Asia Financial Forum 2023 kicks off Year of the Rabbit
By Tracy Lai, MPC Strategist, FinTech Consultant, and Partner at LYSTAR GROUP
Policymakers and CEOs from major financial institutions shared insights on various topics, such as global economics; multilateralism; and inclusivity reflected by the nation’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, designed to drive wealth and asset management; insurance, and fintech innovation. Additional agenda topics included central bank digital currency (CBDC); ESG standards; healthy equities; food securities; and carbon valuations.
The two-day hybrid format attracted a broad global audience and a separate deal-matching platform connected business leaders from the world to facilitate real-life collaborations. There was also a separate startup pitching platform for startups to present to potential investors and collaborators, that enabled participants to follow up with one-on-one meetings within a week following the conference.
ESG Research findings: PWC and HKTDC presented ESG survey data in “Financing the Corporate Transition to a Sustainable Future.” Conducted December 8 to 28, 2022, the survey had interesting findings. Hong Kong Companies are charging forward with carbon-neutral or net-zero commitments but lack the scientific approach to ensure targets are met. Only 15 percent of companies have made the commitment and aligned with a scientific-based target. Most companies view ESG as a reputation enhancer and enabler of long-term competitive advantages rather than just a compliance activity. Lack of expertise, policy incentives, and funding are major hurdles in the path to ESG implementation. Planned ESG investment declined slightly as companies became cautious during the global economic slowdown, having relied on internal cash flow to fund ESG activities. Hong Kong is the most competitive in areas of financial market maturity, international market presence, and local enthusiasm for ESG adoption.
Tracy Lai provides strategic and business development solutions to executives and entrepreneurs. Her professional experience includes working at Fortune 500 companies including Intel and RBS, and startups. Her expertise covers business development, risk management, project management, and investor relations, in Financial Services, FinTech, Innovation, Technology, and Education. As a management consultant and FinTech advisor, she holds multiple senior roles with a focus on cross-border and cross-industry collaboration, including projects in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.