|By ACN Newswire||
|January 15, 2014 05:41 AM EST||
More than 100 Speakers Participate in Two-Day Summit
Hong Kong, Jan 15, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - More than 2,400 business leaders and senior government officials from 41 countries and regions took part in the seventh Asian Financial Forum (AFF), 13-14 January, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Delegations of senior executives from Australia, Canada, the Chinese mainland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States were among those in attendance.
Powering World Growth
Prospects on the Chinese mainland and throughout the Asian region dominated the two-day forum, as Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman Jack So emphasised in his remarks at the Forum opening. "You're here because, undoubtedly, Asia has proven to be vital - to the global economy and world financial system, and to your business bottom line," said Mr So. "Led by the Chinese mainland and, increasingly, ASEAN, this region has emerged, in recent years, as the world's economic and financial engine. Which is why 'Asia: Powering World Growth,' is the theme of our seventh Forum."
Leung: "Connector of People and Markets"
Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive CY Leung, who also spoke at the Forum opening, stressed Hong Kong's role as a "connector of people and markets from East and West." He illustrated this by noting that Hong Kong "is the largest offshore renminbi-financing centre in the world" today.
Nakao: "Growth Remains Robust"
The forum's opening session focused on Asia's growing role in the global economy. Session speakers were: Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup and the Netherlands' Minister of Finance; Alexey Moiseev, Deputy Finance Minister of Russia; and Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank. Mr Nakao said that Asia's share of the world economy had risen from 20 per cent in 1990 to nearly 30 per cent today. And, despite a variety of challenges, he remained positive. "Our region may be seeing some moderation in growth. But there are two things to remember: first, despite the moderation, growth remains robust by anyone's standards and, second, this moderation is occurring alongside the critical structural reforms needed for the sustainability of robust growth in a more equitable and environmentally sound fashion."
Geithner: "Reasonably Optimistic"
More than 100 speakers took part in the Forum, including Timothy Geithner, US Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 until January 2013. Mr Geithner delivered his speech at the 14 January luncheon. Addressing relations between the US and China, Mr Geithner was "reasonably optimistic," noting that the two economies are closely integrated and "complementary."
Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, gave the 13 January luncheon address. Other prominent speakers included: Paul M Achleitner, Chairman, Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG; Ding Xuedong, Chairman & CEO, China Investment Corporation; Robin Li, Chairman & CEO, Baidu Inc; Carlo Mazzi, Deputy Chairman, Prada SpA; Fiona Woolf, Lord Mayor, City of London; and Levin Zhu, President & CEO, China International Capital Corporation Ltd.
Free Trade to Virtual Currency
Much discussion took place at the Forum workshops. These examined opportunities ranging from the liberalisation of the mainland's financial market to private wealth management, captive insurance, Islamic finance, ASEAN, free trade zones, Qianhai, opportunities in natural resources and energy, and Chinese outbound investment.
Speaking about "virtual currency" at yesterday's "Financial Service Innovation" workshop, Zennon Kapron, founder and Managing Director of Kapronasia, noted: "Virtual currency has the potential to be the biggest change in our lifetimes - or nothing." Either way, he added, it's an innovation that traditional financial institutions must begin to address. Workshop summaries are available at: http://www.asianfinancialforum.com/en/info_summaries.htm
The AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session this year featured more than 400 one-to-one meetings between investors and businesses looking for investment. They included dedicated matching between Chinese investors and international project owners looking for mainland capital.
Networking and Global Investment
The Forum's Networking Lounge served as a resource and hospitality centre. The Global Investment Opportunities zone, located inside the lounge, presented investment opportunities from Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Russia, Spain and the US. In addition, the lounge included nearly 30 sponsors and exhibitors, covering sectors ranging from the media to financial services and national investment promotion agencies.
International Financial Week
The AFF was the anchor event of International Financial Week. Its 10 finance-related events continue through 17 January, with the annual International Conference on the Chinese Economy taking place tomorrow and Friday. More than 3,000 people are expected to take part in the week-long activities.
Launched in 2007, the AFF is Asia's premier annual financial and business event. The Forum is organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the HKTDC.
Websites: www.asianfinancialforum.com; http://www.internationalfinancialweek.com
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 12 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
HKTDC Corporate Communication Department Joe Kainz Tel: +852 2584 4216 Email: [email protected]
Copyright 2014 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.
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