The Central banks and financial regulators of Singapore and Hong Kong have put pen to paper in a decision to collaborate to strengthen their cooperation in the fields of FinTech and Blockchain. One of the objectives of this deal is for both countries to work on a blockchain trade finance project.
In a joint statement today, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a FinTech agreement which is meant to bolster their ties in the FinTech space and spur the growth of the FinTech industry in the South East Asia region.
Their geographical proximity and common ideologies of being technologically progressive makes this agreement very notable – more so because they are regarded as traditional rivals. Both jurisdictions are well-known hubs for finance and trade. However lately, there has been increasing co-operaton between Singapore and Hong Kong on various fronts.
“Traditionally as a financial centre, there’s that comparison between Singapore and Hong Kong” the head of MAS’ Financial Development Department Mr. Roy Teo said when referring to the supposed rivalry between both cities. “But when it comes to FinTech, this is where we recognize that there’s a lot of need for collaboration between the regulators.”
The first phase of this collaboration will have both regulators working on a cross-border trade finance initiative powered by blockchain technology. The exact details on how this will be executed are still not out there but it is expected to be significant undertaking between the two major trade hubs. This aside, both regulators are expected to refer local innovative businesses to each other, share industry knowledge and expertise to assist with the development of the FinTech industry in each other’s markets.
The agreement was signed during the launch of HKMA’s FinTech event in Hong Kong. HKMA celebrates a FInTech week regularly and this usually has over 3,000 industry executives from around the world attending. Singapore is expected to hold its own FinTech week celebration in the middle of November.
MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon stated that;
“This is one of our more significant FinTech co-operation agreements, given the extensive financial trade linkages between Singapore and Hong Kong. We are especially pleased that we have a live project to enhance the trade finance corridor between the two financial centres”
Norman Chan who is the Chief Executive of Hong Kong’s defacto Central Bank also added that;
“Hong Kong and Singapore are the two leading international financial centres in the region and are actively deploying FinTech. Collaboration between HKMA and MAS will create significant synergy for the development of FinTech and more efficient fund flows between the two markets”