Asia Financial Forum leading financial cooperation in the region

A street scene of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, March 18, 2023. /CFP

A street scene of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, March 18, 2023. /CFP

Editor’s note: Liu Chunsheng, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is an associate professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. The article reflects the author’s opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The Asia Financial Forum (AFF) is being held in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from January 24 to 25. As one of the most influential economic events in Asia, it carries the crucial mission of promoting financial cooperation and fostering regional economic development.

The standing of the AFF in Asia is undeniable. With the globalization process, Asia’s prominence in the global economy is steadily rising. Serving as an engine for global economic growth, Asia encompasses not only some of the world’s largest economies but also gathers many emerging markets and developing countries. The AFF serves as a common platform for governments, financial institutions, businesses and international investors across the region, fostering economic cooperation and dialogue.

Financial cooperation is a vital safeguard for sustainable development in the region, and the forum has facilitated extensive and close collaboration among countries. Through summits, specialized seminars and multilateral dialogues, the AFF provides a platform for exchanging viewpoints, sharing experiences and strengthening cooperation. Financial cooperation is not merely a dialogue between nations; it is an effort to construct a more stable, just and sustainable financial system, enhancing the overall economic resilience of the region.

The forum holds significant importance in promoting regional economic development. Economic development requires robust financial support, and the improvement and innovation of financial systems rely on cross-border collaboration. The AFF provides a platform for countries in Asia to discuss the development of financial services, financial innovation, and risk management. By sharing successful experiences and best practices, financial practitioners in the region can better adapt to global economic changes and drive sustainable economic growth in their respective countries.

In recent years, the global economic recovery has been sluggish, with ongoing geopolitical conflicts adding complexity to the investment landscape. Against this backdrop, China has emerged as a focal point for global investors due to its political stability and economic growth potential. The convening of the AFF at this juncture holds significant importance.

The economic stability exhibited by the Chinese mainland amid global economic uncertainty is a crucial factor attracting international investment. In the face of lackluster global economic growth, China has steadfastly pursued the reform and open-up policy, maintaining domestic political stability while achieving notable economic accomplishments. Its pivotal position in the global supply chain makes it an ideal destination for global investors during times of risk. The AFF serves as a platform for investors to gain in-depth insights into the political and economic conditions of China, aiding them in making well-informed decisions in global asset allocation.

Cargo containers are stacked at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, May 12, 2021. /CFP

Cargo containers are stacked at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, south China, May 12, 2021. /CFP

Hong Kong’s robust performance amid geopolitical uncertainties is another reason for investor favor. Hong Kong boasts a mature financial market and a sound legal system, offering transparency and security for international capital. Amid escalating geopolitical conflicts, Hong Kong’s relatively stable political environment positions it as a significant destination for international capital flows. The AFF provides investors with a platform to understand the Hong Kong financial market comprehensively, assisting them in evaluating investment opportunities and risks amidst geopolitical uncertainties.

As a significant economic event in Asia, the AFF serves as both a platform for exchange and cooperation and a catalyst for financial innovation and economic development. In the current context of increased global economic uncertainty, the forum should leverage its leadership role to guide financial cooperation in the region towards a more stable, collaborative and sustainable development path.

In an era characterized by global interconnection, international investors play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of the world economy. In this landscape, the significance of multilateral cooperation cannot be overstated, serving as the linchpin for creating a conducive environment for international investors. Multilateral cooperation serves as a cornerstone for establishing and maintaining stability in the international investment landscape.

Another key contribution of multilateral cooperation is the harmonization of regulatory standards across borders. By fostering dialogue and agreement on common regulations, international investors benefit from a more predictable and transparent investment climate. This alignment reduces bureaucratic hurdles, minimizes legal uncertainties, and encourages a smoother flow of capital across diverse jurisdictions.

Multilateral cooperation plays a crucial role in mitigating risks associated with international investments. Through collaborative efforts, countries can develop frameworks for dispute resolution, ensuring that investors have recourse mechanisms in case of disagreements. These initiatives contribute to investor protection, thereby bolstering confidence and attracting a more significant volume of international capital.

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