Policy Address

Enhancing Hong Kong’s Status as an International Financial Centre

41. The financial services industry is an important pillar of our economy and the most internationalised industry of all. Despite unprecedented challenges in the past two years, our financial system has remained stable and business has been vibrant. Evidently the Mainland’s sustained economic growth and the further opening up and reform of its financial sector have provided strong support for the development of our financial services industry. Capitalising on our advantages under “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong’s role as a bridge for international investors to access the Mainland market and for Mainland funds to reach out to the international market will be all the more significant.

42. At the talks on the 14th Five-Year Plan for various sectors in Hong Kong, the Central Government delegation has reiterated support for Hong Kong to further promote mutual financial market access with the Mainland, develop offshore Renminbi (RMB) business, strengthen its position as an international asset management centre and a risk management centre, develop into a green finance centre in the GBA and promote, amongst others, its financial services towards high-end and high value-added development. In this connection, we will step up our efforts in the following five areas:

  1. supporting the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEX) to further enhance our listing regime, and to establish a listing regime for special purpose acquisition companies in Hong Kong after consulting the market;
  2. expanding further the channels for the two-way flow of cross- boundary RMB funds and developing offshore RMB products and tools, including looking into specific measures to enhance demand for the issuance and trading of RMB securities and allow stocks traded via the southbound trading under Stock Connect to be denominated in RMB;
  3. further attracting family offices to establish a presence in Hong Kong by considering the provision of tax concessions, thereby enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international asset and wealth management centre;
  4. supporting the HKEX to promote co-operation with the Guangzhou Futures Exchange in financial product development related to the areas of carbon emission trading, and assessing the feasibility of developing Hong Kong into a regional carbon trading centre, thereby strengthening Hong Kong as a regional green and sustainable finance hub; and
  5. promoting cross-border financial technologies (Fintech) and actively exploring with the Mainland the formation of a one-stop sandbox network to facilitate financial institutions and information and technology companies from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to test cross-border Fintech applications.