Hong Kong – Speech by FS at Asia Pacific Financial Forum 2023 (English only)

Speech by FS at Asia Pacific Financial Forum 2023 (English only)


     Following is the video speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at the Asia Pacific Financial Forum 2023 today (March 18):

Mr Ren (The Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce, Mr Ren Hongbin), distinguished speakers and guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. And hello from Hong Kong! It gives me great pleasure to speak to you today at the Asia Pacific Financial Forum.
     I understand that some 500 are attending the Forum in Beijing, and that more than 200 of you are participating, online, from around the world. It is a remarkable meeting of believers in the promise of open and inclusive financial co-operation throughout the Asia-Pacific.
     While the world has largely stepped out of the woods of the pandemic, economic recovery remains fragile, given the numerous challenges we face, from daunting geopolitical tensions, to inflation, high interest rates and more.
     But in trying times, it is all the more important that countries and economies work together, and remain committed to diplomacy, discussion and co-operation.
     For Hong Kong, we are singularly blessed under the “one country, two systems”. We remain the only place in the world where the global advantage and the China advantage come together in a single city. As an international financial centre (IFC), we have much to offer for the financial co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region and well beyond.
     By serving as the bridge between the Mainland and the rest of the world, connecting the capital markets and investors on both sides, we are bound to create more opportunities and benefits for countries and economies in the region and the world.
     Allow me to briefly talk about a few of Hong Kong’s visions and promises.
Enhancing our fund-raising platform
     First, Hong Kong will enhance our role as a world class fund-raising platform. With the advantages of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong has brought together the world’s top financial institutions and talents. Our professional services are strong and competitive. Free capital flow and a robust financial system have created a deep pool of capital in the city.
     Indeed, Hong Kong’s stock market is blessed with deep liquidity. At the end of December last year, our capitalisation had reached US$4.6 trillion. That’s 13 times our GDP. So is our bond market: we top the region in international bond arrangements by Asian entities.
     And our Connect schemes – the mutual-access arrangements between the Mainland and Hong Kong – have helped bring together the capital markets and investors of the Mainland and the world.
     Ranging from stock to bonds and, more recently, to ETFs and Swap contracts, the Connect schemes continue to grow, creating more investment options and risk-management tools for investors.
     I am particularly pleased to report that, as of this past Monday, Stock Connect now includes international companies listed in Hong Kong. This would enable them to have access to both international and Mainland capital, and at the same time, broaden the choices for Mainland investors.
     Changes in the international environment are presenting new opportunities. Geopolitical tensions have propelled countries in the ASEAN and the Gulf region to diversify their investments to this part of the world. At the same time, they are keen to raise capital here to finance their massive plans of infrastructure and development projects.
     Acting as a bridge and high-quality service platform, Hong Kong is both determined and well positioned to tap this huge market and contribute to the world’s high quality development.
Assisting in RMB internationalisation
     Equally promising is the role Hong Kong could play in assisting the internationalisation of the Renminbi in a steady and prudent manner.

     As China’s economic significance on the global stage continues to rise, the use of Renminbi would be increasingly popular in both international trade and investment, and as a reserve currency.
     This will create a substantial demand for Renminbi-denominated investments, and for associated risk management tools. For holders of Renminbi, Hong Kong is the best place to go. As a hub providing the deepest pool of offshore RMB liquidity and handling more than 70 per cent of the world’s Renminbi settlements, we will continue to introduce more Renminbi-denominated investment and risk-management products, and upgrade our market infrastructure at the same time.
International GreenTech and GreenFi Centre
     Third, Hong Kong sets its sights on developing itself into a world leader for green technology and green finance.
     The global drive for green transition has created a huge demand for green projects, including innovative and technological solutions. For green financing, it is estimated that Asia would need around US$66 trillion in the coming three decades. China alone would need US$14.5 trillion in the same period.
     Meanwhile, the global market for green technology is forecast to reach around US$420 billion by 2030. That’s 11 times the size of 2021.
     Hong Kong has what it takes to rise as a world leader in Green Tech and Green Fi.
     Hong Kong is a leader in green finance, and well positioned to help the global mission of zero emission to materialise. We are simply Asia’s first in green financing. In 2021, green and sustainable debts issued or arranged in Hong Kong reached around US$57 billion, topping Asia. That figure had leaped further in 2022. Deep liquidity aside, the market covered a diversified investor base and project categories. Last month, the HKSAR Government issued a tokenised green bond, the first of its kind released anywhere in the world by a government.
     On Green Tech, the prospect of Hong Kong is also promising. More than 100 green-tech companies and start-ups operate out of Science Park and Cyberport. Some of them are using innovative and cutting-edge technologies in their projects, and have won international recognition and investments. And the Guangdong-HongKong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) is also home to many pioneers in green technology. In short, we have a strong and vibrant ecosystem in GreenTech.
     Hong Kong’s ultimate goal is to bring together the green technology sector and green financing so that they can reinforce each other, and support a vibrant, integrated and dynamic green industry cluster with a complete value chain.
     We are fast spurring development to that end. This will include a few directions.
     First, we will build a green technology ecosystem to attract top-notch enterprises or startups to set up their operations in Hong Kong. We will also encourage commercialization of R&D outcomes and boost demand for green technology.
     Second, we will continue to develop and innovate to make available more efficient and competitive green financing.
     Third, promoting green certification, green standard setting and converging Mainland standards with international standards.
     Fourth, nurturing talents through training locals as well as attracting those from all over the world.
     And finally, enhancing collaboration with the GBA and the international markets.
Concluding Remarks
     Ladies and gentlemen, in a changing world, with our country’s steadfast support, Hong Kong’s future as an IFC remains strong, sure and enviably secure. We are proud to continue to contribute to better financial collaboration in the Asia Pacific and beyond, bring economies and people closer together, and create value, benefits and prosperity for all.
     Last but not least, my thanks to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China Chamber of International Commerce and the many other institutions for bringing together the Asia-Pacific business community in the spirit of co-operation and collaboration for the common good.
     I wish you all a rewarding Forum and the best of business in the year to come.
     Thank you.

Asian and Pacific Countries Adopt Jakarta Declaration 2023-2032

The ‘High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Final Review of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities’ (HLIGM APDPD) closed on Friday (Oct 21) with 53 Asia-Pacific and 9 associated countries adopting the landmark Jakarta Declaration, marking the start of the fourth ‘Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities’.
“Today, on the last day of the high-level intragovernmental meeting in the Asia Pacific, we are adopting the Jakarta Declaration 2023-2032, which will be followed up by all members, accelerated and implemented,” said the meeting chair and Indonesian Social Affairs Minister, Tri Rismaharini (Risma).

“Through the Jakarta Declaration, we reaffirm our global commitment to a better life for all persons with disabilities,” said Risma, emphasizing the commitment of Asia Pacific countries in realizing the Incheon Strategy, initiated ten years ago. “The priority issue is an alignment of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the level of legislation.”

“It is time to increase efforts and take affirmative steps to implement universal design in all public areas, to increase the capacity of people handling persons living with disabilities in all sectors, and conduct national breakthrough campaigns to build awareness about disability,” she said. “Harmonization of legislation is the toughest challenge for our own government, as it has central, provincial and regency/city government levels.”

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said although the implementation of the CRPD was making progress, people with disabilities in the Asia Pacific region face obstacles in education, work, decision making, and many other aspects.

She invites UN ESCAP members to strengthen partnerships with disability organizations, the private sector, United Nations entities and the others to create a comprehensive community approach. Armida hopes that people with disabilities can participate in all policies and programs related to disability actively and significantly, in line with the spirit of ‘nothing without us about us’.

HLIGM APDPD was held on a hybrid basis from 19 – 21 October 2022 and was attended by delegates from 53 member states, 9 association member, observer countries, UN agencies, and civil society organizations.

Written by: PR Wire, Editor: PR Wire (c) ANTARA 2022
Source article at: https://en.antaranews.com/news/256377/asia-and-pacific-countries-make-jakarta-declaration-agreement

UN ESCAP member countries also underlined the importance of making strategic investments to push disability-inclusive development through a whole-society approach in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, especially organizations of persons with disabilities and private sector entities, in order to accelerate action to promote and protect the rights of persons living with disabilities.

“I encourage all participants to continue their cooperation with one another and to take all necessary steps to make the recommendations formulated during this meeting in Jakarta. Now and in the next decade, we must come together and work it out,” Rismaharini said.

The first point of the Jakarta Declaration is to harmonize national legislations with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, after the convention is ratified, by conducting a comprehensive and regular review of national legislations and appropriate regional regulations.

The second is to promote the meaningful participation of women and men with disabilities of all ages, including by closely consulting and actively involving children and youth with disabilities through their representative organizations, in planning, implementation, and decision-making on policies, programs, and political processes through reasonable accommodation.

The third point involves special attention to the special needs of persons with diverse disabilities and women, children, and elderly with disabilities to increase accessibility of the physical environment, including information and communication technology and systems, public transportation, and essential information and services related to disaster risk and public health emergencies and other public services.

The fourth is to promote the power of the private sector, including its resources, innovation, and technology talent, to push disability-inclusive development by adopting disability-inclusive public procurement policies to promote the adoption of universal design and accessibility measures for infrastructure, technology, and information and communication services that are publicly obtained.

The fifth is to promote a gender-responsive life cycle approach to develop and implement policies and programs related to disability by paying special attention to children, youth, women, and elderly people living with disabilities.

The sixth is to take action, based on information provided by competent national institutions and other recognized sources, to close the disability data gap and strengthen the capacity to track progress in disability-inclusive development at the national and subnational levels by producing comparable and qualified data as chosen by gender, age, and disability across sectors.

Written by: Devi Nindy Sari R, Resinta S, Editor: Rahmad Nasution (c) ANTARA 2022
Source article: https://en.antaranews.com/news/256205/53-asia-pacific-countries-agree-to-jakarta-declaration-on-disability

Topic: General Announcement

Pacific Green Successfully Executes Its Transition to Renewable Energy Recurring Income Model and Announces Its Annual Report for Year Ending March 31, 2022

Pacific Green Technologies, Inc. (the “Company” or “Pacific Green”, (OTCQB:PGTK)) announces that it has successfully completed its first milestone in the process of diversifying and regularizing its income streams. Pacific Green is transitioning from a single technology equipment provider in the marine sector to an asset-driven “build-own-operate” renewable energy and battery energy storage system (“BESS”) development company, led by the financial close in June 2022 of its first 99.98 MW project at Richborough Energy Park, as part of Pacific Green’s 1.1 GW pipeline of BESS developments in the UK. In summary:

– Successfully executed transition to renewable energy company with recurring income model from self-developed energy assets
– FY22 results impacted by COVID related slowdown to marine business
– 99.98 MW Richborough Battery Energy Park asset in construction, with projected commercial operations via the National Grid in June 2023
– Financial restatement reflects change in timing of milestone recognition. No impact on cash flows.

As part of this transition, along with tighter fuel spreads and COVID-19 pandemic logistical issues for the Company’s clients and suppliers in the marine sector, revenues have been reduced for the year ending March 31, 2022 to $15.44 million (FY21 revenue: $52.62 million) with a net loss for the year of US$10.75 million (FY21 net loss: US$1.81 million).

Within the stated losses includes a one-off, non-cash write-down of combined goodwill and intangible assets, totaling US$7.06 million against Chinese subsidiary Pacific Green Technologies (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. (formally Shanghai Engin Digital Technology Co. Ltd.) and Pacific Green Innoergy Technologies Ltd., acquired in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The restatement of past financials noted in the Company’s year end filing reflects a change in the accounting treatment of the timing of revenue and expense recognition only, with no impact to cash flows, balances or the Company’s ability to undertake business development in the energy storage sector.

Over the past six months, the spread between high-sulphur and low-sulphur fuel oils has rebounded to exceed US$200 per ton. Pacific Green has witnessed a significant increase in new enquiries for its emissions control systems, commonly known as “scrubbers”, leading to further sales of the Company’s technology in the past months.

The Company has built out its BESS division, recruiting a world-class team of experts to create an industry leading platform to deliver its 1.1 GW pipeline in the UK and is now looking to expand the platform geographically.

Pacific Green has invested in its first 99.98 MW BESS project at Richborough Energy Park in the UK, supported by the Company’s 50% project equity partner, Green Power Reserves Limited, senior debt provided by Close Leasing Limited and energy optimization by Shell Energy Europe Limited. The development, Richborough Energy Park Limited, is currently in construction, with projected commercial operations commencing in June 2023.

During this period, the Company has funded the deposit to secure its second BESS development of 249 MW in the UK as part of the 1.1 GW pipeline.

About Pacific Green Technologies, Inc.

Pacific Green Technologies, Inc. is focused on addressing the world’s need for cleaner and more sustainable energy. The Company offers Battery Energy Storage Systems and Concentrated Solar Power energy solutions to compliment its marine environmental technologies division. For more information, visit Pacific Green’s website: www.pacificgreentechnologies.com

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

This news release contains “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Statements in this news release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the construction of the 99.98 MW BESS the Company is to develop in Kent; and any potential business developments in the UK and future interest in the Company’s battery, solar and emissions control technologies.

Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, general economic and political conditions, the continuation of the construction of the 99.98 MW BESS, the sales of retrofit emissions control technologies and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this news release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, the Company’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Scott Poulter, Chairman & CEO
Pacific Green Technologies
T: +1 (302) 601-4659

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA put climate partnership into action


  • PIFS and FIFA signed two-year Memorandum of Understanding in April

  • In July Pacific Islands Forum Leaders declared a climate change emergency in the Pacific

  • Partnership focus on climate change action and climate-proofing football infrastructure

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and FIFA have jointly launched a 12-month plan to implement the climate change partnership they signed in April and turn commitment into concrete climate action. Key activities will include employing FIFA Legends to raise climate change awareness and adapting existing infrastructure in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to make it more climate proof. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the PIF Secretary General Henry Puna signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat climate change during the FIFA Congress in Doha, Qatar, in April. The MOU focuses on using football diplomacy to educate and raise awareness on climate change and disaster resilience. It also aims to enhance climate-proofed infrastructure, focus on climate resilient football development and mobilise finance for resilience building in the region, including support for the Pacific Resilience Facility fund.

According to Secretary General Puna, the implementation plan is a demonstration to the people and communities in the Pacific that both FIFA and PIFS are serious about addressing the climate emergency facing the region and building the resilience of vulnerable communities. “The Pacific region recognises that 2022 is a defining year for urgent and strong climate action – where pledges and commitments need to be translated into action,” SG Puna said. “This is the key message that the Pacific will take to the international community leading up to COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in November. COP 27 must deliver on implementation.” “In their meeting in July, Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers supported new ways of elevating regional climate change priorities to the international community, including through sports diplomacy such as the recent MOU on Climate Change with FIFA,” he added. “This marks the entire region’s recognition and support for the MOU as an innovative approach to climate advocacy, leveraging on the global influence of football.”

FIFA and Pacific Islands Forum to combat climate change

Gianni Infantino said: “Football is certainly not immune to climate change and is affected at all levels, from grassroots and amateur to elite, with the Oceania region facing a particularly high risk of climate and disaster impacts.” “At FIFA, we also have a duty to wider society: helping to draw attention to climate change and taking action against it in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions, is one of the best ways we can use football’s power and popularity to have a positive impact.” Key activities include:

  • Creating a climate change literacy program for schools, and training to support climate change awareness by FIFA Legends;

  • Joint communications and advocacy plan leading up to COP 27 and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand;

  • Support climate proofing and retrofitting of football infrastructure in the Pacific;

  • Convening a regional workshop on resilient football infrastructure development;

  • Undertaking a regional football infrastructure audit; and

  • Exploring collaboration with the Pacific Resilience Facility within the framework of the FIFA Climate Strategy.

Pacific Beach Pawn and Jewelry Announces Enhanced Gold Buying Services in Pacific Beach, CA

 The price of gas has increased dramatically in the past few months. Gold prices were high at the beginning of the year and have now come down.

PB Pawn and Jewelry announces they have a new, improved gold buy and pawning service that includes free appraisals and valuation. Their process is transparent and they take the time to explain to customers what they can expect.

With prices increasing at the supermarket and gas pump, consumers may need to liquidate some of their gold holdings to help meet financial burdens. PB Pawn and Jewelry is available to help.

The experts at the store are proud to provide an honest and trustworthy set of pawn services, including buying, selling, and loaning against valuable items.

These services are an alternative financial option for consumers with poor or no credit and the services are immediate.

Stop by today or contact them at: www.pbpawn.com/.

PB Pawn and Jewelry

Alex Pourat





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