Former US Treasury Chief Jacob J Lew to Speak at Asian Financial Forum (AFF) 2018

Global Business Leaders to Discuss "Steering Growth and Pioneering Innovation: Asia and Beyond"

HONG KONG, Dec 15, 2017 - (ACN Newswire) - Organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 11th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) will be held on 15-16 January 2018 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Under the theme "Steering Growth and Pioneering Innovation: Asia and Beyond," policymakers as well as financial and business leaders will examine topical issues in global and regional economies. Innovation and technology will be a prioritised component of the forum with dedicated discussions on Fintech, innovations in banking, big data, digital economy, artificial intelligence and robotics.

"After a decade of development, this year's event marks a new era for the Asia Financial Forum," said Diana Cesar, Chairperson, AFF Steering Committee; Group General Manager and CEO, Hong Kong, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. "Apart from economic and financial topics, we are adding more forward-looking elements from a wider perspective. We believe technology and innovation are very important to business and finance, so we have decided to introduce these elements. We aim to make this signature event a centre of insights and ideas, inspiring business leaders to propel societal advancement."

- Jacob Lew touches on hot topics in US economy

Former US Treasury Secretary Jacob J Lew will be the keynote luncheon speaker on the first day of AFF. Mr Lew previously served as White House Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget. During his term as Secretary of the Treasury, Mr Lew secured US Congressional support to raise the US debt ceiling, averting a US Federal Government shutdown, and kept the federal deficit under control.

Mr Lew will share his insights on the global and US economic outlook, touching on the issues he handled during his term as Treasury chief, including the debt ceiling, trade sanctions, regulatory policy as well as tax policy reforms. Mr Lew will also take part in a separate dialogue session.

- Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in financial and business sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are among the hottest technology issues as they are increasingly adopted across industries, including in finance and banking. On the second day of AFF, keynote luncheon speaker Daniela Rus, Director, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), and Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of MIT will address the latest advancements in AI and robotics by examining how these applications will impact the financial and business sectors. Focusing on bringing cheap and easily produced robots into daily life, Professor Rus' research interests in distributed robotics and mobile computing are essential for the finance and banking sectors to integrate advanced technologies into their business development.

- Top Fintech Influencer on stage

Technology is revolutionising the financial industry as a result of Fintech and other innovations. On the second day of AFF, banking innovation consultant and global Fintech opinion leader, JP Nicols, who is Managing Director of FinTech Forge and Chairman of, will speak on how companies from the financial and business sectors can leverage innovation and technology to succeed in the evolving global markets. FinTech Forge helps financial institutions develop innovative capabilities either internally or through partnerships with Fintech companies. Widely regarded as an influential thought-leader in technology and finance, Mr Nicols has shared his insights on financial innovation through blogs and various media outlets.

- Topical issues to be addressed

Influential policymakers and business leaders will also examine topics ranging from the global economic outlook, China opportunities, to policy directions. Heavyweight speakers include Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyd's; Fang Fenglei, founder and Chairman of Hopu Investment Management Co; Fu Yuning, Chairman, China Resources Group; Stuart T Gulliver, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc; Hu Huaibang, Chairman, China Development Bank Corporation; Jin Liqun, President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF); Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank; and Neil Shen, Founding and Managing Partner, Sequoia China.

Sponsored by the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council, the Breakfast Panel on 16 January will be held under the theme "Hong Kong Connects: Mainland China and Beyond: Stock, Bond, Mutual Recognition and more...." Moderated by Benjamin Hung, Regional CEO, Greater China & North Asia; CEO, Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, the panel will also include Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Charles Li, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd and Dr Zhu Min, President, National Institute of Finance Research of Tsinghua University and Former IMF Deputy Managing Director. On the same day, a workshop, co-organised by the HKTDC and the International Financial Corporation, will offer a glimpse of how Asia's youth are reshaping the economic landscape, focusing in particular on creating a financial ecosystem for future entrepreneurs that will lead to sustainable economic growth.

- Inspiring new ideas, support start-ups

To address the growing role of technology in the new global economy, a series of "InnoTalks" will examine how issues such as Fintech, innovations in banking, digitalisation under the Belt and Road Initiative, artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as big data, digital identity and RegTech will reshape the industry and economic development.

The AFF Deal Flow Matchmaking Session, co-organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, will feature pre-arranged deal-sourcing and matchmaking meetings for project owners and investors. Project presentations will showcase the latest development of specific sectors and projects. The new InnoVenture Salon will provide an ideal platform to connect start-up companies with potential investors and partners. It will include a Startup Showcase, Investors Meetup, start-up project presentations and Mentor Hours, where experienced investors and experts will provide practical tips on setting up, pitching, fund-raising as well as scaling and selling to China and Asian markets. Participating mentors include Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Beyond Ventures, Cocoon Ignite Ventures, Hong Kong X-Tech Startup, Mindworks Ventures, Nest Ventures, VC Growth Partners and Vectr Ventures.

Photo download: website: www.asianfinancialforum.comProgramme:

Members of the media interested in interviewing the speakers can fill out the form ( and email it to by 4 January 2018.

Media Registration:Media representatives wishing to cover the event may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification.


Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.- Google+: Twitter: LinkedIn:

Source: HKTDC


Communications & Public Affairs Department
Billy Ng
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