Ms Natalie Blyth, Group General Manager, Global Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance, HSBC and Mr Bill Winters, CBE Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC and Dr William Fung, Group Chairman of Li & Fung Limited and Mr Salman Fazlur Rahman MP Private Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Chairman, IFIC Bank Limited Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Asian Financial Forum HKTDC

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Special Coverage of Asian Financial Forum 2020 in Hong Kong

Caproasia | Hong Kong 15th January 2020

Asian Financial Forum 2020 – Opening Panel 

Opening Panel – Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

The 13th Asian Financial Forum 2020

More than 3,500 distinguished speakers including Former Federal Reserve Chair Dr Janet L. Yellen, 2019 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics and MIT Professor Abhijit and influential global financial experts, policymakers, business leaders, economists and investors attended the 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) 2 day conference in Hong Kong on the 13th and 14th of January 2020.

Notable Speakers & Panelists:

  • Dr Janet L. Yellen Chair, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (2014–2018)
  • Prof Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee Winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics; Professor of Economics of MIT

” Former Federal Reserve Chair Dr Janet L. Yellen At the Asian Financial Forum 2020″

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AFF 2020 Main Exhibition

Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

About The Asian Financial Forum

Into its 13th edition, the Asian Financial Forum is one of Asia’s largest financial conference and is held annually in the first weeks of January.

Highlights

The forum examined the current global economic landscape and views through real-time polling on issues ranging from prospects for the global economy and sustainability challenges to investment opportunities and the risks brought by technology and innovation.

  • Current global economic landscape and views
  • Sustainability challenges
  • Investment opportunities
  • Risks brought by technology and innovation

The event also featured keynote luncheons, main exhibition, fireside chat and deal-matching for almost 700 institutional & professional investors to companies and project owners.

At AFF 2020:

  • Main Forum
  • Keynote Luncheon
  • Main Exhibition
  • Firesside Chat
  • Deal-matching

” 40% were pessimistic about the 2020 Economic Outlook.  38% were neutral.  Only 22% were optimistic ”

~ AFF Real-time Poll

 

AFF Real-time Polling 

Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia
#1 Poll – Global Economic Outlook in 2020

When asked about the outlook for the global economy in 2020, 22% of respondents were optimistic, 38% were neutral, while 40% of respondents expressed pessimism, reflecting a generally negative view on the overall economic outlook.

  • Optimistic – 22%
  • Neutral – 38%
  • Pessimism – 40%

 

#2 Poll – Major Challenge for Global Growth in 2020

When asked about the major challenge for global growth in 2020, 38% of respondents believed it would be Sino-US trade tensions and 36% voted for intensifying geopolitical risks.

19% voted for limited headroom for monetary and fiscal policies to support growth while 6% voted for elevated corporate debt restraining business spending as a major challenge.

  • Sino-US* trade tensions – 38%
  • Intensifying geopolitical risks – 36%
  • Limited headroom for monetary and fiscal policies to support growth – 19%
  • Elevated corporate debt restraining business spending – 6%

* Sino- means relating to China and is a pre-fix.  Eg. Sino-Japan, means China-Japan.

” 38% believed that Sino-US trade tensions is a major challenge for global growth in 2020 “

 

Bloomberg at AFF 2020

Bloomberg – Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

 

#3 Poll – Outlook for Global Trade in 2020

Regarding the outlook for global trade in 2020, 25% of respondents expressed optimism, 28% were neutral while nearly half (47%) were pessimistic.

  • Optimistic – 25%
  • Neutral – 28%
  • Pessimistic – 47%

 

#4 Poll – Key Driver for the Growth of Global Trade in 2020

On what would be the key driver for the growth of global trade in 2020, most respondents (50%) thought it would be an effective multilateral** system.

44% voted for trade related issues including digitalisation of trade (26%) and fair and appropriate treatment of capital for trade (18%).  6% voted for commercialisation of blockchain.

  • An effective multilateral system** – 50%
  • Digitalisation of trade – 26%
  • Fair and appropriate treatment of capital for trade – 18%
  • Commercialisation of blockchain – 6%

Multilateral** agreed or participated by three or more parties, especially the governments of different countries.

 

Exhibition at AFF 2020

Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

 

#5 Poll – Innovation to Solve Structural Issues and Bolster Global Growth

61% voted that innovation can help to solve structural issues and bolster global growth, very likely: 21% and likely: 40%.

36% voted that innovation won’t be able to help to solve structural issues and bolster global grow. (Unlikely – 28%, Very unlikely – 8%)

  • Very likely – 21%
  • Likely – 40%
  • Unlikely – 28%
  • Very unlikely – 8%
  • Don’t know – 2%

” 61% believed that innovation can solve structural issues and bolster global growth “

 

#6 Poll – ESG^ Issues for Businesses in 2020

On what Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues will impact business in 2020, 63% voted for climate change & carbon-related issues (38%) and environmental issues (27%).

19% voted that consumer will prefer more responsible products and services.  6% voted for corruption, 4% voted for labour rights and regulations, 3% voted for gender equality in the workforce while 3% voted for product safety.

  • Climate change & carbon-related issues – 38%
  • Environmental regulations – 27%
  • Changing consumer preferences towards more responsible products and services – 19%
  • Corruption – 6%
  • Labour rights and regulations – 4%
  • Gender equality in the workforce – 3%
  • Product Safety – 3%

^ ESG – Environmental Social and Governance

” Climate Change, Carbon and environmental regulation are top ESG issues (63% votes) for businesses in 2020 “

 

 

Keynote Speakers at AFF 2020

Former Fed Chair Dr Janet Yellen on Central Banks, Monetary Policies, Sino-US Trade Dispute
Dr Janet L Yellen, Chair, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (2014-2018) at the Asian Financial Forum 2020 in Hong Kong

Dr Janet Yellen, Chair, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (2014–2018), mentioned that central banks will face difficult challenges in implementing policy in the years ahead and may have to rely on quantitative easing and other unconventional policies to combat future downturns.

Regarding the Sino-US trade dispute, she said “The dialogue between senior Chinese and US officials is useful and I am glad to see the resumption of the U.S. China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, which may be helpful in easing tensions in the years ahead.  However, Sino-US tariffs are much higher now than before the trade war began and will still have a significant impact on decisions pertaining to supply chains and investment; there are indeed remaining differences to be overcome between China and the United States.”

 

2019 Nobel Prize Winner Prof Abhijit Banerjee on Financial Inclusion for Poor People. 
Prof Abhijit Banerjee winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics and Ford Foundation Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the Asian Financial Forum 2020 in Hong Kong

Prof Abhijit Banerjee, joint winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics and Ford Foundation Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared his studies on how financial inclusion can benefit poorer people in developing countries by providing them with a mechanism to access credit and investment services to help them achieve financial self-reliance.

“In this world there are lots of talents. Some of these people are the future of the world and some people are going to do nothing. Somehow what finance needs to do is find ways to identify them, bring them forward, give them what they need, and that way finance can really change the world.”

 

Main Exhibition

PwC – Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

The Asian Financial Conference 2020 also featured a main exhibition participated by leading financial institutions, investment services & bodies and innovative startups.

 

Deal Flow Matchmaking

Deal Matching – Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Asian Financial Forum HKTDC

Close to 700 one-on-one matchmaking meetings were arranged during the AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking session, helping investors and project owners to explore investment and business opportunities.

 

Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat – Asian Financial Forum 2020, Hong Kong | Official Photo from Caproasia

The Asian Financial Forum 2020 featured numerous Fireside Chat.  The above photo featured the Global Venture Capital Outlook Fireside Chat with Mei Ni Yang (Head of Asia Private Equity of Mercer), Ehud Moshe Levy (General Partner of Canaan Partners Israel and Venture Partner of Lenovo Capital) and Eric Woo (Head of Institutional Capital of AngelList).  The session was moderated by Chris Shen (Founder and Managing Partner of Project M).

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