SFST's speech at Executive Roundtable Luncheon: Transferring Wealth to The Next Generation and Hong Kong Family Office (English only) (with photo)
All distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to be here with you, and I am delighted to welcome you to today's special luncheon. This roundtable is hosted to acquaint you with the special opportunities and privileges that Hong Kong offers in terms of wealth management and family office.
It is also a great chance for me, as the first Principal Official from the new government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region inaugurated in July this year to visit Thailand, to have the pleasure to meet an exclusive group of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Thailand. I look forward to learning more of your interests and necessities required in the decision to setting up family offices and managing wealth to prosper in the next generation and beyond.
As you should have noticed, we have removed entirely the requirement of hotel quarantine since September 26. We are already seeing a steady growth in arrival and departure figures at the Hong Kong International Airport. I sincerely invite you all to come to Hong Kong, be it for fun or business, to experience once again the buzz and excitement of our city, if you have not yet done so over the past three years because of the pandemic.
Our Chief Executive just announced his first Policy Address this Wednesday. One of the key priorities is to reinforce our position as an international financial centre. Indeed, Hong Kong is an international financial centre, the world's largest offshore Renminbi (RMB) centre and a leading fundraising hub for biotechnology. The financial services sector is the biggest pillar industry of Hong Kong, accounting for more than one-fifth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Let me highlight some of the key initiatives in our Policy Address this year:
(i) The first one, of course, is the family office. Indeed, the family office is a key growth segment of the asset and wealth management industry. Last year, Hong Kong managed over HK$1,700 billion of relevant assets, including those for private trust clients. We will introduce a bill within this year to offer tax concessions for eligible family offices with the target of attracting no less than 200 family offices to establish or expand their operations in Hong Kong by the end of 2025. Moreover, we will implement a risk-based capital regime for the insurance industry in 2024 to align with international standards, and launch a public consultation within this year on the proposal of establishing the policy holders' protection scheme;
(ii) second, we shall enhance our position as a global fundraising platform. On this, we will revise our Main Board Listing Rules next year to facilitate fundraising of advanced technology enterprises that have yet to meet the profit and trading record requirements, and are planning to revitalise GEM (Growth Enterprise Market) for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups;
(iii) third, we will continue to enhance our strengths as the largest offshore RMB centre. At present, Hong Kong processes about 75 per cent of offshore RMB settlements globally. We will promote the launch of more RMB-denominated investment tools and the provision of stable and highly efficient treasury services such as foreign exchange, exchange rate risk and interest rate risk management tools in the market;
(iv) fourth, we will speed up the implementation of a series of mutual market access arrangements supported by the China Securities Regulatory Commission earlier, including the introduction of a bill within this year to exempt the stamp duty payable for transactions conducted by dual-counter market makers, as well as completing the preparation for the launch of the Northbound Trading of Swap Connect. We will also facilitate the issuance and trading of more diverse "dim-sum" bonds, and continue the discussion with the Mainland on proposals for the further expansion of mutual market access; as well as enhancing mutual access of insurance markets in the GBA (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area);
(v) fifth is on green and sustainable finance. We will promote the development of Hong Kong into a premier financing platform for governments and green enterprises in the Mainland and around the world. We are also pressing ahead with developing Hong Kong into an international carbon market, and will continue pursuing co-operation with, among others, financial institutions in Guangzhou in carbon market development;
(vi) Last but not least, it is about fintech. Currently, there are more than 600 fintech companies in Hong Kong. We will vigorously promote fintech by encouraging more fintech services and products to undergo proof-of-concept trials, taking forward cross-boundary fintech projects and nurturing fintech talents. On virtual assets, we have introduced a bill to propose establishing a regulatory regime for virtual asset service providers. As some of you may be aware, our flagship event, Hong Kong FinTech Week 2022, will be held physically and virtually from October 31 to November 4. The theme this year is "Pushing Boundaries, Reaping Benefits". To support the emerging technologies Web3 and the metaverse as a focus of this year's event, we will issue NFTs (non-fungible tokens) for the first time to test their ability to engage participants. At the same time, we will issue a policy statement on the development of virtual assets in Hong Kong, demonstrating to the global virtual assets community our vision of developing Hong Kong into an international virtual assets centre. I look forward to seeing some of you later this month at the event.
My distinguished guests, Hong Kong has been an international business city and financial centre for decades. All these roles have been further strengthened since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 25 years ago under the "one country, two systems" principle. President Xi Jinping also declared in his speech in Hong Kong on July 1 this year that this principle embodies a complete system, and the thorough and precise implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle will open up broader prospects for the development of Hong Kong. Our commitment to the rule of law and judicial independence is key to our prosperity and stability as an international financial centre. The common law system will continue to be practised as constitutionally guaranteed, making Hong Kong the only common law jurisdiction within the Mainland.
Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely hope that today's luncheon will give you some more insights into what Hong Kong has to offer and inspire you to want to see more. I trust Hong Kong will also become the prime choice for you in your future wealth management.
Thank you very much.
Ends/Friday, October 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:56
Issued at HKT 14:56