Hong Kong - The Asian Financial Forum (AFF), one of the leading annual events in the global financial calendar, opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the two-day forum will examine the theme of "Asia: Sustainable Development in a World of Change" with over 100 distinguished speakers from around the world, including Xiao Gang, Chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission; Professor Paul Krugman, Nobel prize-winning economist; and Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited.
Hong Kong: A World-Leading Financial Centre
Speaking at today's opening ceremony, HKTDC Chairman Jack So remarked that, "Hong Kong was the world's second largest IPO market last year, raising some US$27.1 billion. This not only reinforces our position as a global financial hub, but also speaks volumes about our sound banking system, our strong financial and legal services, our deep talent pool, and our world class financial infrastructure, all of which come together seamlessly to serve businesses from the mainland and across the world."
Global Financial Crossroads
HKSAR Chief Executive, CY Leung, delivered the opening remarks at the Forum this morning. The Plenary Session, chaired by KC Chan, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government, focused on the prospects for long-term, sustainable growth in Asia and beyond against a tentative global recovery. Heavyweight speakers were featured, including Xiao Gang; Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority; and Timothy Massad, Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The Policy Dialogue saw policy makers discuss the challenges of strengthening financial infrastructure while also facilitating economic growth. The session was chaired by Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and featured Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg; Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden); Andrea Enria, Chairperson of the European Banking Authority; Josh Frydenberg, Assistant Treasurer of Australia; Simon Harris TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance with Special Responsibility for International Financial Services, Ireland; and Ksenia Yudaeva, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia.
The keynote remarks at today's luncheon were delivered by Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counsellor and Director, Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. He spoke about the prospects for global growth in 2015 and the need to reinforce inter-regional connections through trade and investment liberalisation.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, will deliver the keynote remarks at tomorrow's luncheon. He will examine a host of issues, including the global implications of the US ending its quantitative easing policies.
AFF 2015 also examines other important issues such as global economic outlook; China's shifting economic realities; Asia's positioning and ambitions, as well as the outlook and investment opportunities in healthcare. Speakers include Ding Xuedong, Chairman & CEO of China Investment Corporation; Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG; Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO, Allianz SE; Ge Huayong, Chairman of China UnionPay; Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys Limited; Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation; and Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman, Jollibee Foods Corporation.
Cross-exchange dialogue on the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect
A series of thematic workshops will also be arranged tomorrow to examine topical issues that are of great interest among the global financial and economic communities. Hong Kong Exchange's Chief Executive Charles Li will join Shanghai Stock Exchange President Huang Hongyuan as well as other market participants to review the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect's impact on the two exchanges from a global investor perspective as well as the Stock Connect's future development. Other topics to be covered include Renminbi internationalisation, Internet of Things, asset and wealth management, internet finance, Chinese outbound investment, urbanisation in China, new international financial institutions and the New Silk Road.
Three individual dialogues are arranged for Narayana Murthy from Infosys, Tony Tan Caktiong from Jollibee Foods and Michael Bennett from the World Bank to facilitate greater interaction between AFF speakers and participants.
Doing Deals With Over 200 Companies
Over 2,400 participants, including global leaders in government, finance and business are taking part in AFF 2015 to exchange insights, to network and to explore business opportunities. Tomorrow's day-long AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, co-organised by the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (HKVCA) and the HKTDC, will be an effective platform for matching sources of funds with deals. Over 400 matching meetings have been arranged for more than 200 companies, including investment project owners, private equity firms, investors, high net-worth individuals and senior professionals from intermediaries and professional services providers.
This year's AFF Deal Flow will also arrange project presentation showcases and roundtable discussions on technology, healthcare, infrastructure and real estate, food and agriculture as well as consumer goods, to facilitate more business connections. The Global Investment Zone has also returned to showcase investment and partnership opportunities in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, the Philippines and the US.
Week Of Finance
The AFF is the anchor event of the International Financial Week (IFW) 2015 in Hong Kong. In addition to AFF, 13 other high-level conferences, seminars and networking activities are taking place during IFW, to highlight various sectors within the financial services industry, including fund raising, capital markets, hedge funds, business ethics and Asian private equity, showcasing Hong Kong's role as a leading international financial centre.
For further information on the 2015 programme, please visit www.asianfinancialforum.com. Session summaries available at: http://www.asianfinancialforum.com/en/info_summaries.htm.
Photo Download: http://filesharing.tdc.org.hk/hktdc/download.php?fid=_phpXZbmhs
AFF videos: http://www.asianfinancialforum.com/en/info_multimedia.htm
AFF 2015 Day 1 morning highlights: http://youtu.be/abhblz0EIYg
Swiss Financial Crisis underlines Dollar Peg: http://youtu.be/bSJ-Q4cIPJw
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in overseas markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
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