New Year Greetings from Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of HKGFA

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Dear HKGFA members,

As we are coming to the end of 2019, I am writing to thank you for your contribution and continued support for the Hong Kong Green Finance Association (HKGFA). I would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of our key achievements in 2019 and our 2020 vision.

In a short period of just over one year, HKGFA is proud to have hit the ground running with many initiatives towards developing Hong Kong’s green finance market. Our membership has grown to over 110 institutions, which now includes all major banks in Hong Kong as well as many asset managers, insurance companies, green companies and third-party service providers. We have been working tirelessly with the HKSAR government and regulators in developing the green and sustainable finance market, by assisting the HKMA on developing the green banking principles, working with the SFC and HKEX to enhance ESG disclosure, facilitating mainland issuers to tap into Hong Kong’s green bond market, and bridging green projects and green finance in China and along the Belt & Road region.

Over the past year, HKGFA has conducted a wide range of events and workshops to facilitate the development of green finance and sustainable investments in Hong Kong and beyond. We held the HKGFA Annual Forum in September attended by over 300 delegates from Hong Kong and other Greater Bay Area cities and announced the plan to establish the Green Finance Alliance, which aims to facilitate the sustainable finance cooperation of the Greater Bay Area in 2020. We co-organized the Kubuqi Green Finance Summit with China Green Finance Committee (GFC) in July in China’s Inner Mongolia. We also facilitated the matchmaking between 150 green projects and investors from China and overseas and published three key reports with detailed information on green financial products and new insights on ESG.

Two of our reports focus on the Green Bond market: “Our Guide to Green Bonds”  introduces the current bond market of Hong Kong while “Assessment Environment Impact Green Bond”  provides a clear guide for assessing the environmental impact of green bonds. The third report “ESG New ERA Corporate Insights and Facts in China Market” highlights the importance of ESG information disclosure for shareholders as well as for market participants and regulators.

Looking ahead, HKGFA will continue to work with the HKSAR government and regulators to promote Hong Kong’s green bond market, especially for financing green projects in China and the Belt & Road region. We will assist regulators and financial institutions to clarify their green finance framework, adopt green principles, implement risk analysis, and incubate green asset managers. As announced at the annual forum, HKGFA aims to establish the GBA Green Finance Alliance with the Guangzhou Green Finance Committee, Shenzhen Green Finance Committee and Macau Association of Banks in 2020. This platform will host research projects and incubate green investment projects that will benefit the Greater Bay Area, leveraging the vast green investment demand in Guangdong and green finance capacities in Hong Kong and Macau. We hope that you will support the GBA Green Finance Alliance by sharing with us your suggestions and getting involved in projects sponsored by the Alliance.

In addition to the Green Finance Alliance, the seven working groups (WGs) of HKGFA will drive the following initiatives in 2020:

  • Green Banking Working GroupThe Green Banking WG will develop a capacity building program to assist HKMA in delivering key measures of the Green and Sustainable Banking Principles.
  • Green Bond Working Group: The Green Bond WG will continue to work with HKEX to promote Hong Kong’s green bonds market and facilitate cross broader investments between Hong Kong and the Mainland.
  • Green Insurance Working GroupThe Green Insurance WG will further enhance the collaboration with the HK Insurance Authority to promote the development of Green Insurance.
  • ESG Disclosure and Integration Working GroupThe ESG Disclosure and Integration WG will work with SFC and HKEX to promote responsible investment principles, ESG stakeholders engagement and ESG disclosure (e.g., via TCFD capacity building) to local asset managers. This WG will publish green finance research products (e.g., the Green Fund Certification booklet) in collaboration with the Green Bond Working Group.
  • Policy Research and Dissemination Working Group: The Policy WG aims to issue a policy bulletin in 2020 to drive a few green finance policy reforms.
  • Mainland-HK Collaboration Working Group & Green Belt and Road Working Group: Both WGs will continue to promote cross-border green investments between Mainland and HK; to create “match and connect” opportunities for our members with project owners in the B&R region.  The B&R WG will sign the Green Project database MoU with the BRI GIP Secretariat and HKTDC to enable HK and mainland to exchange green project information on a regular basis.

Your active participation is fundamental to our long-term success.  We encourage you to stay tuned with us through our LinkedIn @hkgfa and Twitter @HKGreenfinance. Our website https://www.hkgreenfinance.org/ will be revamped in 2020 and we will post all the member institutions’ logos on our new website. Should you have any inquiries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact our Secretary General Chaoni Huang and Deputy Secretary General Tracy Wong Harris at info@hkgreenfinance.org/devsite.

On behalf of HKGFA, I would like to express our deepest appreciation for your support and I look forward to continuing our collaboration. With our collective efforts, I am confident that we can make Hong Kong one of the most attractive green finance centres regionally and globally. As 2020 is fast approaching, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a new year filled with prosperity, joy, and contentment!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Ma Jun

Chairman and President of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association

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