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Europe – Asia Center

Press release: A High-Level Dialogue on the Occasion of the Visit to Brussels by Mr. Christopher Hui -“Hong Kong’s Unique Position as the Green Finance and Fintech Capital of Asia”


Brussels – April 13th, 2023


Brussels – 17th April 2023 – “Hong Kong’s Unique Position as the Green Finance and Fintech Capital of Asia”, a high-level dialogue event co-hosted by the Europe-Asia Center and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, was held on April 13, 2023, in Brussels. The event was organized to coincide with the visit to Brussels by Mr. Christopher Hui, GBS, JP, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.


In presence of distinguished guests, including Mr. Christopher Hui, H.E. Cao Zhongming (Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Belgium), Ambassador (ret.) Piet Steel (Chairman of the Europe-Asia Center), the event explored Hong Kong’s unique position as a global hub for green finance and fintech.

Ambassador (ret.) Piet Steel delivered the opening address, highlighting the importance of the growing collaboration between Hong Kong and the EU on green finance and the fight against climate change. The speech recognised the significance of Mr. Hui’s visit to Brussels as the first senior official from Hong Kong to visit since the lifting of Covid restrictions, and how it set the stage for closer cooperation between Europe and Hong Kong. He acknowledged Hong Kong’s achievements as a global Fintech hub, with its competitive regulatory framework and logistical and administrative capabilities for the rapid scale-up of start-ups, demonstrating Hong Kong’s commitment to innovation, creativity, and forward-thinking.


H.E. Erik Solheim, Vice Chair of the Europe-Asia Center, praised Hong Kong’s progress in promoting green finance and its commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. He emphasized Hong Kong’s potential to lead the development of green finance in Asia in collaboration with global partners.

Applauding Hong Kong’s unique position as the green finance and fintech capital of Asia, Solheim commended the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s ‘Fintech 2025 strategy’ and the government’s support of infrastructure development and subsidies for technology adoption. He emphasized the potential for fintech cooperation between Europe and Hong Kong, particularly in the areas of mobile and digital payments, blockchain technology, insurtech, and wealth management.


The guest of honour, Mr. Christopher Hui unveiled with great enthusiasm Hong Kong’s ambitious goals for both FinTech and green finance. He shared Hong Kong’s commitment to the global vision of reducing carbon emissions and realizing sustainable development, highlighting the government’s climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions by 50% before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. Mr. Hui discussed Hong Kong’s leadership in the green finance space, including the issuance of government green bonds and the first-ever tokenized green bond by a government. He shared plans to establish a green technological and finance Development Committee to attract top-notch enterprises or startups to set up their operations in Hong Kong and build a green tech ecosystem, among other initiatives. In addition, he discussed the rapid growth of the FinTech industry in Hong Kong, which is home to over 800 FinTech companies.


In a plenary Q&A session moderated by Ms. Sheila Arora (Vice Chair of Europe – Asia Center), Mr. Hui discussed the regulation of virtual assets and the need to protect investors. He highlighted the positive and negative aspects of crypto assets, such as the anonymous nature of transactions and the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. To safeguard investors, the Hong Kong government has pledged to regulate virtual asset exchanges or trading platforms and impose guardrails such as financial resource requirements and separation of assets.


Mr. Hui further addressed the evolution of green finance and sustainability finance, emphasizing the importance of minimizing the risk of greenwashing and incentivizing brown industries to become greener. He underscored the need for capacity building and stakeholder compliance with regulations, as well as the increasing demand for ESG compliance from investors and customers.


In response to Mr. Jos Peeters (Chairman of the Capricorn Venture Partners)’ question on raising financing for pilot scale production, Mr. Hui explained Hong Kong’s new regime encouraging specialist tech companies with no revenue or profit to list on the stock exchange. Additionally, private equity and the bond market offer other avenues for funding. Hong Kong is the second largest PE hub in Asia and has a regime of limited partnership funds. Mr. Hui also highlighted the connectivity with international markets through the stock connect program, providing various options for financing and market access for tech companies.


For more information about the event and Europe-Asia Center, please visit www.europe-asia.org.



For press enquiries:


Matic Gajšek, Deputy director Europe – Asia Center

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