The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, today (April 24) attended meetings on “Strengthening GBA Sustainable Finance Collaboration” and “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Green Finance Cooperation” to exchange views with financial regulators and industry representatives in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) on enhancing GBA co-operation in green and sustainable finance.
The meeting on “Strengthening GBA Sustainable Finance Collaboration”, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA) and the Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance, and supported by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), was held in the morning.
Mr Hui gave welcoming remarks at the meeting. He said, “President Xi Jinping stated during his inspection visit to Guangdong this month that the GBA has an important strategic position in the new development pattern of the country. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and financial regulators attach great importance to synergised collaboration and mutual complementation of advantages with other cities in the GBA, jointly promoting the high-quality development of green and sustainable finance in the GBA and proactively contributing to our country’s ‘3060 Dual Carbon Targets’.”
Other keynote speakers included the Chairman and President of the HKGFA, Dr Ma Jun; the Chief Executive Officer of the SFC, Ms Julia Leung; the Director-General of the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China, Mr Wang Xin; the Director-General of the Shenzhen Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, Mr He Jie; Deputy Director-General of the Guangdong Financial Supervisory Authority, Mr Tong Shiqing; and Deputy Director-General of the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau Mr He Huaquan. The meeting also held panel discussions on thematic topics of taxonomy development, transition finance opportunities, mutual recognition of green finance standards in the GBA, etc.
The FSTB and the SFC co-hosted the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Green Finance Cooperation Meeting in the afternoon to discuss the work directions for further deepening regional collaboration to create a comprehensive green and sustainable finance ecosystem.
In his opening remarks, Mr Hui said, “Enhancing exchange and co-operation with the GBA markets will be beneficial to accelerating the development of Hong Kong into an international centre for green technology and finance. The meeting today serves as a starting point and provides foundation and direction for implementing various collaborative measures in future.”
At the meeting, participants discussed and exchanged views on potential cross-boundary initiatives to further strengthen the green and sustainable finance ecosystem, including corporate sustainability disclosure requirements aligned with global standards, interchange of emissions and environmental, social, governance (ESG) data, development of carbon markets and capacity building.
Participants of the meeting included members of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group), as well as representatives from the Shenzhen Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau and the Monetary Authority of Macao.
The green and sustainable finance market in Hong Kong is thriving. The total green and sustainable debt (including both bonds and loans) issued in Hong Kong increased by over 40 per cent from 2021 to reach US$80.5 billion in 2022, among which the volume of green and sustainable bonds arranged in Hong Kong accounted for 35 per cent of the Asian green and sustainable bond market. The FSTB has been working in concert with the financial regulators to promote the development of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong through a multipronged strategy. Under the Government Green Bond Programme, the HKSAR Government has successfully issued green bonds totalling close to US$16 billion equivalent, including the issuance of the first tokenised green bond issued by a government globally in February 2023, and the largest ESG bond issuance in Asia in January 2023.
About the Steering Group
Established in May 2020, the Steering Group is co-chaired by the HKMA and the SFC. Members include the FSTB, the Environment and Ecology Bureau, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, the Insurance Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. The Steering Group aims to co-ordinate the management of climate and environmental risks to the financial sector, accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong, and support the Government’s climate strategies.