Heavyweights to speak as Asian Financial Forum opens conference year

HONG KONG, Dec 19, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - The 16th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will be held on 11 and 12 January next year in hybrid format.

Ban Ki-Moon, eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations and more policymakers and business leaders will deliver keynote speeches at AFF 2023.

Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Christiana Figueres, Co-Founder of Global Optimism and Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Themed "Accelerating Transformation: Impact - Inclusion - Innovation", the Forum will include addresses from more than 100 global business leaders, policymakers, financial and wealth management experts, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists who will share their views on issues related to global finance, economy, trade and sustainability. The Forum will also provide a platform to connect participants for business and investment opportunities to strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.

As the restrictions on arrivals have been relaxed, more international business travellers are expected to visit Hong Kong and participate in international conferences. To promote the vitality of the city, the HKTDC has curated a variety of exclusive benefits for AFF delegates from overseas, enriching their stay beyond the two-day forum.

Speakers include the Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

As the premier financial and business forum and the first large-scale business exchange event kicking off the new year, AFF assembles more than 100 heavyweight thought leaders to examine ways to formulate better business strategies and develop a blueprint for sustainable growth after a turbulent 2022, and explore how global corporates can work together to create a resilient economic landscape through innovation and inclusion. This year's forum draws a number of policymakers and business leaders to share their views, including the following three eminent keynote speakers:

- Ban Ki-moon, eighth Secretary-General of the UN

Ban Ki-moon served as Secretary-General of the UN between 2007 and 2016. During his tenure, he focused on the response to global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and food and energy crisis. He will deliver his keynote address and share his insights on coping with global challenges and promoting sustainable development with multilateral cooperation on the first day of Forum (11 January).

- Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark was the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008. Throughout her tenure, she engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres. She will deliver her keynote address under the theme of equality and diversity on the second day of Forum (12 January).

- Christiana Figueres, Co-founder of Global Optimism and Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognised leader fostering climate action. As the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, she actively coordinated climate change initiatives to jointly deliver the 2015 Paris Agreement. She will discuss the latest trends in climate action and net-zero policies on the second day of Forum (12 January).

Discussion sessions on hot market topics

The two-day Forum will include more than 40 discussion sessions, featuring heavyweight financial, government and business leaders to shed light on major topics, including global economic outlook, regional trade collaborations such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, asset and wealth management, environment, social and governance (ESG) and green finance, insurance and risk management, family office ecosystem, philanthropy and impact investing, financial inclusion, decentralised finance (DeFi), Web3 and Metaverse, monetary reforms and central bank digital currencies (CBDC) opportunities.

In the main panel discussions, international financial and business leaders including Valerie Baudson, Chief Executive Officer of Amundi; Takeshi Kunibe, Chairman of the Board, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners; Mark Tucker, Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings; Dr Jose Vinals, Group Chairman, Standard Chartered; Dr Ridha Wirakusumah, CEO of Indonesia Investment Authority and James Turner, Group Chief Financial Officer, Prudential will examine macroeconomic trends amid the epidemic recovery and external uncertainties, and key market opportunities.

Tackling environmental challenges, energy and food crises has become top of the agenda on global level. Rapid development of Web3 and other financial technologies have also shaped the future of economy. In light of this, AFF will establish the Global Spectrum series, together with the Fireside Chat, to discuss various disruptive innovations and initiatives in society, covering venture capital and start-up ecosystem, transition to net-zero and ESG standard-setting, food security, health equity, metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) and more. Speakers include Prof KC Chan, Senior Advisor, WeLab; Luanne Lim, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC; Benedicte Nolens, Head of the Hong Kong Centre, BIS Innovation Hub; Alfred Chuang, General Partner, Race Capital; Andrew Schwabecher, CEO & Representative Director, Japan Computer Vision Corp. and Adam Litle, Chief Executive Officer, Sound Agriculture. The Dialogues for Tomorrow series will also invite forward-looking industry leaders, including Sebastian Fahey, EVP, Managing Director, EMEA and Executive Lead, Metaverse, Sotheby's; Jeremy Coller, CIO, Managing Partner and Founder of Coller Capital and Charles Li, Founder and Chairman of Micro Connect.

AFF Deal Flow in hybrid mode with extended period

In addition to gathering global financial and business leaders to share insights, the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association will again co-organise the AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session. The first two days of the matchmaking meeting (11 and 12 January) will allow participants to meet at the physical Forum venue, and continue online till 17 January with a digital extension, offering investors and project owners prolonged period to connect and explore collaboration opportunities. The matchmaking projects will cover industries ranging from deep technology, digital technology and media, medical technology, education and infrastructure to real-estate services. A function for identifying ESG-integrated projects debuted last year has also been enhanced to facilitate business matching.

Nearly 100 exhibitors showcase new technologies and investment opportunities

The AFF will also house nearly 100 local and overseas exhibitors, international financial institutions, technology companies, start-ups and investment promotion agencies and sponsors including PwC, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of China, HSBC, UBS, China International Capital Corporation, Huatai International, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and Cyberport to showcase leading financial technologies. Three highlighted zones, including Fintech Showcase, InnoVenture Salon and FintechHK Start-up Salon will allow on-site participants to experience technologies of tomorrow.

Wide array of exclusive discounts and privileges for overseas delegates

As the first large-scale business exchange event in 2023, the HKTDC has curated a variety of exclusive travel, food and hotel discounts and privileges in collaboration with Hong Kong Tourism Board, Klook, LKF Concepts and hotels to encourage AFF delegates from overseas to make the most out of their stay and experience the vitality of Hong Kong outside the Forum.

Participants who register now can enjoy an early bird discount. More activity details, speaker line-up and media registration arrangements will be announced in early January.

- Asian Financial Forum: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/conference/aff/en
- AFF Programme List: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/conference/aff/en/info-programme
- AFF Speaker List: https://www.asianfinancialforum.com/conference/aff/en/speaker
- Media Room: http://mediaroom.hktdc.com
- Photo download: https://bit.ly/3FklQrP

Members of the media interested in interviewing AFF 2023 speakers can send an email to tleung@yuantung.com.hk or ayiu@yuantung.com.hk on or before 5 January 2023.


The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Media enquiries

Yuan Tung Financial Relations:
Tiffany Leung, Tel: +852 3428 2361, Email: tleung@yuantung.com.hk
Agnes Yiu, Tel: +852 3428 5690, Email: ayiu@yuantung.com.hk
Fung Wong, Tel: +852 3428 3122, Email: hfwong@yuantung.com.hk

HKTDC's Communications & Public Affairs Department:
Katy Wong, Tel: +852 2584 4524, Email: katy.ky.wong@hktdc.org
Snowy Chan, Tel: +852 2584 4525, Email: snowy.sn.chan@hktdc.org
Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: sunny.sl.ng@hktdc.org

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