Davos: Hong Kong and Saudi finance ministers seek ties, urge Arab firms in Asian markets

At Davos, Hong Kong’s finance minister engages in strategic talks with his Saudi counterpart, fostering ties and urging Arab companies to explore opportunities in the vibrant Asian markets. The dialogue underscores the global economic collaboration taking centre stage at this prestigious forum.

As evidence of its dedication to international financial cooperation, Paul Chan Mo-po, the finance minister of Hong Kong, took advantage of the annual Davos gathering to highlight the city’s distinct position under the “one country, two systems” framework. Chan’s diplomatic agenda went beyond exhibiting Hong Kong’s capabilities; he welcomed the capital of Saudi Arabia and businesses looking to capitalize on Hong Kong’s status as a global financial centre. The discussion attempted to build stronger ties between the Middle East and the thriving Asian markets in addition to highlighting Hong Kong’s strategic significance.

To position Hong Kong as a global financial hub linking the continent and the world, Chan emphasized the distinctive advantages derived from the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. A major contributing reason to Hong Kong’s rise to prominence as a global financial powerhouse is this governing principle, which grants the city a high degree of autonomy. Chan wanted to emphasize during his outreach at Davos that Hong Kong acts as a bridge that connects foreign companies to the global and mainland markets.

The minister of finance cordially invited Saudi Arabia and urged it to use Hong Kong as an excellent platform for growing into mainland China and the larger Asian markets. This outreach is in line with Hong Kong’s overarching plan to strengthen its economic connections with the Middle East. Remarkably, Hong Kong authorities have actively sought to establish links with affluent Middle Eastern markets; the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recognized the Saudi Exchange as an example. This acknowledgement makes it possible for secondary listings to be created in the city, which encourages more financial cooperation.

With the theme of “Rebuilding Trust,” which brought together business and political leaders at Davos, Chan, along with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah, sought to update them on the state of affairs in Hong Kong. The city’s desire to interact with various economies, promoting cooperation and trust on a worldwide scale, highlighted its attraction to foreign markets. The goal of the talks was to highlight Hong Kong’s fresh benefits and prospects in the quickly changing global economy.

Apart from diplomatic interactions, Chan’s schedule at Davos comprised gatherings with notable individuals from the worldwide business community. Notably, he met Ori Goshen, co-CEO of Israeli generative AI start-up AI21 Labs, and Jeremy Allaire, CEO of stablecoin issuer Circle Internet Financial. These exchanges gave rise to a forum for talking about new developments in the technology and financial industries, reaffirming Hong Kong’s dedication to remaining at the forefront of innovation and international business dynamics.

The conversation with Ori Goshen, co-CEO of AI21 Labs, clarified Hong Kong’s goal of establishing itself as a point of entry for AI businesses looking to expand into Asia. Given that AI21 Labs is an Israeli start-up with Intel support, the discussion focused on potential areas of cooperation in the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence. Chan’s request that AI firms view Hong Kong as a gateway highlights the city’s dedication to promoting innovation and developing it into a centre for cutting-edge technologies.

The JPEX scandal involving an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange serves as a reminder of the regulatory obstacles Hong Kong’s aspirations in the virtual asset and cryptocurrency space must overcome. The incident made the city reevaluate its regulations about cryptocurrency exchanges and exposed regulatory gaps. Chan responded to these worries by promising a cautious approach to creating digital assets and saying the city is ready for stablecoin providers to offer cutting-edge financial services.

Hong Kong’s diplomatic efforts at Davos are a testament to the city’s tenacity and resolve in navigating the changing global financial scene. Hong Kong’s dedication to remaining at the forefront of innovation is demonstrated by its outreach to Saudi Arabia, interactions with prominent figures in the industry, and talks about cutting-edge financial technologies. The partnerships formed at Davos have the potential to influence Hong Kong’s future as a major player in the world economy, as the city works to establish itself as such. The discourse commenced at this esteemed forum bears the potential to yield more profound partnerships, cultivate confidence, and augment the continuous account of Hong Kong’s role as a pivotal actor in the global arena.