Hong Kong holds 12th Asian Financial Forum to discuss economic opportunities, challenges

HONG KONG, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — The 12th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) opened in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Monday, as over 3,000 policymakers, financial and business leaders and investors from over 40 countries and regions gathered to discuss economic opportunities and challenges as well as financial innovation and technology.

The forum was held under the theme “Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future.”

Speaking at the forum, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam noted that Hong Kong has taken the first place globally in initial public offerings (IPO) fund raising in six out of the 10 years from 2009 to 2018.

Lam said although the world was faced with challenges, the Chinese mainland and international investors took confidence in Hong Kong as opportunities exceeded challenges. The location of Hong Kong will pay premium dividends in the decades to come, thanks to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, she said.

She said the Hong Kong SAR government also places a high priority in developing the economy on a sustainable basis, and in becoming a regional hub for green finance.

“Our inaugural government green bond will soon be issued,” and it comes with a borrowing ceiling of 100 billion Hong Kong dollars – that’s nearly 13 billion U.S. dollars, said Lam.

Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), said that upholding its core value of being lean, clean and green since its establishment, AIIB would develop infrastructure construction and economy with innovation, expand markets with flexible methods and promote private investment to reach more gains with fewer resources.

A poll on expectation of the world economy was organized during the forum, with more than half of the attendees choosing “optimistic” and “neutral.”

On another survey on global sustainable development, most attendees agreed that the biggest challenge was governments of some countries’ unwillingness to implement policies of sustainable development.

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