Business luncheon held in Sydney to celebrate 25th anniversary of establishment of HKSAR (with photos)
Themed "25 Years and Beyond - How Hong Kong Continues to Grow as a Green and Sustainable Finance Hub", the business luncheon was jointly organised by the Sydney ETO and Business Sydney in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Addressing the event in a virtual keynote speech, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, shed light on the vibrant green bond market and the key initiatives to further enrich the green and sustainable finance ecosystem in Hong Kong. Mr Hui highlighted the various initiatives in the 2021 Policy Address and the 2022-23 Budget to enrich the financial talent pool, such as inclusion of professionals in environmental, social and governance (ESG) in the Talent List of Hong Kong, and the coming Pilot Green and Sustainable Finance Capacity Building Support Scheme to subsidise practitioners in the financial sector and other relevant sectors to participate in green and sustainable finance training. Mr Hui stressed that enormous green finance opportunities are presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development and he encouraged businesses in Australia to capitalise on the opportunities by tapping the unique advantages offered by Hong Kong.
On Hong Kong's vibrant market scene, Mr Hui said, "The volume of green and sustainable bonds arranged in Hong Kong amounted to US$31.3 billion in 2021, accounting for one-third of the Asian green and sustainable bond market. Moreover, the HKSAR Government Green Bond Programme, launched in 2018, has issued about US$10 billion worth of bonds across different currencies and tenors.
"To provide the public with a green investment choice and further promote Hong Kong's retail bond market, the HKSAR Government in May this year issued the inaugural retail green bond amounting to HK$20 billion, the largest retail green bond issuance across the globe so far."
Looking ahead, Mr Hui said that Hong Kong could effectively facilitate matching between international capital and quality green projects, and contribute to helping the country achieve its "3060 Target" in relation to carbon emissions peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.
"With the new economic development pattern of dual circulation in Mainland China, the GBA will be a natural conduit for Hong Kong to participate in and benefit from the domestic circulation. We will also strengthen our intermediary role in the international circulation. Hong Kong will facilitate entities to make use of our professional services for green and sustainable investment, financing and certification to support green enterprises and projects in the GBA," Mr Hui added.
Mr Hui then participated in a question-and-answer session hosted by the Executive Director for Business Sydney, Mr Paul Nicolaou. The session covered a broad range of topics that were appealing to the Australian business community, including the global development trend of green finance, initiatives to continue developing Hong Kong into a green finance centre in the GBA and opportunities for international investors, as well as the overall business landscape in Hong Kong under the COVID-19 epidemic.
Prominent executives then participated in a panel discussion to share their valuable views on the development of green and sustainable finance and ESG, and how businesses in Australia can drive awareness in these fields to grasp the opportunities.
In her closing remarks, the Director of the Sydney ETO, Miss Trista Lim, added that Hong Kong is blessed with immense opportunities under various strategies and initiatives promulgated by the Central Government, notably the 14th Five-Year Plan, which supports Hong Kong's development of eight international centres and emerging industries. As Asia's leading world-class city and one of the world's most competitive economies, Hong Kong will continue to be the prime partner for businesses to tap the vast business potential in the GBA, Mainland China and beyond.
The Sydney ETO will continue to organise a series of events in the coming months to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. A gala dinner, receptions and an array of arts and cultural events will be held in various cities across Australia and New Zealand.
Ends/Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:38
Issued at HKT 16:38