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AFF looks to new, green, digitised world

Finance & Investm...AFFFinanceFintech

Navigating the transformation to a sustainable, globalised and high-tech world is a key issue in 2022 and Asia’s premier financial forum will point the way.



The key concerns of the financial world in 2022 will be the environment – particularly climate change – along with lightning-fast changes in the global geopolitical environment and the even faster evolution of financial technology.

The three leading speakers at the 15th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and running on 10 and 11 January 2022, will each address one of these key issues.

Held in hybrid physical-online format for the first time, AFF 2022 is one of the key events to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. The entire two-day forum will be streamed live on the AFF virtual platform and will also feature physical sessions and exhibitions at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) on the first day (10 January).

This will enable participants to meet face to face, build business connections and discuss global financial issues.

Stellar speakers

Mark Carney
Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance

Addressing the forum’s theme, “Navigating the Next Normal towards a Sustainable Future”, more than 100 global business leaders, policymakers, financial experts, investors, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists will speak at AFF 2022. They will examine the key issues reshaping the economic landscape amid the gradual global economic recovery and shed light on how industries can realise sustainable and inclusive development through impactful venture capital and business strategies. In addition, three pre-eminent speakers will impart their wisdom on key issues such as climate and sustainability, the global economy, and innovation and technology.

The keynote speakers are Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, who has served as Governor of both the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada. He is considered one of the most prominent central bank officials today and is widely recognised in the world of economics and finance. Speaking on the first day of AFF, he will examine the topic of achieving emission reduction targets through investment.

Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank

The second leading central banker is Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank, who enjoys a stellar reputation in the world of international finance. On the first day of AFF, he will analyse the global economic landscape and examine developments and reform directions in the financial sector.

The third keynote speaker is Brett King, Founder of the world’s first cardless mobile bank, Moven Bank, and also a bestselling author on financial innovation and the future of banking who has become known as the “Godfather of Fintech”. Mr King will share insights on the future of fintech and innovation on the second day of AFF.

Hot topics addressed

Brett King
Brett King, Founder of Moven and bestselling author will deliver one of the keynote speeches at AFF

This year’s AFF will feature more than 50 sessions. Echoing the event theme, panel discussions at the main forum will spotlight four of the world’s hottest topics including environmental, social and governance (ESG); the global economic outlook; sustainable asset and wealth management; and innovating insurance to combat climate change. Speakers will identify investment opportunities and challenges for sustainable business growth and help industry players capture first-mover advantage in these four areas.

Prominent regulators and heavyweight business and financial leaders who will speak on AFF panels include: Paul M Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG; Ammar Al Khudairy, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saudi National Bank; Sir Douglas Flint, Chairman, abrdn; Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO, Sintesa Group; Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, International, Federated Hermes; Tony O Elumelu, Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; and Andrew Erickson, Chief Productivity Officer, Head of International Business, State Street Corp.

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani
Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, CEO, Sintesa Group

Thematic workshops will feature industry elites who will discuss the hottest market trends, such as the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, philanthropy, family office, digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFT).

In addition, the acclaimed “Dialogues for Tomorrow” series will return at AFF 2022. This year, an array of industry experts and entrepreneurs will outline the roadmap for innovation and future breakthroughs in a range of pillar sectors, including fintech, banking, insurance, energy, food and agritech, property and healthcare. Their discussions will help industry professionals navigate the business landscape and enhance their competitiveness.

Speakers at this series will include: Xavier Denoly, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric; Elizabeth Kok, Director & Senior Advisor, Swire Properties Limited; Ryan Fung, Chief Executive, Ping An OneConnect Bank; Andrew Wong, Chief Health Officer, Prudential Corporation Asia; Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, India, The Good Food Institute; Catalina Secreteanu, Executive Director, Sustainalytics (a Morningstar company); and Mary Huen, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

Deal Flow extends to three days

Tony O Elumelu
Tony O Elumelu, Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundat

Amid fervent demand for investment opportunities, this year’s AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, jointly organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, will be extended to three days (10-12 January).

The objective is to facilitate collaboration between project owners, start-ups, potential business partners and investors. The sessions will be held in a hybrid format on Day 1 (10 January) to enable participants to meet face to face to build trust and enable collaboration opportunities. On the remaining two days (11 and 12 January), the matchmaking meetings will continue virtually to help maintain momentum and allow participants to continue making connections without geographical limitations.

Among the investment projects covered will be deep tech, digital technology and media, healthtech, education, infrastructure and real estate services. For the first time, a brand-new function for identifying ESG-integrated projects will be introduced in the Deal Flow Session for interested investors to understand more about this subject area.

Showcasing innovation

Besides the main forum, AFF 2022’s online-plus-offline format will also be extended to exhibitions, where more than 100 local and international financial institutions, tech companies, start-ups and investment agencies will be present. Exhibitors such as PwC, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of China, HSBC, China International Capital Corporation and Cyberport will showcase an array of advanced technologies. Meanwhile, the three highlight zones, Fintech Showcase, InnoVenture Salon and FintechHK Startup Salon, will allow participants to experience a plethora of financial innovations, cutting-edge solutions and game-changing business ideas in person.

The InnoVenture Salon is also a platform for start-ups to connect with international incubators, investors and potential business partners. Continuing its mission to support entrepreneurship and innovation, the salon will work together with Hong Kong’s regulators to help start-ups resolve business pain-points. Additionally, AFF Accelerate from the InnoVenture Salon is a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their next-generation technology solutions from concept to fruition and adoption in the business sector.

The Global Investment Zone will continue at the AFF 2022’s virtual platform, presenting unmissable investment opportunities in various countries and regions.

As the premier financial and business forum kicking off the new year, AFF 2022 is set to galvanise the global industry to generate synergies for a sustainable future. Participants who register in December can enjoy an early bird discount, while registration arrangements for media representatives will be announced in early January.

Related link
15th AFF 2022

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