Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), was in London yesterday (21 September, London time) to promote Hong Kong as the gateway to Belt and Road investment and financing opportunities.
“Ever since the beginning of China’s Reform and Opening Programme in the late 70s, Hong Kong has served as the hub and springboard for foreign capital wanting to invest on the Mainland, providing over 50%-60% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. In the last 10 years, when China has entered into a new era of “Going Out”, Hong Kong again serves as the hub and springboard of Mainland’s investments overseas, receiving over 60% of all overseas direct investment (ODI) flows. Against this background, Hong Kong is uniquely well-positioned to play an unparalleled role in intermediating infrastructural investment and financing, both debt and equity, under the promising prospect of the Belt and Road Initiative, thus greatly facilitating and catalysing investment flows.”
“The Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO), set up by the HKMA in July 2016, is tasked to build a platform to bring together like-minded stakeholders interested in infrastructural investments in the Belt and Road countries with a view to facilitating and mobilising more efficient investment flows. IFFO is an open platform and, amongst its 77 Partners, there are 14 that are UK based, which underscores the strong trade and financial links between the UK and Hong Kong. The HKMA welcomes a closer partnership with interested UK stakeholders to further develop and participate in Belt and Road investment opportunities through the IFFO platform as well as the HK-London Financial Services Forum.”
The seminar led by Mr Chan on “Hong Kong: Gateway to Belt and Road Opportunities” attracted around 170 attendees from UK authorities, financial institutions and corporates. It was joined by the following industry experts (in alphabetical order of organisation name):
- Mr Alain Carrier, Senior Managing Director & Head of International, Head of Europe (London Office), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board;
- Mr Song Debin, Deputy General Manager, Marketing Development, China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (International);
- Mr Samir Assaf, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Global Banking and Markets, HSBC Holdings plc;
- Mr Ram Mahidhara, Chief Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation; and
- Mr Ben Way, Chief Executive Officer, Macquarie Group Asia.
The speakers shared views on the importance of infrastructure investments along the Belt and Road, investment opportunities as well as challenges, and how the Hong Kong’s financial services sector and IFFO can help UK corporations connect with the vast opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative.
IFFO was established in July last year by the HKMA to serve as a collaboration platform bringing together key stakeholders in facilitating infrastructure investments and financing.
The seminar was part of the “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” promotion programme organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in London.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
22 September 2017
As part of the HKMA, IFFO’s mission is to facilitate infrastructure investments and their financing by working with a cluster of key stakeholders. The functions of IFFO are:
- providing a platform for information exchange and experience sharing;
- building capacity and knowledge on infrastructure investments and financing;
- promoting market and product development; and
- facilitating infrastructure investment and financing flows.
By establishing IFFO, the HKMA can play a valuable role as a catalyst in the facilitation of infrastructure investments and their financings with its mandate to promote Hong Kong as an international financial centre.
For more information about IFFO, please visit http://www.iffo.org.hk