The Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) co-organised the “Financing a Sustainable and Inclusive Future” panel discussion attended by over 300 representatives from business, finance, government and civil society on the 15th Jan 2019 at the 12th Asian Financial Forum (AFF).
The panel discussed the role of green finance and sustainable investment in order to achieve the 2030 SDGs in the region; key trends in investors attitude on impact investing; the roles of regulators and exchanges in sustainable finance; potential impact on environmental priorities given the current market uncertainty; as well as how Hong Kong’s green finance is benchmarking in the region and its commitment to be the Asia Green Financial Hub.
Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman and President of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association at the opening remark said, “Green bond issuance in Hong Kong exceeded USD $8bn in the first three quarters of 2018, up strongly from 2017. Hong Kong’s green bond market may continue to expand rapidly in the coming few years, given the SAR Government’s very ambitious plan to issue government green bonds and its promotional efforts, supported by the Hong Kong Green Finance Association, to attract mainland and international issuers.” To position Hong Kong as an international green finance centre, Ma believes that “Hong Kong should also promote the adoption of green and ESG principles among banks and institutional investors, further enhance environmental and climate information disclosure standards, and develop more green finance products and services.”
Mr Paul Yang, Head of Greater China and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Branch at BNP Paribas said, “With the increasing market uncertainty, one thing that is certain is the long term growth of the Green Finance business.”
Mr Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Government of Hong Kong S.A.R said “Riding on the accelerating global demand for green financial products, Hong Kong, as an international financial centre and the global RMB business hub, is well-equipped to develop green finance, in particular serving as a premier financing platform for international and the Mainland green projects in raising funds through issuing green bonds. Green Finance is one of the current Administration’s key policy priorities, and we have rolled out a series of measures to develop green finance in Hong Kong, including the Government Green Bond Programme, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency’s Green Finance Certification Scheme, the Green Bond Grant Scheme, 3-year Pilot Bond Grant Scheme, and the Enhancements of the Qualifying Debt Instrument Scheme.”
(From left to right) Ms Chaoni Hung, Vice President and Secretary General of Hong Kong Green Finance Association; Mr Nurlan Kussainov, Chief Executive Officer of Astana International Finance Centre Authority; Ms Julia Leung SBS, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Intermediaries, Securities and Futures Commission; Mr Vivek Pathak, Director of East Asia & Pacific Department at International Finance Corporation; Mr Paul Yang, Head of Greater China and Chief Executive Office Hong Kong Branch at BNP Paribas; and Mr Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Government of Hong Kong S.A.R.
More than 300 people attended the panel discussion.