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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

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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