I was honor to be invited as VIP represented Hong Kong Society for Quality to attend Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) Green Finance Certification Scheme Presentation Ceremony cum Forum 2019 on 25th Mar 2019. Green Finance is a strategic tool for promoting the economic development and regional cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and along the Belt and Road. In keeping with the development of the national Green Finance policy and being supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government, HKQAA has taken the lead to develop the Green Finance Certification Scheme to provide third-party conformity assessments for Green Finance issuers since 2016. Before the ceremony, I met many HKQAA friends and we took some photos for memory.
Photo with Mr. Wong Ka Wo, Simon (Deputy Chairman, HKQAA), Mr. Bryne Pang and Ms. Bess Choi.
Photo with Mr. Calvin Luk, Ms. Bess Choi and Mr. Edmond Fung.
Photo with Mr. Adams Wong
Photo with Ms. Meico Cheong
I met cohort of CityU Eminence Society Dr. Wilson Chan (Associate Director of MBA Programme, CityU) and he was one of panelists in the forum.
I also met my teacher Dr. CN Ng (Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, HKU) during my study HD and MPhil.
Before the event start, I visit the HKEX Exhibition Hall.
Today’s Hang Seng Index was observed.
In the beginning, Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok (Chairman of HKQAA) gave the welcoming remarks. He said green finance was also acting as a strategic tools for promoting economic development and regional cooperation in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and along the Belt and Road.
The Hon Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, GBM, GBS, JP, (The Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) gave the opening remarks. He said that Hong Kong government placed a high priority on developing the economy on a sustainable basis and on becoming a regional hub for green finance.
Then group photos were taken.
(Left: Mr. Wong Ka Wo, Simon, Mr Wong Kam-sing (Secretary for the Environment), Ir C S Ho, The Hon Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (The Acting CE, HKSAR), Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai Kwok, Mr James Henry Lau (Secretary for Financial) and Dr Michael P H Lam)
Then HKQAA board members with guests took a group photo
The first speaker was Dr. Nigel H Croft (Chairman of ISO Technology Subcommittee (ISO/TC 176/SC2); Associate Technical Director of HKQAA) using video presentation and his topic was “ISO 14030 – The Upcoming First ISO Standard for Green Bonds). Firstly, Dr. Nigel Croft introduced HKQAA achievements such as accredited by Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2011), Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index (2014), Observer of Green Bond Principles under International Capital Market Association (ICMA) (2018) and Approved Verifier under Climate Bonds Standard (2018).
Then Dr. Croft said HKQAA nominated by ITC and China National Institute of Standardization to take part in the ISO Technical Committee (ISO/TC 207/SC 4) to develop the ISO 14030 standard for green bonds since 2017.
After that Dr. Croft briefed the ISO 14030 that was the upcoming first ISO standard for green bonds & debt instruments in which funds exclusively allocated towards projects, assets and activities that can result in environmental benefits. Five Green Bond Principles were briefed as following diagram.
Finally, Dr. Croft briefed ISO 14030 standard included four parts and they were “Process for Green Bonds”, “Process for Green Loans”, “Taxonomy” and “Verification”.
The Certificate Presentation Ceremony was performed. Dr. Amie Lai (Cohort of CityU EngD) represented Swire Properties MTN Financing Limited to receive the Green Bond certificate.
The second speaker was Dr. Ma Jun (Chairman and President, Hong Kong Green Finance Association) and his topic entitled “Global Trends of Green Financing: Implications to the Greater China’s Capital Market”. Dr. Ma Jun briefed some green support factors and China had high development potential because they only have 0.4% green bond. There were two taxonomies he said. One is Green Loan and the other is Green Bond Platform. Lastly, he suggested that Hong Kong could establish local green bond principles that could service GBA and OBOR.
The third speaker was Ms. Julia Brickell (Regional Head of Operations, East Asia and the Pacific, International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group) and her topic presented was “Latest Developments in Green Finance and Green Projects in Emerging Markets”. In the beginning, Ms. Julia Brickell briefed several alarm on climate change such as extreme weather and pollution that to be explain climate is priority.
Then the private sector is beginning to recognize the risk and is under pressure to disclose and respond. Ms. Brickell mentioned five key sectors to grow climate business and they were “Green Finance”, “Green Buildings”, “Climate-Smart Cities”, “Climate-Smart Agribusiness” and “Clean Energy”.
Finally, Ms. Brickell discussed the investment opportunities across Asia and potential in difference Cities.
Panel Discussion 1: Challenges and Opportunities – Green Financing in the Greater Bay Area
Mr. Alvin Cheung (Head of Social Development, Our Hong Kong Foundation) was facilitator. (Start from Left)
1. Mr. Joseph HL Chan (Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, HKSAR) said Hong Kong was suitable to develop green finance that we had green bond in last year, certification scheme and funding for public green projects.
2. Mr. Mushtaq Kapasi (Managing Director, Chief Representative, Asia Pacific International Capital Market Association) said Hong Kong could become international leader. HK Government and HKMA enhanced Hong Kong to be Green Finance Centre through niche product and focus on its impact.
3. Representatives of Guangzhou Municipal Local financial Supervision and Administration commented that we needed to implement better, deep development and GBA supported the Green Finance Center. For example, MOU signed between HKQAA and Bureau of Finance Affairs of Guangzhou Municipality.
4. Representative from Bureau of Financial Affairs, Huadu, Guanzhou said Qianhai(前海) MOU was supporting example that we needed the third party certification for standardization of Green Finance.
5. Mr. Guo Zhipeng (Deputy Chief Executive, China Construction Bank (Asia)) mentioned Green Industry and foundation establishment should be integrated into Green Finance. It was from Green Finance Era (2017) to Green Finance Society (2018).
Panel Discussion 2: The Role of Green Finance in the Belt and Road Initiative
Ms. Chaoni Huang (VP and Secretary General, Hong Kong Green Finance Association; Executive Director, Green and Sustainable Finance Solutions, Natixis) was the facilitator. (Start from Left)
1. Mr. Jonathan Drew (Managing Director, Infrastructure, Real Estate Group, HSBC) said we needed more green project for enhancing green finance because of international capital were hungry for green asset.
2. Ms. Dominique Duval (Head of Asia-Pacific, Sustainable Banking, Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank) said they also considered social responsibility product.
3. Mr. Kevin Yang (Deputy General Manager, CECEP (Hong Kong) Investment Co., Ltd.) told us that China capital market had strongly support green finance. Two factors they would consider were Investment Environment and Investment Direction.
4. Dr. Wilson Chan (Associate Director of MBA Programme, CityU) used one slide to explain the whole development plan in GBA. He used a metaphor that one husband had four wives. Do he still a good husband? It depended on what standard you use. For green finance, he considered Risk and Return. He also predicted the trend from Green Bond to Social Bond and then to Sustainability Bond.
5. Dr. Chao Peng (Director, Associate Professor, Macao One Belt One Road Research Center, CityU of Macau) said that Hong Kong positioned as Green Finance Centre and Macau could be Green Finance Platform for green travel and green product exchanging. He suggested to integrate Green Finance and Smart City together.
At the end, Dr. Michael PH Lam (CEO, HKQAA) gave close remark. He said that HKQAA strived to contribute to the global development of green finance. HKQAA experts had taken part in the technical committee of ISO/TC 322 and ISO/TC 207/SC4 to develop the ISO standards for sustainable finance and green bonds respectively.
HKQAA Green Finance Certification Scheme - http://hkqaa.org/en_certservice.php?catid=26