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Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia set sights on stronger ties, Asia expansion.

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TLDR:

  • Hong Kong’s finance minister, Paul Chan Mo-po, discussed deeper cooperation with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Mohammed al-Jadaan, during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.
  • Chan praised the progress made in expanding cooperation between the two countries over the past two years and expressed a desire to enhance bilateral financial and business ties.
  • He urged Arab firms to utilize Hong Kong as a platform to expand into mainland China and other Asian markets.
  • During the summit, Chan also met with Nigerian Vice-President Kashim Shettima, an American stablecoin issuer, and an Israeli artificial intelligence unicorn.

The Hong Kong government aims to tap into wealthy Middle Eastern markets and has recognised the Saudi Exchange, allowing potential secondary listings, and listed a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking Saudi equities in the city.

Chan also emphasized that Hong Kong, with its unique advantages, serves as an international financial center connecting the mainland and the world and welcomed Saudi Arabia’s capital and enterprises to utilize Hong Kong to expand into Asian markets.

Chan met with Jeremy Allaire, CEO of stablecoin issuer Circle Internet Financial, and Ori Goshen, co-CEO of AI21 Labs, to discuss the latest developments in Hong Kong and promote the city’s new advantages and opportunities in the digital assets and AI sectors.

Chan highlighted Hong Kong’s commitment to developing digital assets in a prudent and orderly manner and consulting the public on regulating stablecoins.

The Asian Financial Forum, to be held in Hong Kong next week, will feature eight guest speakers from the Middle East, up from one last year, according to Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu.

Hong Kong will continue to host mega events to consolidate its status as an international financial hub, including the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit, Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, and Hong Kong FinTech Week.

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