L-R: Ma Jun, chairman and president of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association; Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance; Credit: MFIN

Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna discussed economic recovery in the euro area and green finance, among other things, at the recent Asia Financial Forum (AFF) in Hong Kong.

For the fourth time in five years, Minister Pierre Gramegna participated as a speaker at the AFF, Asia's largest financial conference, which brought together more than 2,000 people on 14 January 2019. In his presentation on "Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future: Opportunities and Challenges", the minister spoke about economic recovery in the euro area and the opportunities to be seized, as well as the challenges ahead. He also described the efforts of Luxembourg and Europe for the transition to more inclusive growth. He went on to reiterate his strong support for the principle of free market operation and multilateralism and identified green finance as one of the most promising pillars for sustainable growth. 

Besides the forum, the Minister of Finance had bilateral meetings with Liqun Jin, president of the Asian Investment Bank for Infrastructure (AIIB), and Ma Jun, chairman and president of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association. Minister Gramegna was able to take stock of the preparations for the annual meeting of the AIIB, which will take place on 12 and 13 July 2019 in Luxembourg. He also discussed the latest developments in the field of sustainable finance, including the development of a taxonomy, i.e. a common terminology for sustainable finance in China and the EU.

During a working meeting with his counterpart Paul Chan Mo-po and Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, James Lau, the Luxembourg Finance Minister similarly took stock of the current economic and financial situation in Luxembourg and Hong Kong and welcomed the excellent financial relations between the two jurisdictions. Together, the three interlocutors identified several avenues for strengthening further financial exchanges, particularly in the field of FinTech and as part of the new Silk Road (BIS) initiative.

On 15 January 2019, Pierre Gramegna had a meeting with Leiming Chen, Vice-President and General Counsel of AntFinancial and Alipay, the mobile payment solution of e-commerce giant Alibaba. On this occasion, he announced that Alipay had received a license to establish electronic money in Luxembourg, allowing it to offer its services throughout the EU. He also witnessed the signing of a mutual fund recognition agreement between the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong. The agreement will facilitate the registration of funds in the respective markets and allow for a faster approval process for fund products in both jurisdictions.

Finally, Pierre Gramegna opened a seminar organised by the Luxembourg Association of Investment Funds (ALFI) in Hong Kong on 16 January 2019, as part of its annual "Asia Roadshow". On this occasion, he emphasised "the special relationship that exists between the two fund industries", and the importance of strengthening collaboration in the field of sustainable investment funds.