In a move aimed further strengthening cooperation between Hong Kong and the GCC region, the banks from the UAE and Qatar will play a key role in advising their counterparts in the Hong Kong region.
The Panel on Financial Affairs of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on Tuesday proposed an amendment to a segment of the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) Ordinance, to add three countries – the UAE, Qatar, and Liechtenstein – to a list of constituent regions that currently comprises 21 regions and territories.
This amendment will allow the banks from these three countries to advise on industry issues in the city, a step that will enhance collaboration especially between Hong Kong and the Middle East, according to a report in South China Morning Post.
The move is seen as paving the way for more cooperation between Hong Kong and the Middle East as they step up interaction in areas such as finance, technology, and logistics.
The proposal comes less than a week after Eddie Yue Wai-man, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de facto central bank, made a three-day visit to the UAE to promote Hong Kong’s strengths as a leading international financial centre, the report said.
Boost to Economic Ties
“The strong economic ties between the UAE and Hong Kong lay a solid foundation and practical need for our banking and investment ecosystems to mutually thrive and optimise,” Yiu said during a lunch with around 80 senior representatives from more than 50 local financial companies in Dubai on May 31.
“As we are forging ahead with our new initiatives to fortify our ecosystem and create new opportunities, Hong Kong certainly has much to offer,” You added.
The proposal to include Qatar, the UAE, and Liechtenstein banks, is expected to be presented to the consultative council, the HKAB’s highest executive body, for formal discussions within this year.
The move is being viewed as necessary because many banks from these countries are licensed in Hong Kong under the HKAB Ordinance. All licensed banks in the city are required to become members of HKAB, which currently has around 152 members.
Eddie Yue, CEO of the HKMA, made a three-day visit to the UAE to promote Hong Kong’s strengths as a leading international financial centre recently.
Currently, the consultative council comprises local and elected members from the list of constituent regions. The council advises the HKAB on issues related to the business and development of the local banking sector.
“The proposed amendments of Schedule 1 [list of constituent regions] aim to facilitate the banks to be eligible to [become] elect members, or to be elected to the consultative council, hence enabling all current member banks of the HKAB to be regionally represented on the consultative council,” the proposal said.
Hong Kong has been making efforts to attract investment from the Middle East for quite some time.
Yiu was accompanied on his trip to the UAE by Sun Yu, vice-chairman of Bank of China (Hong Kong) and chairman of HKAB, David Liao, Asia-Pacific co-CEO of HSBC, Benjamin Hung, Asia CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, and Aveline San, Hong Kong and Macau CEO at Citi.