Back in the snow...
Jan 12, 2024
5 mins

It’s that special time of year to get together, renew relationships, review the year just gone and look forward to the year ahead. This is a time of optimism, excitement and a deep sense of purpose to make the best of what’s ahead.

And that’s exactly how I’m feeling as I put on my snow boots and prepare to head out to the World Economic Forum here in Davos. This year, as in past years, the World Economic Forum is going to be focused on identifying global challenges, exchanging ideas and developing collective solutions.

Top-of-mind issues this year include ongoing geopolitical tensions, open conflict in regional hotspots, slowing growth, and concerns about the pace of the net zero transition.

More generally, the World Economic Forum has identified a ‘crisis of trust’ in the global economy.

Progress is possible

There’s a pressing need for dialogue, understanding and far-reaching solutions for these global issues, and the team and I are eager to join the conversation and be part of the solution because we know that progress is possible, no matter the challenges.

Leading the HKEX delegation at the World Economic Forum since 2019, we have grown our relationships, joined dialogues on promoting gender equality, innovation and global connectivity, and underlined Hong Kong’s unique status as an East-West superconnector.

Walking the walk in 2023

As we meet with our partners, stakeholders, and clients over the next week, I’m pleased to be able to say that HKEX has made great strides in 2023 to increase connectivity, support new sources of growth and progress the net zero transition. Whether opening new offices close to our clients in the US and Europe, partnering with exchanges in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, or delivering on a range of enhancements to our Connect programmes, HKEX has been proactive in furthering global connectivity, despite decoupling narratives.

Further, with the world economy in need of new drivers to deliver innovation, productivity improvements and long-term growth, HKEX has made further updates to our listing franchise, such as our Specialist Technology chapter, to support companies at the frontier of new technology.

To tackle climate change, we have accelerated the growth of the green and sustainable finance ecosystem by partnering with carbon markets and exchanges in Mainland China, developing new ESG disclosure standards, and leading the way with clear, concrete commitments for HKEX as a corporate to reach net zero by 2040.

Creating enduring prosperity

But the World Economic Forum is about more than looking back, and the HKEX Davos team -- comprising Nicolas Aguzin, Bonnie Y Chan, Wilfred Yiu, Matthew Chamberlain, and myself – will contribute to sessions covering a wide range of topics, including global trade, capital market reforms, gender parity, ESG disclosure and the outlook for Chinese and the world economy.

We will also showcase the progressive role that we will play in 2024, with further Connect enhancements, business diversification, and international collaboration on the horizon.

Two subjects that will be top of mind in 2024 will be diversity and disclosure, and I’m looking forward to joining a panel on this subject on January 17 where I will outline how HKEX is ending single-gender boards from 2024 and implementing fundamental and far-reaching ESG disclosure standards to help drive the flow of capital into sustainable investments.

As the last year has shown, progress is possible – despite the challenges on the horizon – and we are intent on being the changemakers, because the world needs more connectivity, not less.

Watch out for a steady stream of updates from the team on the usual HKEX channels.