Driving commercial and political engagement between Asia, the Middle East and Europe

  • Asia House
  • 63 New Cavendish Street
  • London W1G 7LP
  • enquiries@asiahouse.co.uk
  • +44 (0) 20 7307 5454
  • Driving commercial and political engagement between Asia, the Middle East and Europe

    Relive Asia House’s Future of Trade conference in Hong Kong

    Published On: 25 November 2019

    From Hong Kong’s role in the FinTech revolution to the challenges facing trade policy around the world, the Asia House Future of Trade conference put key issues affecting global business and policy in the spotlight.

    Sponsored by InvestHK and HKEX, the conference assembled key figures from across global trade, tech, policy and the media to explore the forces shaping the future of trade in Asia and beyond.

    Carrie Lam called for end to violence, saw hope for solution in trade

    With the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong taking its toll on the region’s economic performance, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, shared her thoughts with a packed-room of business and policy professionals at the dialogue, held at HKEX in central Hong Kong.

    Recognising the challenges facing Hong Kong, the Chief Executive said ending violence was her top priority.

    “This is a distressing time for Hong Kong trade and business,” Mrs Lam said. “Equally so for the community at large, the Hong Kong SAR government, and for myself.



    Data, tech and state-structure tensions will shape future of trade

    The US-China trade war, slowing global growth and rising tensions over tech are creating disruption and uncertainty in world trade.  The impact of these political and economic forces on global commerce was at the heart of a panel session at the conference, featuring Ambassador Robert Holleyman, President and CEO of Crowell & Moring International and former Deputy US Trade Representative; Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist for Asia Pacific, Natixis; Iris Pang, Economist, Greater China, ING Bank; and Anne Ruth Herkes, former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and member of the Asia House Advisory Board. The lively discussion, which saw Holleyman and Pang clash on China’s approach to data, brought the US-China trade war, tech rivalry and the evolving regional trade agreements into focus.



    “There is no greater disruptive force in Asian business right now than FinTech”

    The FinTech revolution is causing widespread disruption across Asia’s business landscape, with fierce competition among cities in the region to attract talent and investment. In an insightful discussion, key industry figures debated he impact of this revolution, including the technologies in play, the challenges that come with them, and how regional players, including Hong Kong, are attempting to stay ahead of the FinTech curve. The audience heard the views of Jessica Lam, Group Head of Strategy at WeLab; Lukas Petrikas, Head of Innovation Lab at HKEX; James Kynge, Global China Editor for the Financial Times; and Charles d’Haussy, Director Strategic Initiatives for Consensys.



    More needs to be done on BRI sustainability despite progress

    China is responding to concerns around sustainability in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but there is still much distance to be travelled, the conference heard during a panel session with leading industry figures. With sustainability established as a key issue across the infrastructure sector, it is now a major BRI discussion point. Fergal Whyte, Director of Arup; Ada Li, Vice President, Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s; Steve Okun, Senior Advisor at McLarty Associates; and Julian Vella, Head of Infrastructure for Asia Pacific at KPMG, shared their analysis on sustainable infrastructure in Asia.



    Lord Green warned of “existential danger of the whole of humanity”

    Continuing the theme of sustainability, Lord Green, Chairman of Asia House, gave a major keynote speech at the conference, in which he warned of  “dangerous land mines on the road ahead” as Asia continues its remarkable rise. The former HSBC Chairman, author of the new book ‘The Human Odyssey, identified one threat above all others: “The profoundly challenging planetary threat which is now the shared existential danger of the whole of humanity.” Calling for sustainability to be the key factor in decision making across all areas of trade and investment, Lord Green said that “no one in any sphere of activity can afford to ignore the significance of this great crisis.”


    A global, high profile conversation

    The Future of Trade conference took place on 30 October 2019, and saw a selected audience of more than 250 senior business and policy professionals engage with the issues that matter in global trade. More than 25 media outlets attended the dialogue, which was held as part of Asia House’s mission to drive political, economic and commercial engagement between Asia and Europe.