Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attends a press conference after delivering her first policy address since she assumed office on July 1, in Hong Kong, south China, Oct. 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)
Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor vowed on Wednesday to reinforce and enhance Hong Kong's status as a global financial center, an offshore renminbi (RMB) business hub and an international asset management center.
In her first policy address since she assumed office on July 1, Lam said: "We will capitalize on the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the Bay Area, and make the best use of Hong Kong's advantages to promote diversified development of our financial market."
Through continuous development of various existing financing channels in Hong Kong and timely updating of the regulatory regime, the SAR government will develop Hong Kong into a premier financing platform for new business enterprises in the region so as to cater for the new economic environment, she said.
On this front, the Financial Leaders Forum chaired by the financial secretary will put forward strategic and forward-looking proposals, which will be followed up by relevant departments.
To demonstrate support for sustainable development and determination to combat climate change, and promote the development of green finance in Hong Kong, the SAR government will take the lead in arranging the issuance of a green bond in the next financial year, Lam said.
Through this initiative, the Hong Kong SAR government will seek to encourage investors in the mainland and along the Belt and Road as well as international investors to arrange financing of their green projects through Hong Kong capital markets.
Together with the industry and the mainland authorities, the SAR government will continue to explore expansion of the channels for two-way flow of cross-border RMB funds to reinforce and enhance the status of Hong Kong as a global hub for offshore RMB business, she said.
In deepening mutual financial market access between Hong Kong and the mainland, Lam said: "We will explore the possibility of including in the two-way mutual access mechanism a wider range of investment products, such as exchange-traded funds, and extending the Mainland-Hong Kong Bond Connect to cover southbound trading."
As an international financial center with a highly-developed information and communication technology sector, Hong Kong is an ideal place for the development of financial technologies (Fintech), she added.
The SAR government will continue with its efforts to promote local Fintech development and encourage the industry to experiment with innovative businesses.