Hong Kong is home to over 800 fintech companies, up from 180 five years ago, and its impressive growth is due to its open market, strong regulatory system, strong government support and investment in talent. . Will Hong Kong become an ideal hub for fintech development as it is now ‘up the highway’ to make up for ‘lost time’ due to the pandemic of the past few years?
There is an air of hope in Hong Kong after the recent easing of stringent Covid-19 restrictions on international arrivals and the end of three years of border controls that isolated the city from mainland China.
“I am incredibly optimistic about this year – Hong Kong is currently enjoying a microclimate. Kevin Rideout Co-Head of Sales and Marketing for Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEX). “China is having a huge impact on Hong Kong activity and China is shutting down. lost.
“I mean, we’ve seen this bull come back to China, and we’ve seen its impact on the stock market over the last week or so. I see it going.”
16th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) In Hong Kong this month, Rideout’s optimism was shared by the city’s chief executive John Lee In his keynote speech, he praised the “happy and thrilling start of the year” with hopes for a “bright future”.
“Hong Kong’s strength as an international financial center linking the mainland to the rest of the world is poised to multiply, thanks to the continued and widespread support of the motherland.” And we need to tell the world what that means for the countries, economies and businesses that partner with Hong Kong.
“What it means is an opportunity – one that is long-term and long-term rewarding. We are blessed with abundant possibilities in various fields such as. There are many good stories to tell. There are many opportunities to make it happen. ”
Focus on fintech
In his speech at the forum, Lee also touched on the importance of fintech to the city. “Financial technology is the future and we are determined to make it ours.” At the same time, he outlined how they are working closely together to foster financial innovation and develop talent.
not only, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) In addition to the introduction of sandboxes to promote fintech development, and the HKMA’s “Fintech 2025” strategy to promote fintech development, the city will serve as an ideal platform for the evolution and expansion of fintech businesses. It also carries out a number of initiatives to position the city.
Invest Hong Kong, The department of the Hong Kong government responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, dedicated to attracting the world’s top innovative fintechs to set up and expand their businesses to mainland China and Asia via Hong Kong. I have a fintech team.
In December 2022, InvestHK Soft will FintechHK community platform, A centralized fintech platform to connect local and global technology companies with ‘enterprises, investors and service champions’ to foster the growth of Hong Kong’s fintech ecosystem.
In December Office for Strategic Enterprise Attraction (OASES) Its mission is to attract representative and high potential strategic companies from all over the world.
OASES offers bespoke incentives in areas such as land, tax, financing and visa applications to individual companies setting up or expanding operations in Hong Kong. OASES also advises strategic fintech companies on their licensing and listing requirements and assists them throughout the process.
Jimmy Chen Deputy Director of Investment Promotion at InvestHK said: Fintech has become one of the most popular areas for companies to develop and capture new opportunities. ”
Two years ago, Hong Kong Fintech demonstration subsidy system This allows fintech companies to experiment with innovative concepts that can increase operational efficiency and extend customer service. In 2021, the scheme has approved around 90 projects, with more than 120 applications already in the second round (still in progress).
The scheme is operated by Cyberport, A digital community offering over 47,000 square feet of coworking space. It currently has over 1,650 start-ups and technology companies, supporting over 400 fintech companies, including fintech unicorns. WeLab. Cyberport also works with governments to promote the development and adoption of Web3 and virtual asset technologies.
Victor ImCyberport’s Head of Fintech, said: We support talent development and assist the entire industry in fintech adoption. We also work with various government agencies and institutions to provide financial support.
“Hong Kong is a great market for startups. Anything licensed in Hong Kong can easily be developed in different parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia, Europe and America. Hong Kong really is a major market for fintech. Those who do can succeed elsewhere.”
of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) An innovation and technology (I&T) hub aimed at attracting and developing tech talent for growth in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, Asia and beyond.
Dr. Crystal Fock The head of STP platform at HKSTP believes that a healthy regulatory environment and innovations in AI technology could pave the way for Hong Kong to become a global fintech service center.
She explains: We foster over 100 fintech companies. In addition to providing them with financial support, we also help them build networks and provide connections with the financial sector. ”
“I have seen many fintech companies serving some big banks and having business opportunities. There is a lot of demand for regtech and fintech companies with AI capabilities are very busy because of this. It’s happening.”
HKSTP Now Seeking Fintechs to Enter Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC) 2023. The competition is open to global start-ups looking to expand their footprint in Asia, with the top 50 semi-finalists eligible for up to $5 million in investment by HKSTP’s Corporate Venture Arm.
Other incentives include Innocell, A smart living and co-creation space designed for I&T talents to foster collaboration within the Hong Kong Science Park. In addition, you will have the opportunity to tap into the talent pool of Hong Kong’s leading universities.
Greater Bay Area
Hong Kong is not only welcoming fintechs to innovate and grow in the city, but is also keen to showcase the opportunities offered through the developing Greater Bay Area (GBA). The region is an urban cluster in southern China, made up of nine he cities in Guangdong province and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
according to Stephanie Yuen Hong Kong Head of Digital Wealth Platform peas and chairman of the committee Hong Kong Fintech Association, By working with the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong can create an even bigger market for the next phase of fintech development.
she said: It is further coupled with the enormous opportunities offered by the Greater Bay Area, which now has a population of over 70 million and a region that rivals South Korea’s GDP. ”
InvestHK’s Mr. Chen also believes that “the development of GBA will bring many exciting opportunities.”
“International companies can certainly leverage Hong Kong as an effective platform to access the GBA and the whole of mainland China,” he said.
Last year, Greater Bay Fintech Talent Initiative in collaboration with Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Bloomberg and the Union Youth Association of Hong Kong. The initiative aims to accelerate local talent development and equip students with relevant skills and knowledge for a digitally integrated financial region
20 leading financial companies, including Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup And HKEX supports the initiative.
Fintech Times was a guest at the Asian Financial Forum.