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New harbourfront space opens

The Development Bureau announced that the Pierside Precinct near Wan Chai Ferry Pier further opened today, providing a nostalgic harbourfront leisure space with a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour for the public.   Being the 12th harbourfront leisure space that opened since October last year, the newly opened area is located to the east of the ferry pier on a harbour site reclaimed for the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass.   The bureau said under the incremental approach, a 180-metre-long promenade of the precinct opened earlier in March, followed by the opening of a further 80m in October.   With an area of about 4,600 sq m, the newly opened part has almost doubled the precinct's original space.   In contrast to the colourful cartoon style adopted at other harbourfront sites opened earlier in Western District and Wan Chai, the precinct mainly comprises simple fair-faced concrete and wooden structures.   It features a stylish touch with its clear and rectiline

Fintech growth strategies in place

To foster fintech development in Hong Kong, the Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau has recently announced a three-pronged strategy covering opening up of data, policy co-ordination and skill enhancement.   First of all, data are indeed precious assets in a new era where financial development is driven by technology. In this regard, the Chief Executive mentioned in her Policy Address this year that the Monetary Authority would develop the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI), through which enterprises could authorise service providers such as payment systems, public bodies or utility companies to furnish banks with data. Banks can then make more accurate predictions about the sales and operation of enterprises, thereby reducing the need for enterprises to provide collateral.   Opening up of government data and the sharing of such data with financial institutions play a crucial part in the development of the CDI. That is why we are now considering the sharing of data in the Companies Register to the CDI, to make it more convenient for financial institutions to obtain reliable information on registered companies.   Secondly, integration of technology and finance has introduced new dynamics to our market, and with the sector evolving rapidly under a more competitive international landscape, it is clear that we have entered a new stage of fintech development. New challenges have emerged for policymaking and regulations as a result. To strike a better balance between market development and regulation, a co-ordination group on implementation of fintech initiatives will be established within the Government. This group will holistically review and supervise the development of fintech in Hong Kong, covering the areas of Mainland and overseas co-operation, financial infrastructure, regulatory regimes, cybersecurity, promotion, talent development and other cross-sectoral fintech co-ordination.   Data and policy co-ordination aside, we will once again commission Cyberport to launch a training programme for our financial practitioners, to promote better understanding and encourage more application of fintech by the financial services industry. This time eligible participants will be expanded such that more practitioners can join the programme, and learn from the sharing of guest speakers having practical experiences and knowledge in the latest development of regtech, know-your-customer, blockchain and cybersecurity, etc. We expect the training programme will benefit up to 1,500 practitioners, and promote more application of fintech in the industry.   Just now I have shared with you our three-pronged strategy to facilitate fintech development in Hong Kong, and we are confident that the strategy will hit the bull’s eye, and together with the industry we will make the best use out of the opportunities offered by fintech.   Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui gave these remarks at FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day on November 18.
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