Jan 31, 2023 | 9:40 am
HONG KONG — Just in time for Chinese New Year, Hong Kong’s Asian Financial Forum (AFF) ended on January 12 last year on a positive note, heralding more business opportunities and investments in Southeast Asian markets, including the Philippines. I was.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Executive Director Patrick Lau said in a press conference on the sidelines of the two-day conference:
HKTDC and Hong Kong government organize AFF every year. This year, he returned to the physical venue at his home base, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where he attracted over 7,000 attendees online and on the ground.
Also, 160 distinguished speakers, ranging from global business leaders to policymakers, financial and wealth management experts, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists, will present their perspectives at plenary sessions, policy dialogues and panel sessions. shared.
Treasury Secretary Benjamin Diocno was one of them, speaking at a plenary session on the global economy alongside Finance Ministers from Hong Kong and other countries, as well as other senior officials from banks around the world.
Lau said AFF is also a great platform for Hong Kong investors to meet and partner with new potential projects and businesses.
“The Asian Financial Forum is not just a forum for speakers to come and deliver new insights and new ideas, but more importantly, or at least equally importantly, for participants to exchange projects and ideas during the forum. to do,” Lau shared.
The 16th Forum once hosted an exhibition zone where over 120 start-ups and companies showcased their innovations and business opportunities. The final component is Deal Flow his matchmaking sessions, and this year he successfully matched over 600 companies.
These networking and trading events are the perfect place for Filipino entrepreneurs and start-ups to meet foreign investors and partners. In fact, his AFFs in the past have always favored Filipinos.
“Especially at AFF, we know that projects in the Philippines are listed in their investment database and are looking for business partners and investors there,” Lau said. Philstar.com Q&A.
“It is also two-way because Filipino participants want to showcase their projects and meet other potential investors. But in reality, investors are very interested in the Southeast Asian market. In fact, they also want to meet Filipino project owners and business partners, which is why our business matching and connections are so easy.”
Jove Tapiador, president of the Rural Bank of Silay City Inc. and co-founder of the Fintech Philippines Association, who attended the two-day AFF, agreed.
“There are similar potential collaborations with Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong and the Philippines, and we can learn from each other. It’s interesting because it’s a market, it speaks English, and it’s close to Hong Kong,” he said in an exclusive interview. Philstar.com.
Especially for fintech start-ups, Tapiador encouraged them to diversify their funding from investors in Hong Kong and China.
“What we want to encourage is to create a strong startup ecosystem in the Philippines, and it should be diverse, even capital raising. They should be welcomed if you say they have a
He was certainly aware that Chinese entrepreneurs were already investing in Filipino companies, citing tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent as examples.
“This kind of economic relationship is symbiotic and should be encouraged. There is capital deployed in emerging economies such as the Philippines. [while] Outside the Philippines, there are market opportunities especially in Hong Kong and China,” Tapiador said.
While participating in the forum, he met and talked with fintech leaders and fintech startup founders and learned how Hong Kong’s homegrown startups have strong technical acumen in AI, machine learning and payment systems. I observed that Outside of fintech, healthcare-related startups are also on the rise.
Lau believes that Hong Kong’s easing of its borders, and the easing of its borders with other countries and most recently China, will encourage more individuals and organizations to seek new businesses in the international financial center.
“People are expecting another tough economy this year. Opportunities are clearly in Asia . We would love to meet business partners from other parts of the world,” said Lau.