Janet Yellen, former chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is among the heavyweight speakers at the 13th Asian Financial Forum to be held Jan. 13-14 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Under the theme “Redefining Growth: Innovation, Breakthrough, Inclusiveness,” the event is expected to draw more than 100 influential global financial experts, policymakers, business leaders, economists and investors who will examine topical issues in the global economy and explore new opportunities.

Joining Yellen at keynote luncheon sessions is Professor Abhijit Banerjee, joint winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics.

Yellen served as chair of the Federal Reserve Board from 2014 to 2018 under the Obama and Trump administrations, making history as the first woman to be appointed to that position.

In her keynote session, she will share her perspectives on the independence of central banks and the implementation of monetary policy, in addition to hot topics such as her view on the global economy and the impact of the Sino-US trade conflict. She will also take questions from the audience on related issues.

Four panel discussion sessions will be held to discuss broad topics ranging from supply-chain finance solutions and the unprecedented growth of asset and wealth management in Asia, to insurance and risk management as well as environmental, social and governance issues.

The inaugural FintechHK Startup Salon will showcase start-ups from Hong Kong and beyond, complemented by the returning Fintech Showcase and InnoTalks series.

“The Asian Financial Forum is the annual financial event that kick starts discussion in the new year,” says Mary Huen, chairperson for Asian Financial Forum 2020 and chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong).

Introducing brand-new innovative concepts, AFF explores new ideas that allow business leaders to keep pace with the ever-changing market and seek the best solutions to overcome the challenges presented by the uncertain global and local economic landscapes.

“Hong Kong is going through challenging times and the risk of an economic downturn is high, but with its solid foundation and diversified advantages, we believe the city can continue to provide a promising business environment for local and international corporations and financial institutions,” Huen says.

Technological breakthroughs have fostered significant progress in global growth. Recognizing the importance of financial inclusion, policymakers are seeking innovative solutions to minimize the cost of implementing a financial inclusion pilot scheme.

AFF opens with a plenary session titled “Redefining Growth: Innovation, Breakthrough, Inclusiveness” to discuss the current opportunities and challenges.

Heavyweight overseas policymakers sharing their insights on promoting financial inclusion in the world include Michael D’Arcy, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance, Ireland; Jin Liqun, President and Chairman, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Finance, Thailand; and Peter Szijjarto, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary.

The financial market outlook is currently pessimistic, with a potential global economic recession in the short term along with a range of uncertainties such as unsustainable corporate debt, volatile capital flows and disrupted supply chains. The current low interest-rate policy implemented by most central banks also gives policymakers comparatively little room to revitalize the economy.

Following the plenary session, the policy dialogue “Global Outlook and Opportunities for 2020” will see international financial experts share their strategies for tackling the global economic downturn. The distinguished panel of speakers includes Burkhard Balz, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank; Martin Raiser, Country Director for China and Mongolia, and Director for Korea, World Bank Group; and Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. HKTDC organizes international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises in the mainland and international markets. For more information, visit www.hktdc.com/aboutus

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