Hong Kong government reveals 16 billion HKD budget to position the city as an international innovation and technology hub

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In an effort to attract more talent and investors to Hong Kong, the city will spend HK$16 billion (US$2.05 billion) to turn Hong Kong into a global innovation and technology (I&T) hotspot.

According to the 2022-23 Budget Report published in the South China Morning Post, about HK$10 billion will be set aside for the proposed InnoLife health-tech hub in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park at the Lok Ma Chau Loop in the New Territories. Over HK$130 billion has already been spent on I&T development, making Hong Kong one of the most productive markets for fintech start-ups.

Hong Kong is already home to more than 600 fintech start-ups and companies, with three being KPMG FinTech 100s and nine unicorn start-ups valued above $1bn. These include WeLab, TNG, and Airwallex.

Hong Kong also boasts the highest consumer fintech adoption rate, and 66% of companies in the fintech industries focus on the B2B market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong’s fintech sectors continued to grow, employ more people, and even raise capital. Separated only be a border, the city also serves as a bridge to mainland China, which is globally the top consumer market for fintech, with 51% of companies operating or planning to expand in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has been the world’s top IPO market for the last 12 years and is an increasingly popular choice for Asia’s fintech companies. In June 2021, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced the ‘Fintech 2025’ strategy, encouraging the financial sector to adopt the technology by 2025.

Hong Kong also boasts some of the most diverse range of fintech companies operating in sectors including blockchain, robo-advisory, virtual banking, cybersecurity, insurance technology, asset management, digital trading and payments. With 78 of the world’s top 100 banks located in Hong Kong, the fintech industries benefit from close proximity to the largest financial institutions globally.

Emerging fintech innovation and funding in Hong Kong is focused on the following sectors of fintech;

  • Blockchain Stock Settlement
  • Trade Finance
  • Faster Payments System
  • QR Code Payments
  • Sandboxes

Kim Fournais, CEO and Founder of Saxo Bank, believes that all individuals have the right to access financial information and use it. Innovations by fintech industries are doing just that, bringing the world of high finance to the man in the street. Fournais further reminds us that money can make you happy because it can free up your time or create magic memories with loved ones, and many can use financial tools to reach their full financial capabilities.

In Indonesia, fintech development has provided solutions and made it possible for companies to offer the benefit of a mutual fund while ensuring access to cash whenever people need it, giving some hope around the future of financial behaviour and investment habits in Asia.

Indonesia has a GDP of under $4,000 per capita, and cash usage is still heavy. For this reason, most Indonesians do not invest. Taking this into account, some fintech investment products now offer immediate withdrawal of funds, which means users can invest their money on these platforms in a mutual fund and withdraw it instantly.

In other words, as soon as someone invests in a mutual fund, they can decide to withdraw it the next moment and get their investment back. Tech players in Indonesia also developed financial services that offer mutual fund investments from as low as IDR 10,000 (roughly $0.70), removing entry barriers into financial trading.

Leading fintech players are bold enough to break the norms and have a growth mindset, driving higher financial inclusion and creating a more inclusive economy and society. New and experienced investors alike can take full advantage of all the tools and information the fintech industry provides to create wealth and happiness.