Hong Kong Secretary highlights potential of financial cooperation with Vietnam

Hong Kong and Vietnam have numerous areas in which they could closely cooperate with each other, especially in professional financial services, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong Christopher Hui said following his trip to Vietnam from December 13-15, 2023.
Hong Kong official highlights potential of financial cooperation with Vietnam
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong Christopher Hui. (Photo: VNA)

Speaking to a Vietnam News Agency reporter in Hong Kong, Hui said Vietnam is now Hong Kong's seventh largest trade partner while Hong Kong is the fifth largest source of foreign direct investment in Vietnam.

He noted that the places he visited, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are vibrant economic areas with immense potential. He wished that economic cooperation between Hong Kong and Vietnam would become even closer in the future.

According to him, the Hong Kong authorities eased visa restrictions in late October for skilled workers from Vietnam and those coming for education, work and tourism purposes. The move is expected to improve people-to-people and business-to-business connectivity. For companies seeking capital, he said companies could mobilise capital through stock listing or bond issuance, and Hong Kong is a reliable destination for Vietnamese firms to explore these opportunities.

About stock listing, he said there are more than 100 companies from ASEAN member countries listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKG), including two from Vietnam.

He hoped to see more Vietnamese firms listed on the HKG. Particularly, Hong Kong welcomes an increasing number of technology, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) joining the market.

Hui revealed that Hong Kong has been the largest centre for Asian enterprises to issue bonds with international advantages over the past seven years. Due to the high interest rates in USD, there has been a trend of issuing bonds in Chinese yuan (CNY). Therefore, Hong Kong wishes to attract more Vietnamese companies to issue bonds in CNY, even green bonds, as well as issue shares and list on the HKG.

In 2022, the total value of green bonds and credits issued in Hong Kong exceeded 80 billion USD, up 40% from 2020, he said, adding that, Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the Vietnamese Government to leverage this advantage by issuing green bonds there, thus facilitating its economic green transition process.

Moreover, Hong Kong and Vietnam have embarked on an ambitious journey toward carbon neutrality for their respective economies by 2050. Hong Kong has a voluntary carbon credit trading platform called CoreCredit, which could be traded globally in USD, HKD and CNY. Therefore, Hong Kong welcomes increased collaboration with Vietnam in this area, especially as the Hanoi Stock Exchange is considering the launch of a voluntary carbon credit trading platform.

In his view, Hong Kong and Vietnam have the potential for collaboration at the government, business, and individual levels. The message from Hong Kong to the Vietnamese economy and people is a warm welcome to the talents and investments from Vietnam, he said.

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(Source: VNA)