[Hong Kong, 21 September 2018] The 2018 Green Finance Forum & Launch of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association was held at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today, which marked the official launch of the non-for-profit organization Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA). Over 300 delegates from the HKGFA members, policy, businesses, non-profit organizations, academia and media attended the event to celebrate the occasion. The Association aims to establish Hong Kong as a leading international green finance hub.
Hong Kong S.A.R’s Chief Executive the Hon Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central Government Chou Hong, Chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and Honorary Advisor to HKGFA the Hon Laura Cha and HKGFA chairman and president, member of the HK Financial Services Development Council, and Co-Chair of the G20 Green Finance Study Group Dr. MA Jun took part in the launch ceremony as the officiating guests.
The Hon Mrs. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong S.A.R.’s Chief Executive, delivered opening remarks at the ceremony, she commented: “As Hong Kong is building momentum on green finance, we are glad to see the proactive initiative from over 90 market practitioners and business front-runners in launching the Hong Kong Green Finance Association. The establishment of the Association marks another milestone in the development of Hong Kong as a green finance hub. It signifies the depth of our market for green finance and industry’s commitment to putting Hong Kong on the world map as a green finance capital. Rest assured, my Government will support the Association and other local professional bodies in their work, including in their collaboration with overseas counterparts in the promotion of green finance.”
Dr. MA Jun welcomed the attending guests at the ceremony and started proceedings with a keynote presentation on the topic of “Green Finance Landscape: Global, China and Hong Kong”. Dr. MA Jun pointed out: “Green finance has become the major trend in the development of the global financial sector. Hong Kong has the obligation and capability to contribute and promote the development of green finance. Hong Kong Green Finance Association will aim to establish Hong Kong as a leading international green finance hub and serve as an important platform for green financing among China and markets along the Belt & Road.
Capital Environment Holdings Limited and China Everbright Bank Hong Kong Branch today listed the issuance of their inaugural green bonds valued at USD250 million and USD300 million respectively, with a gong hitting ceremony at the HKEX Connect Hall. The issuance fully demonstrated Hong Kong’s capability and potential to become the leading international green finance hub. Government officials and industry veterans in Hong Kong and mainland China shared their insights on the role of Hong Kong in promoting and tapping the opportunities from the development of green finance globally and regionally in panel discussions. Topics included “Roadmap for Hong Kong’s Green Finance Development”, “Green Finance Connect: Mainland Green Finance Cities and Hong Kong”, “Greening Belt & Road Investment”, “Green Banking, Bonds, and Insurance”, and “ESG Integration in Asset Management”.
The launch of HKGFA creates a platform that offers more channels and opportunities to facilitate the development of green finance in Hong Kong. It aims to mobilize private sector resources and talents to assist the government in developing green finance policies and to promote green finance business and product innovation within financial institutions. A specific goal of the Association is to provide greater access and opportunities for Hong Kong’s financial institutions to participate in green financing transactions locally, in Mainland China and in markets along the Belt & Road. This will serve to position Hong Kong as a leading international green finance hub, in line with the global trend of implementing the UN sustainable development goals, and the Paris Agreement. Currently, the Association has members of 90 Hong Kong financial institutions, environmentally-friendly organizations, service providers and other key stakeholders.
The Hong Kong Government has previously announced the plan to issue green bonds of up to HK$100 billion to finance green infrastructure projects. The government also launched the “Green Bond Grant Scheme” to subsidize eligible green bond issuers in obtaining certification under the Green Finance Certification Scheme by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency. The cost incurred will be waived up to a maximum subsidy of HK$800,000 per bond issuance.