Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco
Hong Kong
Hong Kong committed to fintech

Financial Secretary Paul Chan
Hong Kong is consistently rated among the world's top three international financial centers and first in Asia. Our information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure is equally world-class. Hong Kong's financial regulatory framework enables innovation, while protecting users and the industry in general. And our talent pool is multilingual and multitalented as I'm sure you'll discover in the course of this FinTech Week.

Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, speaks at the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018
Financial Secretary Paul Chan speaks at the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018

More importantly, Hong Kong welcomes you with an inclusive spirit of entrepreneurship, and with the assurance of a level playing field for all.

You may be well aware that Hong Kong is the freest economy in the world. Our government concentrates on promoting and facilitating, so that you can focus yourself on innovating and business building.

Earlier this year, I dedicated $500 million (US$64 million) to develop the financial services industry, and fintech is definitely on the agenda.

I also allocated nearly $200 million (US$25.64 million) to Cyberport as part of our determined effort to support fintech start-ups. The Government's $2 billion (US$256.41 million) Innovation & Technology Venture Fund and Cyberport's Macro Fund also help finance new fintech projects.

Private funding from angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity funds is also rife. Indeed, investment in Hong Kong-based fintech companies exceeded US$500 million (US$64 million) in 2017 - more than doubling the amount in 2016.

Hong Kong is undoubtedly an ideal launch pad for those seeking a future in fintech. There are well over 300 fintech start-ups at Cyberport and Hong Kong Science Park and over 150 other fintech companies are flourishing in the private co-working spaces dotted all over Hong Kong. 

Our Fast Track Programme is here, right outside this hall, to support you to join the league. Specialists from InvestHK, as well as our financial regulators and fintech partners, are there to assist you, to help you launch your fintech future here in Hong Kong.

What Hong Kong can offer is smartly summed up by the tagline of our new Hong Kong fintech logo, "Launch, Leap and Lead".

I've touched on Hong Kong's resources for launching your fintech company or start-up. We'll help you make that leap as our city as a whole excitedly rolls into the era of fintech. Just last month, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority launched the Faster Payment System. 

That means instant fund transfer round the clock in both Hong Kong dollars and renminbi not only between banks, but also between e-wallets.

A common QR code for retail payment has also been established, allowing Hong Kong merchants to accept payment from multiple channels, including e-wallets and individual banking apps.

By the end of this year, the first batch of virtual bank licences will be given to those virtual banks to open their portals. An Open API framework is also on the way. It will allow fintech companies to collaborate with banks in providing innovative offerings.

As for leading, that means, among other things, expanding our markets. We're certainly working on that. Those of you who make the trip to Shenzhen this Friday will get a first-hand appreciation for that and for the possibilities, the promise, of the Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong's role, very unique role, in this national development strategy.

The Greater Bay Area links nine prosperous cities in southern China together with Hong Kong and Macau. Together, they count some 70 million ready consumers of financial services, and of course fintech.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018 on October 31.

Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, attended the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018. Photo shows Mr. Chan (first right) and the Consul-General of Ireland in Hong Kong, Mr. David Costello (second right), touring the Ireland Pavilion in the exhibition.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan attended the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018. Photo shows Mr. Chan (first right) and the Consul-General of Ireland in Hong Kong, Mr. David Costello (second right), touring the Ireland Pavilion in the exhibition.

  Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, attended the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018. Photo shows Mr. Chan (sixth left) touring the booth of InvestHK.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan attended the opening of Hong Kong FinTech Week 2018. Photo shows Mr. Chan (sixth left) touring the booth of InvestHK.

 


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