Focusing on Summer Davos | Paul Chan and Calvin Choi discusses the Chinese Bay Area economy

The 12th World Economic Forum Summer Davos Annual Meeting (Annual Meeting of the New Champions) was held in Tianjin, China on 18-20 September 2018. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Building an Innovative Society in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” (“在第四次工业革命中打造创新型社会”), attracting more than 2,000 political, business, academic and well-known media leaders from more than 100 countries and regions. As a global strategic partner of the World Economic Forum, AMTD Group participated in the annual meeting under the leadership of Calvin Choi, Chairman and President of AMTD Group, and discuss together with the guests on how the disruptive technology brought by the fourth industrial revolution can promote the transformation of enterprises and society to achieve sustainable growth.

Calvin Choi, Chairman and President of AMTD Group as a representative of Hong Kong entrepreneurs was invited by the World Economic Forum and joined “China’s Bay Area Economy” forum with Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), to discuss development opportunities of the “Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao and Greater Bay Area” and look forward to its profound changes and impacts.

The breakdown of the flow of people, logistics, capital and information requires systems and policies. This is a great development opportunity.”

Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the government of HKSAR pointed out that, compared with the world-famous Bay Area – San Francisco and Tokyo, there are both advantages and challenges of the Greater Bay Area. He said: “The advantages are the high GDP and huge population of the Greater Bay Area. There are both international financial centers, technology industries and advanced manufacturing industries. At the same time, land resources, talents and labor are rich and abundant. Under the background of “one country, two systems” and three tariff zones, how to freely circulate talents, funds, information and goods is a huge challenge. Chen further pointed out that the key to the success of the Greater Bay Area is the policy breakthrough. “The breakdown of the flow of people, logistics, capital and information requires systems and policies. This is a great development opportunity.”

Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of the government of HKSAR (left) and Calvin Choi, Chairman and President of AMTD Group (right) jointly discussed the construction and development of the Greater Bay Area

Nurturing new talents is not only the need for the future development of the Greater Bay Area, but also need to upgrade the skills and structure of existing talents, empower and transform them into the new era of economic reforms

As the only representative of Hong Kong entrepreneur and financial institutions in this forum, Choi pointed out that talents cultivation and skills upgrading is one of the most important factors in the future development of the Greater Bay Area, especially for financial institutions. “Nowadays, many excellent technology companies have come to Hong Kong to apply licenses for virtual banking and virtual insurance. We recognize that a bigger competition is not the license itself, but the competition of talents. The key to success is whether we can have more and senior talents in Hong Kong.” Choi also introduced that, AMTD has always attached great importance to the cultivation of professional talents. AMTD jointly established the first industry-university collaborated Fintech centre “AMTD-PolyU FinTech Centre” with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and “AMTD-University of Waterloo Innovation Hub” with the University of Waterloo to advance the Alpha project. “We don’t just focus on what we have seen, but focus more on the future, to continuously cultivate talents and DNA for technological innovation.”

Collaboration between companies in the Greater Bay Area can help to do more

Choi further pointed out, the “communication” of the development in the bay area is also important, which including the communication between the government and the government, enterprises and enterprises, and communication between the government and enterprises. Previously, sponsored by Guangdong Federation of Industry and Commerce and Guangdong General Chamber of Commerce, AMTD Group, together with numerous reputable listed companies, and private enterprises, established the Greater Bay Industrial and Financial Investment Company (GBAIG). The Group has continued to carry out the Greater Bay Area national strategy, promote the new economy’s transformation and explore new models for the development of private companies with full efforts. Also, AMTD Group served as the only strategic partner of Hong Kong FinTech Week, jointly hosted the “2018 Hong Kong FinTech Week” with InvestHK. AMTD Group worked together with local government once again to co-organize Fintech event, after co-organizing the world’s largest Fintech event, Singapore Fintech Festival 2017, with Monetary Authority of Singapore last year.

Hong Kong as the international financial centre can provide a better development platform to the enterprises in the Greater Bay Area

When talking about the advantages of Hong Kong, Choi said: “Hong Kong has a global, systematic and institutionalized financial market. With the deepening cooperation between the Mainland China and Hong Kong, the circulation of financial markets provides more opportunities for the enterprises to expand their business, go global and embrace a greater development by using the Bay Area. Previously, AMTD serving as Joint Lead Underwriter and Joint Bookrunner of Xiaomi and Meituan Dianping’s IPO, the significant two IPOs under “Weighed Voting Rights” (WVR) structure in Hong Kong capital market. Not only that, but in the past two years, AMTD Group has always committed to providing professional capital market financial service to the enterprises in the Greater Bay Area. Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank as the first local incorporated bank in Guangdong successfully listed in Hong Kong with AMTD serving as Sole Financial Advisor, Joint Global Coordinator and Joint Lead Manager and obtained BAA2 rating from Moody’s and BBB- from S&P Global Ratings (S&P). This is the highest international credit rating currently obtained by the Chinese regional bank. AMTD was appointed as a Joint Underwriter of X Financial IPO and assisted X Financial, the leading Fintech company and headquartered in Shenzhen, in completing the IPO successfully in the US. Also, AMTD assisted lots of companies in the Greater Bay Area to issue bonds on the Hong Kong capital market, including Sun Hung kai, Emperor International Holdings, Regal Hotel, Far East Consortium International, R&F properties, China Aoyuan Property, Logan Property, LVGEM etc. Moreover, as the leading new economy innovative investment institution in Hong Kong, AMTD Group invested DayDayCook, China’s largest cooking and lifestyle media brand which founded by Norma Chu, Hong Kong famous young entrepreneur; Royole, a leading innovator and manufacturer of Flexible Display, Flexible Sensor, Virtual Reality and related smart devices; FinEX Asia, jointly incubated by Dianrong, China’s leading internet finance technology firm etc., continued to support the innovative development of enterprises in the Greater Bay Area.

The Greater Bay Area has huge development and unlimited opportunities

Zhu Ning, Professor of PBC School of Finance of Tsinghua University, Associate Dean of National Institute of Financial Research pointed out, innovation is not only about technological innovation. Innovations in rules, regulations and mind of regulatory are also important, which will greatly contribute to the economic development of the entire Greater Bay Area. Xue Lan, Professor and Dean of School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) of Tsinghua University mentioned, the Greater Bay Area needs a policy coordination mechanism, and the specific institutional obstacles must be resolved through policy innovation. Zhang Lu, Founding and Managing Partner of Fusion Fund said, the key to the success of the Greater Bay Area depends on whether the whole ecology has enough tolerance. Qian Jing, Vice-President of Global Marketing of Jink Solar Holding believed the Greater Bay Area must be a pilot area of many different models and innovation pilot. The forum was hosted by Wang Shuo, Editor-in-Chief of Caixin Media.