StartmeupHK Festival 2020 – Day 5 Highlights – HKFIA 2020 Forum

HKFIA 2020 Forum: Resilience through Change

Opening Remarks: Paul Chan, Financial Secretary, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government

As we come to the final day of the virtual StartmeupHK Festival, Paul Chan, Financial Secretary, opened the HKFIA Forum. He highlighted the resilience this city has shown while recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘Thanks to the remarkable determination and laudable cooperation of business, government and the communities at large’. Even though this year has presented many challenges, Hong Kong is still faring very well – ‘placing fifth in the IMD’s annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, ranking first in “government efficiency” and second overall in “business efficiency”’. Many established companies such as NetEase, and Alibaba have chosen Hong Kong for secondary listings, due to its power as ‘a bridge between the Mainland and the western world’. With the Greater Bay Area development under way, things are looking promising and the benefits and opportunities provided will be plentiful. He ended with a huge thank you to the host Sina Finance, and supporting organisations the Center for Investing at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and S&P Global Market Intelligence, as well as all the hard workers at Invest Hong Kong.

Welcome Address: Deng Qingxu, Senior Vice President of Sina

Deng Qingxu, Senior Vice President of Sina, opened the session with comments on the importance of change during this unprecedented time that gives ‘entrepreneurs opportunities to change and start over’. He welcomed all in attendance to the last day of the StartmeupHK Festival, and congratulated InvestHK for hosting a successful festival.

Words from InvestHK: Jimmy Chiang, Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion, InvestHK

Jimmy Chiang, Associate Director-General of Investment Promotion, InvestHK, said that ‘the financial markets of Hong Kong and the Mainland are now interconnected, taking it to a new level,’ which implies that this ‘two-way financial system can be used to open up an even wider financial sector’ providing more choice in wealth management to residents of both areas. Considering the potential of Hong Kong’s financial services sector, a beautiful future lies ahead for the city.

The Next Decade: What opportunities Can Startups Seize in the Next Decade?

The panel brought together China’s best investors to talk about the future of their industries. In this session we learned how these investors are embracing the new decade and the challenges therein. As Francis Kao, Associate Partner at Lightspeed China Partners, put it, ‘In the short run, applications that move with the social distancing trend and help people adapt will succeed. Adaptive services will have the potential to impact the next 10-15 years.’ Nelson Chiu, Co-founder and Managing Partner, New Oriental Education and Culture Industrial Fund, said ‘If it wasn’t for Covid-19, we would of course have other factors that push forward our education sectors. Covid-19 just so happens to be the main factor of change this time, but investment and development are always changing regardless.’ In the next ten years, ‘I believe that education will continue to drive forward.’

Women Entrepreneurship: How Can Women Remain Resilient and Persistent in a Changing and Challenging World?

The panel tackled gender inequality in the workplace and discussed advantages of having women in positions of power. Amy Lo, Co-head of Wealth Management Asia Pacific at UBS, centred the conversation around Hong Kong and said ‘we are lucky to be in Hong Kong and there are a significant number of female CEO here.’ However, Karena Belin, CEO of WHub, pointed out that the current situation is still challenging for women in finance and technology. ‘In both financial services and tech [sectors], you will find fewer women. To become a disruptor, you need to have the experience.’ Diversity was widely discussed as a source of productivity. ‘Companies with a diverse workforce in the company and even within the division, outperform,’ said Lo.

Sustainable Growth for SMEs: How will SMEs Seize the Opportunities of Sustainable Growth after the Crisis?

Transformation is inevitable in a post-Covid business world. The panel discussed the changes that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will need to undergo in order to adapt to the new normal. Each panellist shared thoughts on attitudes that are essential for achieving long-term sustainable growth and success. Kaishu, Founder, Kaishu Story, said that ‘In times of crisis, transparency can be a very powerful weapon’, adding that opportunities can be fostered by cultivating human capital. Bryan Peng, Head of Innovation and Technology (Greater Bay Area) at InvestHK, suggested that SMEs seize opportunities for sustainable development and use green tech to integrate into the Greater Bay Area. AJ Mak, Founder and CEO, Chain of Demand, concluded the session by saying that there will be a lot of opportunities after the pandemic, it is important to remind yourself and your team of that and motivation will follow.

The Future of Fintech: How Can 5G Change the Development of Fintech in the Next Decade?

The panel looked to the next decade and contemplated how the fundamentals of today’s technology will aid in the inventions of tomorrow. Each panellist talked about what the world of 5G and fintech will be ten years from now. David Ye, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Rong360, said ‘the next three to five months will be difficult for the fintech sector, but there will be many opportunities in the “Golden Decade” that follows.’ Zhang Fei from SC Ventures reflected on how 5G will ‘completely change business models,’ and said that ‘digitalisation will reconstruct the entire customer experience’. As for fintech, Yi Lin, Founder and CEO at Cashcash, said Southeast Asia is an unlimited resource for market expansion. Daniel Tian, CTO and Alternate Chief Executive at ZA Bank, said 5G will bring fintech to the next level as it will make virtual banking mainstream.

Sina Finance Hong Kong Financial Institutions Awards Ceremony

The forum ended with the Sina Finance Hong Kong Financial Institutions Awards (HKFIA) ceremony. The HKFIA Awards celebrate the success of innovators in Hong Kong’s financial sector and recognise their contributions to the city’s financial markets. The awards cover seven categories: The Best IPO Advisors, The Best Bond Advisors, The Best Wealth Management Teams, The Best Start-up Investor, The Best Fintech Investor, The Best ESG Team, and The Best Investor in Greater Bay Area.

Click here for the full list of winners.

For event photos, please visit media corner.