Switzerland and Hong Kong Strengthen Areas of Cooperation in Finance, Including Fintech Development

Swiss Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, had a meeting in Bern, Switzerland this week to discuss bilateral cooperation regarding financial markets – including the development of Fintech. The outcome of the meeting was the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) designed to strengthen their cooperation on multilateral and international topics and to further enhance the development of the financial services industry in the two jurisdictions.

Topics including the further development of the two financial centers, the opportunities arising from the opening-up of the financial markets in Mainland of the People’s Republic of China, developments in the Fintech sector and international tax issues.

The two countries also reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance bilateral collaboration to promote the healthy development of the financial services industry in and between Switzerland and Hong Kong.

The first MoU, signed by Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), and Jörg Gasser, Head of the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF), is described as serving as the basis for regular financial dialogue and sets out the parties’ willingness to strengthen financial markets cooperation, including in the area of RMB internationalization, wealth management, infrastructure financing and international financial matters.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) also signed an MoU with the HKMA to enhance Fintech collaboration with a view to facilitating financial innovation in the two places.

The third MoU was signed by the Hong Kong Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA) and the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) to further collaborate to promote the development of private wealth management in Switzerland and Hong Kong.

It is interesting to note that Jörg Gasser is currently leading a Blockchain / ICO working group for Switzerland, a country that has become a leader in the cryptocurrency sector.

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