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Hong Kong and U.A.E Central Banks Driving Financial Innovation

Image Credits: HKMA, Press Release

A bilateral meeting took place in Abu Dhabi between the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) with the aim of strengthening collaboration between the financial services sectors of both jurisdictions.

The CBUAE and the HKMA engaged in discussions during the meeting, focusing on various collaborative initiatives. They reached an agreement to enhance cooperation in three key areas: financial infrastructure, financial market connectivity, and virtual asset regulations and developments. Furthermore, the central banks facilitated fruitful conversations between their innovation hubs, fostering joint fintech development initiatives and knowledge-sharing endeavours.

To drive forward the agreed initiatives, a joint working group will be established, led by the CBUAE and HKMA, and supported by key stakeholders from the banking sectors of both jurisdictions. This collaborative effort aims to effectively implement and advance the agreed-upon initiatives.

Senior executives from banks in the UAE and Hong Kong also discussed identifying and exploring key opportunities for collaboration between Hong Kong and the UAE. Potential arrangements to facilitate smoother cross-border trade settlement and strategies for UAE corporates to effectively leverage Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure platforms for accessing Asian and Mainland markets were discussed. In addition, financial and investment solutions and capital markets prospects within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area) were explored.

The visit of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and its delegation to the UAE was welcomed by the Governor of the CBUAE, aiming to strengthen the existing and robust relations between the central banks. Emphasis was placed on exploring avenues for deepening collaboration in significant areas such as the development of financial market infrastructure and opportunities for mutual growth in digitisation and technological advancement.

A longstanding engagement with the HKMA and the broader Hong Kong financial services sector is anticipated, with a continued focus on collaborating and exchanging knowledge in these areas of mutual interest.

The collaboration between the central banks of Hong Kong and the UAE was enhanced through collaborative discussion, as stated by the Chief Executive of the HKMA. Several important areas saw strengthened collaboration, providing a platform for financial institutions and corporates from Hong Kong and the UAE to increase exchange and collaboration.

The two financial centres, Hong Kong and the UAE share complementary strengths and mutual interests, presenting significant opportunities for market participants from both regions to work together and foster connectivity.

Continued collaboration with the CBUAE and further exchange between the financial sectors of Hong Kong and the UAE is expected. Additionally, Hong Kong extended a welcome for future visits by UAE stakeholders to Hong Kong. The focus remains on technology and fintech, with an emphasis on leveraging these areas for collaboration and growth.

According to the HKMA, fintech is a global driver of innovation, reshaping commerce and transforming customer expectations. Fintech encompasses the use of artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and big data in areas like payments, lending, insurance, and investment management.

Considering the rapid pace of technological progress, it is vital to comprehend the advantages and risks associated with fintech while promoting its sustainable growth. Maintaining robust cybersecurity and data security in the banking sector is crucial to instil public trust in both the traditional banking system and emerging financial services.

The HKMA is committed to achieving a harmonious balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding customer interests throughout the fintech development process. To promote the growth of the fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong and establish the city as a fintech hub in Asia, the HKMA established the Fintech Facilitation Office (FFO) in 2016. The FFO plays a crucial role in facilitating the healthy advancement of fintech and strengthening Hong Kong’s position in the regional fintech landscape.

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