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Financial Secretary


Wealth for Good in Hong Kong

Organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit themed on family office business has concluded recently with fruitful outcomes. Held for the first time in the city, the Summit attracted over 400 participants, including over 100 key decision makers from global family offices and senior management personnel of family offices. The Summit took place at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, a venue renowned for the preservation of historical heritage that filled the event with a strong cultural ambience. Besides family representatives from North America, Europe, other Asian regions and the Middle East, there were also representatives from Hong Kong at the Summit.

Delivering keynote speech at the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit last Friday

There were lively exchanges among participants on Wealth for Art, Wealth for Tech, Wealth for Green and Wealth for Philanthropy at the Summit, discussing how the investment management of family offices can keep up with the times, support technological innovations and foster green, low-carbon and sustainable development, and how family offices can make greater contributions to the community by better promoting philanthropic work in respect of wealth succession.

As I have pointed out in my keynote speech at the Summit, Hong Kong is an international financial centre with our robust financial markets developing in a stable, secure and orderly way. Coupled with our world-class financial infrastructures plus a diversified and efficient capital market, we can fully meet the business and investment needs of family offices. Moreover, our unique advantages under “One Country, Two Systems” not only allow us to easily benefit from the opportunities available in the enormous Mainland market, but also enable us to adopt a common law regime and market rules that align perfectly with global standards. Together with a wide range of professional services, Hong Kong has become a converging point for capital, talent, investment products and art and cultural items from the Mainland and around the world. Besides, as there are over 50 international schools in Hong Kong which offer curricula of different countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, European countries, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, family members can therefore choose the education courses that suit their cultural background. Hong Kong also boasts over 200 Michelin-recommended restaurants, offering diversified dining experience with different cultural and culinary characteristics to all. The inclusive culture and varied choices in Hong Kong have made the city an ideal place for family offices to establish their business.

In fact, quite a number of participants told me during the Summit that this event was successful in attracting decision makers and managers of family offices, and that it indeed provided a chance for them to get together for the first time over the past few years. Many decision makers also indicated that they were very impressed by the pace of our economic recovery as well as our vibrancy and charm, and that they were preparing or even had decided to establish family offices in Hong Kong.

Family offices form an integral part of asset management business. They have a relatively high concentration of wealth with investments not only confined to financial products but also covering art and cultural items. Apart from having a strong demand for the trading, collection and management of artworks, family offices are also very interested in promoting medical research, green development and philanthropy. They are also engaged in arranging education and daily life matters for members.

During the Summit, the HKSAR Government issued the Policy Statement on Developing Family Office Businesses in Hong Kong, setting out clearly the relevant policy direction and summing up its recent efforts in this regard, which include introducing a new Capital Investment Entrant Scheme in the Budget this year, offering tax concessions for family office investments, funding the establishment of a new Hong Kong Academy for Wealth Legacy, providing art storage facilities at Hong Kong International Airport and developing Hong Kong into a philanthropic centre. In fact, the total transaction value of artworks, collectors’ pieces and antiques auctioned in Hong Kong in 2021 exceeded HK$66 billion, ranking one of the highest in the world. We believe that by attracting more family offices to establish their presence in Hong Kong, we can foster Hong Kong’s development into a global art auction and trading hub.

Hong Kong is a dynamic city where East meets West with a mix of the old and the new. With the express support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, we are pressing ahead with the development of Hong Kong into an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange. While the M+ Museum showcases world contemporary art, the Hong Kong Palace Museum exhibits our country’s cultural essence. Art Central and Art Basel, which are being held over these two weeks, have attracted a wide audience from around the world, the Mainland and the local community. On performing arts, our music talents are recognised internationally, and performing arts groups of different fields, be they large or small, have achieved a very high standard and helped creating a blossoming art scene in the city.

Since the full resumption of normal travel with the Mainland and the rest of the world, Hong Kong has held major events and large-scale international conferences one after another. Apart from the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit, the international conference jointly organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank for International Settlements was also held successfully last week, during which in-depth discussions and exchanges on ways to ensure future-proof supervision for an innovative banking world were conducted. More large-scale events will follow in the coming months, including the Hong Kong Sevens to be held this week. In addition to inviting visitors to come to experience for themselves the vibrancy and charm of the city, we will reach out and establish deeper and broader ties and friendships with the rest of the world. Today, I am going to visit Malaysia and Singapore to showcase our new advantages and business opportunities in such areas as economy, finance, innovation and technology and art and culture. Besides meeting government officials, visiting enterprises and interacting with the local business community, I will also speak at local universities. So long as we seize every opportunity to promote our city, I believe that we will surely be able to attract and pool together more enterprises, talent and capital from around the world, thereby increasing our appeal and boosting the influence of Hong Kong as an international metropolis.

March 26, 2023

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