Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre

Given Hong Kong’s position as a major international financial centre and the requirement under Article 109 of the Hong Kong Basic Law to maintain and enhance this position, this is clearly a central area of research for AIIFL.

In 2012, AIIFL became the coordinating host for a major 5 year project funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme on “Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre”. The HK$15,000,000 is administered by AIIFL, with funding from 2012 to 2017 for five years. The Project Co-ordinator is Douglas Arner and the Co-Principal Investigators are David Donald (CUHK); Say Goo (HKU); Richard Hu (HKU); Chen Lin (HKU); Frank Song (HKU); Wilson Tong (PolyU); Dariusz Wojcik (Oxford University, UK); Chenggang Xu (HKU) and Simon Zhao (HKU). The project also involves several Co-Investigators and Collaborators from various institutions and countries. The following Report is the first of this research project. Throughout this report (and in the two others which will follow in 2015 and 2017) our analysis seeks to answer one specific question: What policies and legislative/regulatory changes will maximise the long-run, risk-adjusted value of financial activities to Hong Kong, given that other international financial centre policymakers react strategically to such policies?

First Report Assessing Hong Kong as an International Financial Centre  Download

Prior to the current project, AIIFL hosted another RGC funded project on “Hong Kong as Asian’s International Financial Centre: a Law and Finance Perspective”, with Douglas Arner as principal investigator and Berry Hsu, Lou Jianbo, Maurice Tse and Zhou Zhongfei as co-investigators (2005-2008, HK$690,064). This project began with an analysis of what constitutes an international financial centre , examined a sample of major global centres and conducted a comparison with the financial service industry in Hong Kong to evaluate the territory’s performance and status.

In its early years, AIIFL and the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy (HIEBS) at the HKU Faculty of Business and Economics jointly organized the Asian Financial Markets Project. The project analyzed and supported financial market development in Asia, focusing especially on the role of Hong Kong as Asia’s international financial centre and upon the financial development and integration of China. The project enhanced understanding of financial markets in Asia and especially the role of Hong Kong in the context of China.