Asia Financial Forum “2020 Green and Sustainable Finance Opportunity”

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The Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) co-organized the “2020 Green and Sustainable Finance Opportunity” thematic workshop on the 14th Jan 2020 at the 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) which was attended by over 400 representatives from business, finance, government, and civil society.

The Worksop discussed the exciting green and sustainable finance opportunities in 2020, including, the plan to establish the GBA Green Finance Alliance between Hong Kong Guangdong, Shenzhen and Macau to create a platform for policy research and incubate green investments; major green financing opportunities in developing green buildings and the blue economy; how commercial banks can help to fill the large funding gap; latest HKSAR government policy support on green finance; as well as Hong Kong’s role in the regional green and sustainable finance opportunities.

 

Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman and President of the HKGFA, highlighted the global and regional green finance opportunities with the success on the first working group meeting took place in Shenzhen in preparation of the Great Bay Area Alliance which 5 projects were discussed including Green Building, Blockchain Solar, Carbon Trading, Solid Waste Management and Green Supply chain, 35 finance institutions from over 16 countries signed the Green Investment Principles (GIP), a voluntary set of green principles aimed at promoting green investment for the Belt and Road;  a plan of harmonising green bond standards between China and EU; as well as the signing of Green Project database MoU with the BRI GIP Secretariat, HKTDC and HKGFA which enables flow of green project information between international project owners in Hong Kong and mainland.

 

Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director, on the other hand, addressed “by 2030, in emerging markets alone, green buildings will offer a $25 trillion investment opportunity. Across Asia and the Pacific, there are particularly promising areas for investment, with an estimated $17.8 trillion worth of investment opportunities.” Therefore, urbanization and the urgent need to restore ocean health make green buildings and the blue economy two of the current greatest sustainable investment opportunities.

 

Jonathan Drew, Managing Director, Infrastructure and Real Estate Group, Global Banking Asia-Pacific of HSBC, Vice President of HKGFA, focused on the US$100 trillion to be invested in rebuilding the low carbon economic system in the next 15 years. With this huge investment opportunity, the capital across starts to identify and prioritise green investment while asset managers are going to look into how the companies address their ESG risk.

 

Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (FSTB), presented the regional benefit of developing green and sustainable finance and Hong Kong government’s support and commitment to that by saying “Hong Kong is taking the lead in arranging the issuance of a green bond and Hong Kong is the first signatory from Asia in the Green Bond Pledge.” He also envisioned that the Government Green Bond program launched in 2018 would benchmark pricing to green bonds.

 

(Left to right) Tracy Wong Harris- Deputy Secretary General, HKGFA; Dr. Ma Jun- Co-chair, Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road; Joseph Chan- Under Secretary, FSTB; Dr. Patrick Lau- Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council; Hannah Routh- Vice President, Hong Kong Green Finance Association

The workshop was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony for the exchange of green project information between mainland and international projects from Hong Kong. Mr. Joseph Chan, Under Secretary of FSTB, witnessed the MoU signing between Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA), Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Secretariat for the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road (GIP) which enable Hong Kong and mainland to exchange international green project information on a regular basis.

Under the MoU, HKGFA will promote both GIP and HKTDC green project databases through our websites and among our member institutions; strategic partners and event participants. This will create “match and connect” opportunities for our members with owners of green projects in the Belt and Road regions.

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