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Friday, August 03, 2018, 01:00
Experts see fintech role for HK, Shenzhen
By Kathy Zhang
Friday, August 03, 2018, 01:00 By Kathy Zhang

HONG KONG - Financial technology experts from Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Thursday urged both cities to join together in pilot projects which promote cross-boundary fintech in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Whitman Hung said the special administrative region provides diversified financing services, such as investment funds, risk investment, insurance and banking

The experts made this suggestion at a forum discussing prospects for the Bay Area and the role played by Shenzhen’s Qianhai Pilot Free Trade Zone. This is a free-trade zone that tops the ranking of the country’s PFTZs in terms of policy innovation. 

Witman Hung, principal liaison officer for Hong Kong of Shenzhen Qianhai Authority and president of the Internet Professional Association, stressed the significance of “finance plus technology”. Hung said these were competitive industries in the area and would create a new economic dynamism.

He said Hong Kong and Shenzhen could play leading roles in fintech within the Bay Area as the cities had their own unique advantages. 

Hung said the special administrative region provides diversified financing services, such as investment funds, risk investment, insurance and banking.

Shenzhen had the edge in technology as it accumulated abundant talent and intellectual property resources over the past years, he noted.

Therefore, Hung urged the two cities to make full use of their own advantages and cooperate to move the industry forward.

ALSO READ: Fintech an opportunity, not a threat, to banking industry

He also noted that Hong Kong and Shenzhen’s fintech collaboration could set a model for cooperation between the Chinese mainland and foreign countries.

Hong Kong has been involved in cross-boundary trial programs with the mainland. Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, cross-boundary investment channels, allow investors to trade shares on each other markets using their local brokers and clearing houses. These were launched in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Based on the experience of these two programs, the Shanghai-London Stock Connect is expected to be launched this year, Premier Li Keqiang said when meeting British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday.

Agreeing with Hung, Yao Huiya, head of fintech innovation of China’s first online-only bank - WeBank, said there were many opportunities for Hong Kong and Shenzhen to collaborate on fintech.

Yao said both cities could jointly develop relevant products and cultivate the necessary talents. He said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has organized local graduates and students to work for fintech enterprises in Shenzhen this summer.

Wang Chunxin, senior economist of Bank of China (Hong Kong), said there is a trend of blending innovation technology with innovation finance in the Bay Area’s development.

Wang said fintech could be applied in broad areas, including traditional finance and green finance.

READ MORE: Putting Hong Kong onto the fast track of fintech race

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