Hong Kong to host technology festival for cutting-edge British businesses

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, today announced that UK will host a festival showcasing the best of British innovation in Hong Kong.

The UK government will host a GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong to showcase the power of UK innovation and technology to the world, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox today announced (21 September).

The festival in March 2018 will show how new technology could change the way we work, learn and play in the future. It will also provide a fantastic opportunity for the very best British and Asian innovators to create new trade links and strengthen existing relationships with hundreds of international business leaders and investors.

The GREAT Festival of Innovation reflects the unique partnership between the UK government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and is part of the globally-recognised GREAT Britain campaign, which promotes the UK as one of the best places in the world to visit, invest and do business.

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, is visiting London to mark 20 years since the former British territory was handed over to the People’s Republic of China.

Last night she joined the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, at a gala dinner attended by 600 UK and Hong Kong business people where a new FinTech Bridge agreement was unveiled. This will allow UK firms and investors to expand in Hong Kong and pave the way for more investment from the region into UK markets.

The UK is currently recognised as one of the leading places in the world to start and grow a FinTech business, with the industry adding £7 billion to the UK economy every year and employing 60,000 people.

FinTech Bridge agreements help companies to obtain regulatory authorisation, set up new offices and strengthen trading relationships between jurisdictions while creating a better standard of financial services for everyone to use.

During her visit the Ms Lam also met with First Minister Damian Green to discuss matters that the UK and Hong Kong will work together on in the future.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

The UK is a global centre for technology and innovation, attracting more investment than any other European country.

As an international economic department, we will build on this success. The GREAT Festival of Innovation will promote the UK’s unique technological abilities, and create fantastic new opportunities for British businesses to sell their products and expertise to the world.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:

This landmark FinTech Bridge will pool British and Hong Kong expertise in this innovative sector, allowing our firms to access the capital, talent, accelerators, and start-up facilities needed to succeed in both the UK and in Hong Kong.

These developments will bring Britain and Hong Kong closer together and will promote jobs and prosperity.

Damian Green, First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office said:

There is a deep, historic connection between Hong Kong and the UK which has led to strong cultural and trade ties. Hong Kong has seen a lot of change in the last few decades and I am pleased that we have been able to work together throughout this time.

I was delighted to meet Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam today to build on this relationship and further deliver on the government’s commitment to support an ever more outward-looking global Britain.

Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said:

I am glad to note that our multi-faceted exchange with the UK will be given further impetus, with the UK government set to host the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong next March, showcasing the UK power of innovation and technology. I am sure that the Campaign will bring us even closer in all respects.

The GREAT festival announcement came as Trade Policy Minister, Greg Hands, spoke at the Think Asia, Think Hong Kong conference at the QEII Centre in London emphasising the strength of relationship between the UK and Hong Kong as trade between the 2 booms.

Total bilateral trade between the UK and Hong Kong reached £17.3 billion last year, an increase of 4% on 2015.

The majority of this came in the form of British exports, with electrical machinery, financial services and mechanical appliances among the goods and services in highest demand.

One of the sponsors of the festival will be HSBC, whose UK Chief Executive Ian Stuart said:

We at HSBC are delighted to be part of the forthcoming GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong, the gateway to Asia.

For over 150 years we’ve been helping innovative businesses to thrive in both the UK and Hong Kong. Looking ahead, we’re excited by the opportunity this festival presents for our customers to create a new era of trade and investment partnerships.

Further Information

  • The GREAT campaign has already secured economic returns of £2.7 billion for the UK and is active in more than 144 countries worldwide. These include growing economies including India, Brazil and South Korea.
  • FinTech Bridge agreements help companies to obtain regulatory authorisation, set up new offices and strengthen trading relationships between jurisdictions while creating a better standard of financial services for everyone to use.
  • The new UK-FinTech Bridge is supported by cooperation agreements between the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission(HKSFC), and the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (HKIA).
  • The UK also has FinTech Bridge agreements with Singapore, the Republic of Korea and China, helping UK firms access the Asian market and Asian firms access the UK’s world leading FinTech ecosystem.