FSBC Concept Paper on Establishing a Green Investment Bank Launched

The Financial Services Business Council of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (EuroCham) launched a strategic concept paper, “Leading Asia’s Financial Future – Hong Kong Green Investment Bank”.

The whole strategic concept paper can be found here: Leading Asia’s Financial Future – Hong Kong Green Investment Bank

As low carbon businesses expand rapidly around the world, and global regulation supports a transition to a cleaner economic growth path, financial market competitiveness is increasingly influenced by levels of expertise in green finance. While other financial centres, notably London, are already making efforts to establish leadership, Hong Kong has a significant opportunity to build on its existing market strengths in the specific area of infrastructure finance and related services to become the regional hub for private financing of low carbon and climate friendly development in Asia.

This strategic positioning could be achieved through the creation of a dedicated financial institution, the Hong Kong Green Investment Bank (GreenBank). A green investment bank is a public financial institution created to channel private finance into low carbon infrastructure and green investment projects. It uses public funding to provide financing tools and market support that encourage commercial financing on acceptable terms.

In Hong Kong, GreenBank would be backed by the financial resources of the government, but its role would be to use its public funding for a limited time period and only to the extent necessary to encourage private finance to participate in the projects it sponsored. Rather than subsidising green infrastructure, GreenBank would seek to create liquid markets that can stand on their own. GreenBank would be expected to break even and, over time, to return a profit.

The creation of GreenBank would send a strong signal to the region about Hong Kong’s ability to drive financial innovation in this area, and could create multiple benefits for Hong Kong companies: financial institutions could develop new profitable business lines, while an expanding pool of capital for green projects could help to create more business for technology, construction and supply chain companies.

The launch event of the paper featured key note speakers and a panel discussion which included:

Key note speakers:

  • William Gee, PwC
  • Alexandra Tracy, Hoi Ping Ventures

Panel:

  • Julia Charlton, Charltons (Moderator)
  • Katherine Ng, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
  • Stratos Pourzitakis , Asian Private Banker
  • Karine Hirn, East Capital
  • Julia Brickell, IFC

The presentations focused on how China has set a clear roadmap to establish a green financial system, highlighting a few of China’s green goals and investment gaps identified. It was commented that it is crucial that people from different sectors work together on this topic. Cooperation is the one of the biggest obstacles at the moment.

In the presentation it was expressed that a Green Bank would help Hong Kong in fostering a new industry segment, and to develop new technologies, since there would be large scale funding for low carbon infrastructures, which in turn would strengthen the role of Hong Kong as a financial centre.

The presentation highlighted parts of the paper such as the effects of green investments and the trends of the green finance sector in China and other Asian countries. The presentation also explained how a Green Investment Bank (GIB) works and what it exactly is, including additional reasons why a GIB is needed.

The presentation was then followed by a lively panel discussion and an interactive Q&A session with audience.

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The Financial Services Business Council of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (EuroCham) launched a strategic concept paper, “Leading Asia’s Financial Future - Hong Kong Green Investment Bank”.Read more...
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