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HKQAA International Symposium “Sustainable Finance, ESG and Climate Resilience • Hong Kong 2023” Successfully Held

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Promotes Sustainable Finance, Facilitates ESG Ecosystem Development

HONG KONG SAR – 22 December 2023 – Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (“HKQAA”) hosted the “Sustainable Finance, ESG and Climate Resilience • Hong Kong 2023” International Symposium recently at the Exchange Square of HKEX. The event had Mr Christopher Hui, GBS, JP, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the officiating guest, and Mr Chen Guohuang, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Guangdong Province, Ms Li Lei, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Hainan Province, and Ms Zhang Sufen, Deputy Director-general of Shenzhen Finance Bureau, as special guests.

Mr Christopher Hui, GBS, JP, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(fourth from right); Mr Chen Guohuang, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Guangdong Province(third from right); Ms Li Lei, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Hainan Province(third from left); Ms Zhang Sufen, Deputy Director-general of Shenzhen Finance Bureau(second from right); Ir C S Ho, Chairman of HKQAA(fourth from left); Mr Simon Wong Ka Wo, BBS, JP, Deputy Chairman of HKQAA(second from left); Sr Lam Kin Wing Eddie, MH, Deputy Chairman of HKQAA (first from right); Dr Michael P. H. Lam, Chief Executive Officer of HKQAA (first from left) at the HKQAA International Symposium 2023
Mr Christopher Hui, GBS, JP, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(fourth from right); Mr Chen Guohuang, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Guangdong Province(third from right); Ms Li Lei, Deputy Director-general of the Department of Finance of Hainan Province(third from left); Ms Zhang Sufen, Deputy Director-general of Shenzhen Finance Bureau(second from right); Ir C S Ho, Chairman of HKQAA(fourth from left); Mr Simon Wong Ka Wo, BBS, JP, Deputy Chairman of HKQAA(second from left); Sr Lam Kin Wing Eddie, MH, Deputy Chairman of HKQAA (first from right); Dr Michael P. H. Lam, Chief Executive Officer of HKQAA (first from left) at the HKQAA International Symposium 2023

With the United Nations’ effort in promoting sustainable development, sustainable finance, ESG and climate resilience strategies have become key policy directions of governments around the world, as well as the focus of the business and financial sectors. As a pioneer in promoting sustainable development in the region, HKQAA had invited local and overseas political and business leaders, experts and academics to share their insights at this year’s Symposium, helping industries exchange and work together to build a sustainable environment for business and investment.

International Symposium gathered political and commercial leaders

The Symposium had a league of prominent speakers including Ms. Annette L. Nazareth, Chair of the Integrity Counsel for the Voluntary Carbon Market; Dr Nigel Croft, Chair, ISO Joint Technical Coordination Group for Management System Standards; Mr Andy Ng, Chairman of Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises; Mr Danny Yeung, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Prenetics Limited; Ms Winnie Fan, Managing Director of Sustainable Finance (Corporate Banking) of Bank of China (Hong Kong); Ms Daphne Wat, Deputy Chief Executive / Alternate Chief Executive, China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited; Mr Johnny Wei, Head of Wholesale Banking of OCBC Bank (Hong Kong) Limited; Mr Mac Leung, Director, Sustainable Finance, Standard Chartered Bank; Mr Tadahiro Kaneko, Senior Assistant to Unit Heads of Global Banking & Wholesale Banking, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; and Ms Taie Wang, Chief Sustainable & Emerging Business Officer, Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited. In addition, we had the support of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Certification Alliance to help with enhancing the exchange and cooperation, as well as promoting low-carbon economy in the region.

The event was also broadcasted live online for local and overseas audience, attracting participation off- and on-line by more than 800 senior executives from government departments, regulatory organisations, Chinese and foreign banking and financial institutions, business associations, academic institutions and green groups. A consul general and a number of representatives of Asian consulates in Hong Kong, as well as a representative of European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao were present at the event.

Ir C.S. Ho, Chairman of the HKQAA, said, “We hope today’s Symposium will assist organisations to explore more strategic directions for long-term success and, through collaboration, contribute to more resilient and sustainable economic development.”

Develops diversified professional services to support government sustainability strategies

As a leading conformity assessment body and standard setter in the Greater Bay Area, HKQAA not only organises events for industrial exchanges, but has also actively participated in formulating international and national standards on green finance and sustainable development, and launched a series of new services to match the government’s sustainable development policies and market needs, such as the Net-Zero Certificate Scheme and Green and Sustainable Finance Certification Scheme.

Ir Ho added, “HKQAA’s Green and Sustainable Finance Certification Scheme has received a positive response from issuers in various industries. The green and sustainable bonds issued by the HKSAR Government, the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, the People’s Government of Hainan Province and the People’s Government of Shenzhen Municipality were also certified by HKQAA. Additionally, the Scheme received recognition as an ‘excellent’ example of International Collaboration on the Mutual Recognition of Quality Certification by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation in 2023. These milestones highlight HKQAA’s notable contribution to the development of sustainable finance, as well as our efforts in smoothing domestic and international economic flows.”

Participates in developing GBA carbon footprint evaluation standards; Kicked-off ESG Connect Program

HKQAA has also collaborated with the Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation, Ecology Environment Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Academy of Metrology & Quality Inspection and Shenzhen Institute of Standards and Technology to develop the Carbon Footprint evaluation standards in the Greater Bay Area, with the aim of enhancing exchanges and cooperation, and fostering a low-carbon economy in the region. Moreover, HKQAA has launched the “ESG Connect Program” to foster different types of organisations to build an ESG ecosystem together. This initiative encourages them to harness their strengths to contribute to the sustainable development of both the industry and the community, and provides support to social enterprises and start-ups.

Recognising units, enterprises and financial institutions that promote sustainable development

At the Symposium, the presentation ceremony of the “Hong Kong Green and Sustainable Finance Awards 2023” was held. The Awards aims to encourage organisations to promote green and sustainable finance, carbon neutrality, climate risk disclosure and ESG disclosure for the sustainable development of businesses and society, and recognise their efforts and contributions. This year, 70 units, banks and financial service institutions from Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas were awarded. Furthermore, it was the first time that units from the Mainland local governments, namely, Department of Finance of Guangdong Province, Department of Finance of Hainan Province and Shenzhen Finance Bureau, were recognised for the “Outstanding Award for Green and Sustainable Bond Issuer”. For details, please refer to HKQAA’s website (www.hkqaa.org/symposium2023).

Dr Michael P. H. Lam, Chief Executive Officer of HKQAA, said, “We believe their exemplary efforts will serve as a beacon, inspiring others in the industry to make significant contributions towards a more sustainable environment and society. HKQAA will continue to leverage its professional capabilities to provide enterprises with more innovative solutions. We strive to assist them to cope with the new challenges, working together to build a sustainable world.”

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