Business leaders from around the world will gather in Hong Kong to share insights at the 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), which takes place on 13 and 14 January 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Under the theme "Redefining Growth: Innovation, Breakthrough, Inclusiveness", global financial experts, policymakers, business leaders and economists will examine topical issues in the global economy and explore new opportunities. This year's AFF will feature discussions on a wide range of issues such as the new global economy, fintech, sustainable and inclusive development and green financing, offering participants a head start in identifying new economic challenges and opportunities.

The 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) will be held on 13 and 14 January 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Under the theme "Redefining Growth: Innovation, Breakthrough, Inclusiveness", policymakers will join financial and business leaders to examine topical issues affecting the global economy. The image shows the 2019 AFF which was attended by more than 3,300 finance and business leaders from around the world.

At the keynote luncheon on the first day of the AFF, one of the highlights of the event, former Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Janet Yellen will be the speaker.

The InnoVenture Salon, newly launched last year, will provide a one-stop platform for connecting start-ups with potential investors and partners.

Staying competitive by building on advantages

Commenting on the importance of the AFF, Patrick Lau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: "With its diversified advantages, Hong Kong continues to provide a good business environment for companies and financial institutions from around the world. Innovation and technology are having a profound impact on financial development. We are now seeing technology companies starting to launch banking businesses, while banks are introducing innovative technologies to stay competitive. The Asian Finance Forum facilitates innovative and inspiring exchange, connecting different stakeholders in the finance-related industries and helping to create new business opportunities."

Yellen shares perspectives on the policy framework of central banks

At the keynote luncheon on the first day of the AFF, one of the highlights of the event, former Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen, will be the keynote speaker.

Dr Yellen is a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Hutchins Centre on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. From February 2014 to February 2018, under the Obama and Trump administrations, she served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, making history as the first woman to be appointed to that position. Prior to her four-year term as chair, Dr Yellen served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors and, from 2004 to 2010, as President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

At the AFF, Dr Yellen will share her perspectives on the independence of central banks and the implementation of monetary policy, in addition to hot topics such as her view on the global economy and the impact of the Sino-US trade war.

Prof Banerjee examines financial inclusion in developing countries

The keynote speaker at the luncheon on the second day of the forum will be Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, who will address the subject of financial inclusion, sharing his perspectives on the economic policies and financial inclusion progress in developing countries, particularly in India.

Prof Banerjee is an Indian-born American economist who, with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics for helping to develop an innovative experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Banerjee studied economics at the University of Calcutta and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India before gaining his doctorate at Harvard University in the United States. He has taught economics at Princeton University and, from 1993, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was appointed Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT in 2003.

Sharing intelligence amid a global recession

The slowdown of the global economy has resulted in multiple sources of vulnerability such as unsustainable corporate debt, volatile capital flows and disrupted supply chains. This is leading to concerns over the possibility of a global recession in the near term. However, in the current low-interest-rate environment, policymakers may have less room for manoeuvre in trying to bolster the economy.

To enable industry players to be better prepared for the market situation, the Policy Dialogue on the first day of the AFF will feature Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxemburg; Peter Szijjarto, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary; Michael D'Arcy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance of Ireland; and Vladimir Kolychev, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia. These high-ranking politicians will share their thoughts and insights on policy responses for addressing weaknesses in the global economy.

Heavyweight speakers to address topical issues

This year, four Panel Discussion sessions will be held in the afternoon of the first day, at which influential policymakers and business leaders will examine a range of different topics, ranging from supply chain finance solutions and the unprecedented growth of asset and wealth management in Asia, to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and insurance.

Heavyweight speakers at the sessions include Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Julia Leung, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Intermediaries at the Securities and Futures Commission; Winnie Wong, Board Member of the Financial Services Development Council; Suyi Kim, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; Amy Lo, Co-head, UBS Wealth Management Asia Pacific; Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC; Mike Wells, Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc; Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lung Properties Limited; Gerald Buckingham, Head of Asia Pacific of BlackRock; and Andrew Yan, Managing Partner of SAIF Partners.

Sponsored by the Financial Services Development Council, Hong Kong, the Breakfast Panel will discuss on "Hong Kong's Changing Role as an Investment Gateway: New Trend, New Generation and New Strategy". The panelists include Andrew Weir, Regional Senior Partner, KPMG Hong Kong, and Jim Lai, Vice President, Tencent Holdings Limited and Chairman, Fusion Bank Limited. Together they will explore the opportunities and risks Hong Kong faces against the backdrop of recent economic and geopolitical developments, looking at what the city should do to safeguard its position as a leading international financial centre.

FinTech Showcase presents innovative applications and solutions

Innovation and technology have had a profound impact on the development of the financial industry. The FinTech Showcase, launched last year, returns to feature nearly 60 local and overseas international financial institutions and technological enterprises, including Assured Asset Management, Nippon Electric Company (NEC), Ping An OneConnect and Standard Chartered, presenting a wide range of fintech innovations and cutting-edge solutions. Moreover, the new FinTechHK Start-Up Salon will showcase a plethora of next-generation business ideas from fintech startups from Hong Kong and beyond.

Also returning is the InnoTalks series which will explore a series of technological issues relevant to the financial sector, including developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, financial innovation, investment technology and Internet security. The series will give industry players comprehensive insights into innovative fintech developments that can help to boost competitiveness.

AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking facilitates collaboration

Another key feature at this year's forum is the well-received AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, which is co-organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. It is expected that 200 investors and 500 investment projects will join one-on-one meetings, covering industries including manufacturing and green technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, digital technology, healthtech, infrastructure and real estate services, environmental protection and energy, education, food and agriculture.

The InnoVenture Salon is back for the third time on an expanded scale and with enriched content, making it the ideal platform to connect start-ups with potential investors and partners. Start-ups will showcase their products and ideas at exhibition booths and present their business plans at pitching sessions. The Global Investment Zone is another highlight not to be missed, gathering investment agencies from Canada, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United States and more to present investment opportunities in different sectors.

Asian Financial Forum: www.asianfinancialforum.com
Programme: http://www.hktdc.com/ncs/aff2020/en/s/programme.html
Speakers: http://www.hktdc.com/ncs/aff2020/en/s/speakers.html
Photo download: https://bit.ly/351ZIyR

Members of the media interested in interviewing speakers at AFF can fill out the form (https://bit.ly/33LIXqk) and email it to christine.kam@hktdc.org by 7 January 2019.


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 trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: christine.kam@hktdc.org Sam Ho, Tel: +852 2584 4569, Email: sam.sy.ho@hktdc.org

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