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Monday, January 16, 2017, 15:54

Brexit, US and Eurozone polls on HK radar

By Oswald Chan in Hong Kong
Brexit, US and Eurozone polls on HK radar
The LED Board displays the AFF 2017 during the first day of Asian Financial Forum 2017 on Jan 16, 2017. (Parker Zheng/ China Daily)

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government will monitor how the effects of Brexit referendum, policies of the US new government under President-elect Donald Trump and Eurozone elections will play out to impact Hong Kong's financial market this year, panelists said on the first day of the two-day Asian Financial Forum (AFF) .

The 10th AFF, co-organized by HKSAR and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), saw the participation of some 2,800 professionals

The 10th AFF, co-organized by HKSAR and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), saw the participation if some 2,800 financial and business leaders, policymakers, investors, and high net-worth individuals from around the world to participate. The discussion focused on how Asia could drive economic change, innovation and connectivity.

"The continued strengthening of US dollar and the normalization of US interest rates has exerted great impacts on capital flows,” acting Financial Secretary Ceajer Chan Ka-keung said on the Monday morning session of AFF.

Read more: How will Brexit affect EU and China?

"Trade policies under the US new government led by President-elect Donald Trump are still not clear, coupled with uncertainities associated with the Brexit process and political election results in France, Germany and the Netherlands this year, market focus will turn to Asia on whether the region can be an investment safe-haven area and an engine for boosting global economic growth,” Chan said at the forum.

Over the last 10 years, Asia had contributed over two-thirds of the world’s economic growth, Chan pointed out.

"With investment demand set to bolster, the financial services industry is transforming towards service-oriented, innovation-oriented and high value-added oriented,” Chan envisaged, adding that the Chinese mainland-led Belt and Road Initiative will create a virtuous cycle in fostering consumption and trade that benefits all involved countries.

"The One Country, Two Systems facilitates trade flows for Hong Kong and enables the city to play the super-connector role,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said at the opening session of AFF on Monday.

"As the Belt and Road Initiative rolls out, Hong Kong’s super-connector role will be even more cemented,” Leung said.

The Belt and Road Initiative is the Chinese mainland-led development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and some 60 Eurasian countries.

"Hong Kong is ranked as the freest economy for many years amid global economic uncertainty. Hong Kong’s low inflation rate , skilled pool of labor and strong adaptability of the innovation industry can enable the city to leverage its niches,” Leung reckoned. “Hong Kong can also be the bastion of nurturing financial technology.”

Besides a series of keynote speeches and thematic workshops, the AFF also arranged deal flow matching sessions co-organized by HKTDC and Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association in the areas of food and agriculture, financial technology, clean technology and manufacturing technology, as well as infrastructure investment. Last year, the AFF had arranged more than 570 meetings involving 290 investment projects from 25 countries and regions.

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