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Hong Kong FinTech Week 2017 to explore disruptive innovations

Hong Kong FinTech Week 2017 to explore disruptive innovationsInvest Hong Kong has kicked off preparations for Hong Kong FinTech Week 2017 to be held in October.

Held at what’s been positioned as home for entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) brought in the big guns of the city to get media interest going.

Attendees included HKMA executive director Shu-pui Lin, Julia Leung, executive director of Intermediaries Division, Securities and Futures Commission, and Insurance Authority CEO John Leung Chi-yan.

They were joined by representatives from participating event organizers: Juwan Lee, founder and CEO of NexChange and Anthony Sar, founder and CEO of Finnovasia. Also joining the event was Henri Arslanian, member of the Temporary Board of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong.

In his welcome remarks, InvestHK director-general of investment promotions Stephen Phillips announced that the “theme for 2017 will ride on the core strengths of Hong Kong, including fund raising hub, Blockchain and artificial intelligence, the vibrant incubator and accelerator programs, and the close connection with mainland China under the Belt & Road Initiative.” He hinted that fintech in China will be a hot topic throughout the week.

The presence of the city’s three regulators at the inaugural event reveals that RegTech, InsurTech and WealthTech will be featured strongly, alongside cysecurity.

According to Phillips, InvestHK’s goal is to attract top innovative fintech enterprises, start-up entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders from all over the world to Hong Kong. InvestHK markets itself a facilitator for foreign companies wishing to set up business in the city.

Phillips reiterated that fintech in Hong Kong is an organic ecosystem largely driven by the private sector. “There are about 130 fintech start-ups in Hong Kong, we have four fintech accelerators and the calendar is filled with more than 200 fintech-related events here,” he added.

For HKMA’s Li collaboration will be the central theme for the regulator’s contribution to FinTech Week. “Collaborations, both at domestic and cross-border levels, are the key to a sustainable fintech ecosystem. The HKMA will unveil its domestic collaboration with the industry on its release of the second distributed ledger technology white paper and cross-border collaboration on trade-finance cooperation, and make known other collaborative initiatives on the FinTech Day,” he enthused.

"Financial innovation is changing the way in which securities products and services are being delivered to investors,” commented SFC’s Leung. Among the topics that she hopes the industry will cover during FinTech Week is the growing interest and activity around Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs, which itself drew most of the media queries during the inaugural event.

The CEO of the Insurance Authority, Mr John Leung, added, "The upcoming FinTech Week serves as an excellent platform to share and engage with market participants regarding new FinTech initiatives."

NexChange’s Lee believed that Hong Kong has come to a crossroad where the baseline fintech innovation infrastructure and awareness is here. “Now, entrepreneurs and financial institutions have to take it to the next level and create products that consumers need," he suggested.

The main tent for this year’s FinTech Week will be the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where delegates will listen to presentations, discussions and debates over artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, Big Data and IoT, cybersecurity, mobile banking, payments, innovations around InsurTech and WealthTech, as well as the evolution of RegTech in the city and around the world.

Outside of the convention center, complementary events will be taking place concurrently at different locations including those organized by the HKMA, SFC, Finnovate Asia and Accenture.