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Hong Kong sees GBA boost to green tech, finance ambitions
Wealth Management Connect 2.0 launches on February 26 to expand cross-border investment opportunities
The Asset 19 Feb 2024

Hong Kong is stepping up collaboration with its sister cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) to strengthen its position as an international green technology and financial centre.

“Whether it is green technology, green finance or overall innovation and technology development, Hong Kong and the sister cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have opportunities for coordinated development and mutual assistance,” financial secretary Paul Chan says, adding that “great progress” has been made in this respect.

Writing in his weekly blog, Chan cites the benefits to be derived from the Qianhai Master Plan, which was announced in December last year. The plan supports the deepening of the financial integration development of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, including encouraging more Hong Kong private banks, family wealth management institutions, etc., to set up specialized institutions in Qianhai.

The plan also supports qualified financial institutions to carry out cross-border securities investment business as well as pilot projects for digital renminbi.

Cross-border investment

Wealth Management Connect 2.0, the GBA cross-border investment scheme which will be officially launched on February 26, will increase personal investment limits and expand the scope of eligible products, while providing greater policy support for cross-border sales and publicity, as well as diversified asset allocation.

“These collaborations and developments will bring more development opportunities to the Hong Kong industry and better benefit Bay Area residents,” Chan says.

Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance market has seen strong growth in recent years, Chan notes. Green and sustainable debt arranged or issued in Hong Kong exceeded US$80 billion in 2022, of which related bonds accounted for 35% of the Asian market. 

Both the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government and the Hainan Provincial People's Government have successfully issued renminbi-denominated green and sustainable bonds in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong is also actively exploring the establishment of a green classification framework based on the Common Classification Catalog that is suitable for the city and in line with mainland and international standards. 

“Hong Kong’s efficient financing platform and technological strength are providing impetus for the green transformation of itself, the country and the Asian region. In addition to accelerating the entire transformation process, it also opens up new development space,” Chan says.

Green technology funds

At the same time, Hong Kong is supporting the research and development of green technology through the introduction of several programmes, including the Innovation and Technology Fund, Low Carbon Green Research Fund, New Energy Transportation Fund, etc.

In areas such as energy-saving green building and green transportation, more than HK$800 million (US$102.29 million) has been approved for hundreds of research and development and pilot projects. 

At present, there are more than 200 green technology companies in Hong Kong. Some of their technologies have considerable international competitiveness and the companies have successfully explored domestic and overseas markets, Chan notes.

As part of efforts to promote the development of green technology and green finance, the city will hold the first “Hong Kong Green Week” from February 26 to March 2.

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