The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre, have entered into a cooperation agreement to jointly promote and support financial services innovation in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
The agreement was signed by Julia Leung, deputy chief executive officer and executive director of intermediaries of HK-SFC and Philippe Richard, director of international affairs of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM at the the Annual Conference of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) held in Budapest.
The HK-SFC and the FSRA have been active advocates of FinTech developments and have set up innovative functions respectively to develop FinTech ecosystems and bolster the financial industries in their respective markets. This cooperation framework enables both regulators to work closely in identifying and referring appropriate innovative projects and FinTech start-ups to ADGM’s FinTech Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) and the HK-SFC Fintech Contact Point.
The new collaboration includes sharing of relevant information on innovation, providing support in the authorisation processes where appropriate, and referring cross-border activities that will accelerate the growth of the financial and fintech industries in both jurisdictions.
“This agreement reflects the SFC’s continued efforts to collaborate with international regulatory counterparts to promote innovation in financial services,” said Ms Julia Leung, the SFC’s deputy chief executive and executive director, intermediaries. “We look forward to sharing our experience with the FSRA on Fintech developments in our markets.”
Mr Philippe Richard, Director of International Affairs of the FSRA of ADGM, said: “This cooperation further deepens the ongoing partnership and collaboration between Hong-Kong and Abu Dhabi, and augments ADGM’s commitment in supporting the growth and financial developments of Abu Dhabi and the Middle East, Africa and the South Asia region. We look forward to working closely with the HK-SFC to support our FinTech start-ups and our innovative businesses, from regulations to adoption, in advancing and applying their solutions to each of our respective financial markets”.
As one of the leading fintech hub of the MENA region, ADGM values the importance of FinTech bridges with like-minded international financial centres and jurisdictions to foster a robust and sustainable global fintech ecosystem. These cross-border partnerships enable ADGM to maintain a practical, open and inclusive global fintech centre to continue serving the communities in Abu Dhabi and the greater MENA region.
The partnership’s announcement comes amid a flurry of fintech investment and innovation across the Middle East. For more on this topic, see our special report published this week, The rise of Arab startups.