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IMF reaffirms support for Hong Kong's strong policy frameworks and ample buffers
     The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a Staff Report today (January 23) which, substantiated by a more detailed analysis, reinforces the conclusions of its assessment of Hong Kong's economic and financial positions published on November 29, 2017.
     The IMF commended that Hong Kong is well placed to navigate through both external and domestic challenges given the strong policy frameworks and ample buffers, including strong fiscal reserves and robust regulatory and supervisory frameworks, which have been built and strengthened further over the last decade. The IMF reiterated its continued support for the Linked Exchange Rate System (LERS), commenting that it remains the best arrangement for Hong Kong and anchors the stability of Hong Kong's highly-open economy with its large and globally integrated financial services industry. The IMF also supported Hong Kong's continued efforts to tap new opportunities as a global financial centre.
     The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, welcomed IMF's positive assessment on Hong Kong. "With our strong fiscal and financial buffers as well as the robust policy frameworks in place, I am confident that Hong Kong can sail through challenges ahead. The Government will play a more active role as a 'facilitator' to promote diversified economic growth. For instance, we will strive to enhance the quality and competitiveness of Hong Kong's markets, in order to reinforce our status as an international financial centre and a premier capital raising centre, and to capitalise on the opportunities presented by major development strategies, including the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development. Looking ahead, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the stable economic growth of Mainland of China and the opening-up of Mainland's financial markets."
     The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mr Norman Chan, said, "The IMF's continued support for the LERS is a strong validation of the robustness of the system and its importance to the economic and financial stability of Hong Kong. I am glad to note the IMF's support of our efforts in strengthening the regulatory and supervisory frameworks for our banking system as well as our work in promoting Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial centre, particularly in the areas of infrastructure financing and fintech."
     The IMF Mission visited Hong Kong from October 23 to November 3, 2017, to conduct the IMF Article IV consultation discussions. The Concluding Statement of the Mission's assessment was published on November 29, 2017. The Staff Report was considered and endorsed by the IMF Executive Board on January 10, 2018.
     The IMF's press release on the Staff Report is attached in the Annex. The Staff Report can be obtained from the websites of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (www.fstb.gov.hk) and the IMF (www.imf.org).
Ends/Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Issued at HKT 8:11
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