Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco
Hong Kong
IMF reaffirms support for Hong Kong's strong policy frameworks and ample buffers

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a Staff Report on January 23, 2018 which, substantiated by a more detailed analysis, reinforces the conclusions of its assessment of Hong Kong's economic and financial positions published on November 29, 2017.

The IMF commended that Hong Kong is well placed to navigate through both external and domestic challenges given the strong policy frameworks and ample buffers, including strong fiscal reserves and robust regulatory and supervisory frameworks, which have been built and strengthened further over the last decade. The IMF reiterated its continued support for the Linked Exchange Rate System (LERS), commenting that it remains the best arrangement for Hong Kong and anchors the stability of Hong Kong's highly-open economy with its large and globally integrated financial services industry. The IMF also supported Hong Kong's continued efforts to tap new opportunities as a global financial center.

Hong Kong Financial Secretary, Mr. Paul Chan, welcomed IMF's positive assessment on Hong Kong. "With our strong fiscal and financial buffers as well as the robust policy frameworks in place, I am confident that Hong Kong can sail through challenges ahead. The Government will play a more active role as a 'facilitator' to promote diversified economic growth. For instance, we will strive to enhance the quality and competitiveness of Hong Kong's markets, in order to reinforce our status as an international financial center and a premier capital raising center, and to capitalize on the opportunities presented by major development strategies, including the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development. Looking ahead, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the stable economic growth of Mainland of China and the opening-up of Mainland's financial markets."

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mr. Norman Chan, said, "The IMF's continued support for the LERS is a strong validation of the robustness of the system and its importance to the economic and financial stability of Hong Kong. I am glad to note the IMF's support of our efforts in strengthening the regulatory and supervisory frameworks for our banking system as well as our work in promoting Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial center, particularly in the areas of infrastructure financing and fintech."

The IMF Mission visited Hong Kong from October 23 to November 3, 2017, to conduct the IMF Article IV consultation discussions. The Concluding Statement of the Mission's assessment was published on November 29, 2017. The Staff Report was considered and endorsed by the IMF Executive Board on January 10, 2018.

The Staff Report can be obtained from the websites of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (www.fstb.gov.hk) and the IMF (www.imf.org).

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