In about a month, we will be welcoming around 200 participants to the highly-anticipated Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
The Summit, which will take place on 2 November, is an initiative announced by the Financial Secretary in his 2022-23 Budget. It will bring together an eminent group of global financial leaders from over 100 major institutions including banks, securities firms, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds, and insurers. More than 30 of these institutions are represented by their group chairmen or CEOs. Under the theme of “Navigating Beyond Uncertainty”, participants will share insights and ideas through speeches, panel discussions, and a fireside chat.
The Summit will focus on three sets of challenges and opportunities facing the global financial community. First and foremost are the uncertainties brought by rising interest rates and the risk of stagflation, further complicated by geopolitical tensions and the lingering impact of pandemic. We will also look at two mega trends that have profound implications for the future of finance: technology and sustainability. The past few years have seen major breakthroughs in technology and innovation that are challenging the status quo and redefining how financial services are delivered. At the same time the mainstreaming of sustainability concerns has raised fundamental questions about the very purpose of finance and added a new dimension of mobilising finance to tackle climate change.
These are big issues that affect not just the global financial markets but also the real economy. Closer to home, we will benefit from the insights and perspectives of Mainland financial regulators about the growth opportunities arising from the increasing integration between the Mainland and global financial markets. And of course we will also reflect on how Hong Kong, as an international financial centre, should position itself amid all these uncertainties and challenges, to maintain the competitiveness of our financial sector and contribute positively to delivering more efficient, reliable, and sustainable financial services to the global community.
The purpose of the Summit goes beyond sharing ideas, important though that is. COVID-related travel restrictions have made it difficult for financial leaders to visit Hong Kong for almost three years. Now that travel is easier again, we wanted to make the Summit a physical event, so that our guests can take the opportunity to meet their staff and clients in person, and establish new relationships. Equally important, they can see for themselves the resilience and vibrancy that define Hong Kong, and the opportunities that the city offers to pivot their businesses to the burgeoning Asian markets.
Of course Hong Kong’s attractions go beyond business and finance. Which is why we will enrich our programme with an art and culture experience at the M+ Museum of the West Kowloon Cultural District, a world-class arts institution that encapsulates Hong Kong’s unique value proposition as a cosmopolitan city and meeting point of East and West. For those who can stay a little longer, the long-awaited return of the Rugby Sevens will be a further attraction.
I am most grateful to our friends who are travelling to attend the Summit at a time when some anti-epidemic controls remain in place. They are not only global financial leaders, but have also been staunch supporters of Hong Kong over the years. For most of them this will only be a short visit and we need to make sure they can meet people, do business and build relationships in the kind of business-as-usual way they expect from a vibrant international city. The latest relaxation of some of the control measures is helpful and provides a good basis for us to finalise an appropriate set of arrangements to facilitate the visit of our guests and make the Summit a success, which will underline Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre.
Much work has gone into the preparation of the Summit, and more will be needed in the coming weeks. It is heartening to see that all involved are willing to go the extra mile to make the Summit a success. I look forward to the thought-provoking discussions, promised by the strong line-up of financial leaders, that will inspire us in navigating through the uncertainty and making Hong Kong an even stronger international financial centre.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
29 September 2022