ADB President Discusses Financial Technology, Regional Cooperation in Visit to Hong Kong, China | Asian Development Bank

ADB President Discusses Financial Technology, Regional Cooperation in Visit to Hong Kong, China

News Release | 15 January 2018

HONG KONG, CHINA (15 January 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with Financial Secretary and ADB Governor for Hong Kong, China Paul Chan Mo-po, and Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and ADB Alternate Governor Norman Chan. He also met with James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury. Mr. Nakao discussed ways ADB can collaborate with Hong Kong, China to further enhance regional cooperation and knowledge sharing in Asia and the Pacific.

“ADB values its deep and strong ties with Hong Kong, China and will continue to work with its authorities, the private sector, and financial institutions to support urban development priorities in the region, such as water and waste management,” said Mr. Nakao. “Hong Kong, China, as a major financial center, has contributed to development in the People’s Republic of China and other countries in Asia through its broad and deep financial market.”

During his visit, Mr. Nakao addressed participants at the 11th Asian Financial Forum, where he discussed the role of technology and innovation in promoting growth. He also noted that in developing countries digital technologies can bring financial services to people and businesses much more conveniently and faster than in the past. Regulators will need to provide an enabling environment for innovation while maintaining financial stability, ensuring consumer protection, and promoting competition.

Mr. Nakao said that to support infrastructure development in the region, ADB will collaborate with Hong Kong, China on regional cooperation initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program. He noted that ADB will continue to work with the HKMA’s Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office to identify and promote regional investments.

Mr. Nakao thanked the Hong Kong, China authorities for contributing actively as a member of ADB, including as a donor to the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB's lower-income developing member countries, and to the Technical Assistance Special Fund, which provides grants to borrowing members to help prepare projects and undertake technical or policy studies. Hong Kong, China joined ADB in 1969. The first ADB loan to the economy was a $21.5 million loan to fund a desalinization project in the New Territories, approved in 1972. In 1978, Hong Kong, China was the recipient of ADB’s first health sector loan, a $19.5 million project to fund the expansion of the Sha Tin Hospital Polyclinic in the New Territories.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.