Hong Kong Fintech Week (HKFW) 2021 ended on November 5, closing a global conference exploring an array of business opportunities for the fintech industry in Hong Kong and across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
The event which featured renowned speakers from around the world, revealed several key policy announcements and put a spotlight on Hong Kong as the destination for fintech startups and scale-ups to expand business in Asia.
The five-day event themed “Scaling Fintech Future Together” had attracted over 20,000 attendees. The conference was host to over 300 speakers, more than 400 exhibitors, and 39 international delegations and representatives.
Twenty-seven satellite events and thousands of business meetings were arranged through the event and via the online platforms.
This was the first HKFW in a hybrid format, drawing more than four million online views and providing a seamless experience to worldwide audiences from 87 economies to learn more about the city’s fast-growing fintech ecosystem.
This global fintech event was led by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK).
It was co-organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and the Insurance Authority (IA).
Paul Chan, said,
“Despite COVID-19 and numerous other challenges, Hong Kong remains a prime international financial center. The National 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong’s continuing efforts to reinforce the city’s status as a global financial centre and offerings, and backs the development of Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology hub.
Thanks to our ‘one country, two systems’ institutional strength, Hong Kong remains the destination of choice for fintech companies looking to operate or expand, locally, regionally and globally.”
New policy measures and proposals
Notable policy measures and proposals were announced by the government and regulators to set the global fintech agenda and secure Hong Kong’s future as an attractive international center for the research and development of fintech products and services.
The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Christopher Hui, announced a three-pronged strategy to foster fintech development.
The three areas were; opening-up government data and introducing a shared platform; establishing and chairing the “Coordination Group on Implementation of Fintech Initiatives”; and launching again the “Financial Practitioners Fintech Training Programme”.
Hui also shared the bureau’s plans to grow the fintech ecosystem through cross-boundary co-ordination and nurturing fintech talent.
Meanwhile, the HKMA had announced the launch of the AML Regtech Lab in collaboration with Cyberport to encourage regtech adoption.
It will also study the feasibility of piloting the issuance of tokenised green bonds under the Government Green Bond Programme.
The SFC is reviewing the regulatory regime for virtual assets and is in close contact with the HKMA with a view to issuing a joint circular on the outcome after the review.
The IA widened its support for insurtech and will be examining the possibility of allowing more users to access the existing insurtech sandbox to test innovative ways of doing business, and enabling an Open API Framework for the insurance sector in 2022.
Global Fast Track 2021 programme
The five-day conference showed the range of comprehensive scale-up opportunities and support available in Hong Kong for companies to fast-track their success from the Asia’s global fintech hub.
Now in its second year, the Global Fast Track programme led by InvestHK promotes fintech business opportunities and adoption in Hong Kong, and brings together several of Hong Kong’s soft-landing support programmes into a single scale-up offering.
The programme received over 300 fintech company applications from 49 economies and enabled one-on-one meetings with more than 90 local and regional corporates and investors.
Fano Labs, one of the leading artificial intelligence companies in Greater China which helps enterprises with customer services, compliance and other lines of businesses, emerged as the winner this year.
King Leung, Head of Fintech at InvestHK said,
“This Week has shown the best of what Hong Kong has to offer as an unrivalled fintech ecosystem with an established tradition of launching scale-ups internationally.
It is evident that collaboration and the public and private sectors’ supportive efforts are ramping up at every level of our ecosystem. We are encouraged by the business opportunities that have opened up for the fintech industry at the conference this year.”