Hong Kong Boosts Fintech Ecosystem with Major Initiatives

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) has unveiled a series of significant fintech initiatives at the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023, with the aim of synergizing fintech development and the real economy.

These initiatives include the introduction of an Integrated Fund Platform (IFP), the endorsement of cross-boundary e-CNY applications, and the support for innovation in the Virtual Assets (VA) and Web3.0 sectors, alongside further enhancement of the regulatory framework.

Financial Secretary, Mr. Paul Chan, expressed the government’s unwavering commitment to propelling fintech development in Hong Kong, highlighting the initiatives as crucial steps in boosting the competitiveness of the financial services industry and the real economy.

He emphasized the goal of empowering financial institutions to fast-track digitalization and innovate their products, ultimately benefiting the public with more accessible, affordable, and inclusive financial services.

Mr. Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, aligned these initiatives with the theme of this year’s FinTech Week, ‘Fintech Redefined.’ He underscored their role in advancing the fintech ecosystem and providing a robust foundation for the real economy.

The newly proposed IFP, to be managed by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), aims to revamp the retail fund sector by encompassing the entire distribution life cycle and value chain. It is designed to function as a communication hub, a business platform, and an information portal, solidifying Hong Kong’s position as a global asset and wealth management hub.

On the cross-border fintech front, the FSTB welcomed the exploration of new e-CNY applications by Octopus Cards Limited (OCL) and Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK), enhancing financial connectivity between Mainland China and Hong Kong. These developments promise to facilitate smoother transactions for inbound and outbound visitors.

The government is also pushing for innovations tied to the real economy in the VA and Web3.0 sectors, alongside progressing the regulatory landscape. This includes issuing circulars to provide clarity on tokenized securities-related activities and expanding the regulatory scope for virtual assets transactions.

Consultations on legislative proposals for stablecoin issuers and guidelines for banks providing digital asset custodial services are also in the pipeline, ensuring a secure and well-regulated fintech environment in Hong Kong.

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