Award Banner
Award Banner

12th Asian Financial Forum Opens in Mid-January

12th Asian Financial Forum Opens in Mid-January

L-R: Duncan Chiu, Executive Director and Co-chairman of the Venture Committee of the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, and co-founder and Managing Director of Radiant Venture Capital; Stephen Liang, Assistant Executive Director of the HKTDC; Diana Cesar, Chairperson of the AFF Steering Committee and Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC; and James Chang, China Financial Services Consulting Leader, PwC
Under the theme "Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future," the 12th Asian Financial Forum will be held on 14-15 Jan 2019 (Monday and Tuesday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The picture shows one of the sessions at the 2018 event.
Focus on 'Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future'

HONG KONG, Jan 3, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 12th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) will be held on 14-15 Jan (Monday-Tuesday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Under the theme "Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future", more than 120 policymakers, financial and business leaders and investors will examine hot topical issues in the global economy and explore new opportunities. Besides two keynote luncheons, this edition of the forum will see the introduction of four panel discussion sessions to explore a diverse range of issues. The newly launched FinTech Showcase will allow international financial institutions and technology corporations to showcase innovative solutions to the industry on site, promoting the use of new technology to help the industry stay competitive and create a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Diana Cesar, Chairperson, Asian Financial Forum Steering Committee and Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC, said: "The AFF has firmly established itself as the premier forum of the finance industry at the beginning of the year. While economic growth in Asia Pacific remains solid, its sustainability hinges on innovation and collaboration. This year's AFF will explore recurrent topics of interest, including financial innovation, technology and sustainability, as well as entrepreneurship. In fact, these are also the growth drivers of the Hong Kong economy. The combined wisdom of experts speaking at the AFF will give participants a richer appreciation to make informed decisions in the year ahead."

Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future: Opportunities and Challenges

The first plenary session on the first day of the AFF will explore ways to drive sustainable economic growth and build a better future in the face of opportunities and challenges around the world. James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government, will chair the panel. Heavyweight speakers include Michael D'Arcy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance, Ireland; Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg; Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, Malaysia; and Wang Zhaoxing, Vice President, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

The ever-changing area of international relations has a significant impact on the global economy and financial markets. A panel discussion on the theme "Managing Global Financial Risks and Opportunities in 2019" will see financial experts share insights on the global market and financial policies. The session will be chaired by Eddie Yue, Deputy Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, with panelists including Burkhard Balz, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank; Dennis Beau, First Deputy Governor of the Banque de France; Saeb Eigner, Chairman, Dubai Financial Services Authority; and Jin Liqun, President and Chairman, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

New Panel Discussions Launched in 2019

Four new panel discussions will be held at the AFF this year, covering issues including "Global Investment in the New Economy", "Financial Innovation", "Start-ups & Entrepreneurship" and "Risk Management along the Belt and Road". The panel discussion on "Global Investment in the New Economy" will feature key specialists from the banking and financial services sectors to discuss investment risks and opportunities in an ever-changing financial situation against a backdrop increasingly dominated by New Economy start-ups and tech-based businesses. Speakers include Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC and President, Dubai Business Women Council; Raymond Chao, Chairman, Asia Pacific and Greater China, PwC and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, AXA Group; John Flint, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc; Nobuyuki Hirano, President and Group CEO, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc; and Michel M Lies, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.

As FinTech rapidly transforms the economy and the financial sector at a global level, it has the potential to advance financial reforms and deliver sustainable development. The panel discussion on FinTech trends and regulations will feature Chris Church, Chief Business Development Officer, Digital Asset; Eddi Danusaputro, Chief Executive Officer, Mandiri Capital Indonesia; Soul Htite, Chairman and founder of Dianrong; Daisuke Iwase, Group Chief Digital Officer, AIA Group Limited; and Alex Kong, founder and Chairman, TNG FinTech Group.

Two other panel discussions will focus on Start-ups & Entrepreneurship and Risk Management along the Belt and Road. Among those sharing their insights will be Justin Gong, co-founder and Vice President, XAG; Nisa Leung, Managing Partner, Qiming Venture Partners; Max Yuen, founder and Chairman, Shanghai Xiaoi Robot Technology; Peter Burnett, Managing Director, Regional Head, Corporate Finance, Greater China & North Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited; and Jayne Plunkett, CEO Asia and Member of Group Executive Committee, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd.

Robert Zoellick Shares Views on Sino-US Trade Dispute and Global Economic Trends

At the keynote luncheon on the first day of the AFF, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick will be the keynote speaker. Mr Zoellick has played an important role in Sino-US relations over the years. During his term as World Bank President, he collaborated with the Development Research Center of the State Council to drive economic development in Mainland China and has gained extensive insights into the global economy and the 40 years of development following the opening up of the country. Mr Zoellick will examine global economic prospects and the latest Sino-US trade situation, as well as ways to tackle innovation and achieve a more sustainable mode of development. Mr Zoellick will also interact with the audience and answer their questions.

New FinTech Showcase Presents Innovative Solutions

HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Stephen Liang said: "We hope the AFF can continue to promote Hong Kong's strength as an international financial centre and platform, attracting industries from around the world to look for investment opportunities, potential investors and financial partners, exploring new opportunities together and working towards building a sustainable and inclusive future using finance as a tool."

Mr Liang explained that developing green finance, strengthening risk management and integrating innovation and technology into finance and other sectors can all help the market become sustainable. "To help participants capture FinTech opportunities ahead of their competitors, we have stepped up our game in the areas of innovation and technology, inviting companies to examine hot issues related to FinTech and the business sector through both the newly launched FinTech Showcase and our InnoTalks workshop series.

The new FinTech Showcase launched at this year's AFF will enable international financial institutions and technological enterprises to present their innovative applications and solutions to the industry. Exhibitors include AlphaPoint, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, NEC, Prime Trust, PwC, TNG FinTech Group, as well as 4 Paradigm, Beijing Kuangshi Technology, BBD, China Payment & Clearing Network and Yusys Technologies from the mainland. The showcase will encourage the use of new technology in the industry to help it stay competitive and improve business efficiency in the face of new economic realities.

InnoTalks Series Returns to Explore FinTech Issues

Launched last year, the InnoTalks series returns in 2019 with various workshops on the second day of the forum that will explore technological issues relevant to the financial sector, including RegTech, InsurTech, developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, cultural transformation, fostering SMEs through FinTech, blockchain and internet security, and the use of technology in asset management. Renowned speakers including Alain Crozier, Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft Greater China, Tu Guangshao, Vice Chairman and President, China Investment Corporation, and Shirley Yu, Group General Manager, Visa Greater China, will help the industry get a better grasp of financial innovations that can boost competitiveness in an ever-changing economic environment.

Sponsored again by the Financial Services Development Council, Hong Kong, the Breakfast Panel will be moderated by Laurence Li, Chairman, Financial Services Development Council, on the theme "Hong Kong's Role in the Changing Multilateral Trade Landscape". The panellists include Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government; Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group; Benjamin Hung, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Greater China & North Asia and Chief Executive Officer, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Standard Chartered Bank; and John Slosar, Chairman of the Hong Kong-United States Business Council (Hong Kong Section) and Chairman, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited. The Sino-US trade dispute and struggles arising from Brexit arrangements have created uncertainties in global economic growth prospects. Together the panellists will explore the opportunities and risks for Hong Kong against the backdrop of recent economic and geopolitical developments, looking at what the city should do to safeguard its position as a leading international financial centre.

The keynote luncheon on the second day will feature April Rinne, founder, Advisor and Investor, April Worldwide, and Head of the Sharing Economy Working Group, World Economic Forum YGL. Ms Rinne will discuss the latest developments in the sharing economy and examine ways for the industry to make use of financing channels such as peer-to-peer lending/insurance, crowdfunding and social payment facilities to improve efficiency and stay competitive, helping to create a sustainable financial environment.

AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Facilitates Collaboration for Start-ups

Over the years, as well as bringing together elites from the world's finance and business sectors to share their insights on economic prospects and investment opportunities, the AFF has also served as a platform for investors and project owners to explore cooperation. This year's forum will once again co-organise the AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking session with the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association to provide pre-arranged deal-sourcing and matchmaking meetings for project owners and investors. Involving more than 500 investment projects, it will cover manufacturing and environment technology, digital technology, FinTech, healthcare technology, infrastructure and real estate services, education, environment and energy, and agriculture. Some 700 one-on-one meetings are expected to be arranged.

The InnoVenture Salon is back for the second time on an expanded scale and with enriched content, making it the ideal platform to connect start-up companies with potential investors and partners. The salon continues to receive the support of 60 investment mentors, institutional partners and collaborators, along with new overseas collaborators from Germany, Singapore, Korea and the United States, to meet with start-ups on site. About 50 start-ups will showcase their products and ideas at the Startup Zone, while industry experts will offer practical tips on growing a successful start-up business at the Startup Clinic.

To capture opportunities brought about by technological advances, Fireside Chat will feature Bonnie Cheung, Venture Partner at 500 Startups, and Jay Liang, founder & Co-chairman of the Hong Kong Blockchain Association, together with industry pioneers from Hong Kong, the United States and Germany, to share insights into artificial intelligence and blockchain technology applications, financial and regulatory technology, biotech and healthcare technology, providing practical tips on becoming a successful entrepreneur. Fledgling companies can enjoy one-on-one meetings with business partners through Investor Alley, helping them to share their financing needs with potential investors. The HKTDC and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will continue to co-organise a workshop to discuss Asian entrepreneurship and start-ups in Asia, exploring how technological developments will attract investors in the region and examining how Asian entrepreneurs and start-ups can attract funds and explore cross-sector opportunities.

Event website:
Photo download:

Members of the media interested in interviewing the speakers can fill out the form ( and email it to by 4 Jan 2019.


Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.

Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: Sam Ho, Tel: +852 2584 4569, Email:

Copyright 2019 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.
This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.