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USFST's speech at ForeSight 2023 forum (English only)
     Following is the pre-recorded video speech by the Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Joseph Chan, at the ForeSight 2023 forum today (December 2):
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     I am pleased to join you and officiate the forum ForeSight 2023 organised by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The ForeSight forum is a signature annual event hosted since 2020 to better position Hong Kong companies to capture future growth opportunities. Over the years, the government and business leaders, industry heavyweights and technology experts have shared their insights in the ForeSight forum for the benefit of our business sector. The 2023 edition is set to continue the great success achieved, and it is themed "Leveraging Technologies for New Economic Chapters", and two topics on "Macroeconomic Forecast" and "Top 10 Technologies in 2023" will be discussed in panel discussions featuring distinguished guest speakers.
     The Government has been promoting the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong, with a view to further creating a new impetus of growth for our economy. Fintech is one of the key development areas, and we work with all relevant partners, including financial regulators, incubators, promotion agencies, corporates and financial institutions, to facilitate Hong Kong's fintech development.
     Our multi-pronged approach includes enhancing fintech infrastructures; promoting Hong Kong's fintech competitiveness internationally; launching support schemes to incentivise digitisation of financial services; cultivating local and imported fintech talents; as well as creating an enabling regulatory environment for local innovation and cross-boundary collaboration.
     With concerted efforts, the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong is now very vibrant, with over 800 fintech companies operating in Hong Kong, including eight virtual banks and four virtual insurers.
     Many of them have gained a foothold in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the regional markets. Our strength lies in our vibrant financial services and sophisticated information and communication technology infrastructures, and the growth potential of our fintech sector also largely follows the strength of our financial services. Innovations in areas like e-payment, regtech, insurtech and wealthtech are keenly pursued by the sector. We are also a pioneer in cross-border wholesale use of a central bank digital currency.
     To facilitate incubation of innovative financial products, we launched the Fintech Proof-of-Concept (PoC) Subsidy Scheme in 2021, granting subsidies to fintech institutions to partner with financial institutions to test new and practical fintech solutions. The scheme was well-received by the trade, with over 90 projects approved, benefitting over 70 fintech firms and financial institutions. A new round of the PoC Subsidy Scheme has been rolled out in September this year.
     Looking ahead, we will continue to develop our fintech talent. A number of initiatives have been launched to grow our local fintech talent, including offering training for financial practitioners and subsidies for acquiring fintech qualifications. We will continue to provide an enabling environment and various support measures to help the sector flourish.
     Ladies and gentlemen, with all the facilitating and supporting policies in place, I am sure our fintech sector will continue to develop and reach new heights, and it will better serve our economic development by bringing more fintech solutions to our Hong Kong companies. I encourage all participating companies in ForeSight 2023 to explore these new opportunities, and I wish you all a very fruitful and insightful forum today. Thank you.
Ends/Friday, December 2, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:50
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