Cyberport Supports Hong Kong to Capture Opportunities in Digital Trade Finance
Leads Start-ups in Showcasing Cutting-edge FinTech Innovations at Asian Financial Forum
Hong Kong, 14 January 2020 – As Hong Kong’s leading FinTech driver, Cyberport has again become the Asian Financial Forum’s FinTech partner. Cyberport Chairman Dr George Lam urged Hong Kong start-ups to seize the opportunities arising from the new era of digitalised trade finance in light of the full-speed FinTech development in the city.
Dr Lam said, "Digital trade finance offers huge development potential. Many Hong Kong start-ups have mastered advanced blockchain technology, applying it to digitalise local and cross-border trade finance as well as participating in the establishment of a digital trade finance platform. These innovative solutions could help reduce SMEs’ business costs and enhance trade efficiency by eliminating cross-border trade barriers and accelerating transaction processes, thus promoting international trade and reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as an international financial and trade centre."
FinTech development reflects integration between traditional and new economy
Trading and logistics is one of the Four Key Industries in Hong Kong. The traditional process of trade finance is largely paper-based and highly labour-intensive. With FinTech development, the use of blockchain helps to effectively close the loopholes in traditional trade finance by digitalising trade documents and automating the financial process. As a result, the transparency of loan information is enhanced while the risk of human error and fraud is reduced. The operational accuracy, safety and fluency of the financial and logistic supply chain could also be improved, and SMEs’ financial gap could be eliminated by applying credit risk assessment technology and matching businesses with investors. Leading global development in this direction, a digital trade finance platform has already been introduced in Hong Kong with the launch of 2018’s “eTradeConnect” by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
During the Asian Financial Forum InnoTalks session, Dr Lam added that fostering FinTech development in order to boost the Hong Kong financial industry’s competitiveness is very important. Our financial industry has undergone a digital transformation in recent years, and the lines between financial services and technology firms have blurred. Many tech companies are applying for financial service licences, and financial service organisations have begun calling themselves tech companies. This process reflects the digital transformation of the traditional economy and its integration with the new economy. More than 30 Cyberport start-ups have devoted themselves to digital trade finance and blockchain-related business, aiming to provide a win-win solution that is fast, reliable and cost-effective for SMEs and investors.
Cyberport start-ups actively participate to showcase innovative solutions
The 13th Asian Financial Forum, organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, took place on 13 and 14 January. Cyberport chaired one of the InnoTalks sessions, inviting FinTech experts and start-ups focused on virtual banking and trade finance to share their views on the topic “Unleashing FinTech Innovations: Virtual Banking and Trade Finance”. They explored future development opportunities and obstacles in virtual banking, as well as the market outlook for trade finance.
Cyberport also invited a number of start-ups to join the Cyberport pavilion, showcasing their cutting-edge innovations and solutions to forum participants and seeking collaboration opportunities. These start-ups cover businesses within cross-border payment, InsurTech and wealth management.
Cyberport actively fosters the development of FinTech in Hong Kong. Besides housing more than 380 FinTech companies as Hong Kong’s largest FinTech hub, Cyberport’s efforts are recognised by the HKSAR government. As announced in the Policy Address last year, Cyberport was appointed to launch a FinTech training programme for in-service financial practitioners.