Switzerland, Hong Kong strengthen financial cooperation

400The authorities and private sector representatives from China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Tuesday signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Switzerland to strengthen financial cooperation, said the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

One of the three documents, signed by the HKMA Chief Executive Norman Chan and Head of the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters Jorg Gasser "serves 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 HKMA said.

A second MoU signed by the HKMA and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority was meant 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 and the Swiss Bankers Association to "further collaborate to promote the development of private wealth management in Switzerland and Hong Kong," according to the HKMA.

The three documents were signed during a meeting in Bern, Switzerland, between HKSAR Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Swiss Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer. The meeting, with a focus on strengthening cooperation in the area of financial markets, discussed topics including further development of the two financial centers, opportunities arising from the opening-up of the financial markets in the Chinese mainland, developments in fintech sector and international tax issues.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further enhancing collaboration to promote the healthy development of the financial services industry in and between Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Lam and Maurer discussed cooperating in financial markets and exchanged views on tax and international finance. Both Hong Kong's and Switzerland's banking sectors have had to face international data-sharing agreements coordinated by the OECD, or Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The two also agreed last year to swap data with each other, beginning next year.

China's liberalization is of intense interest to Bern, for financial as well as political reasons – the two have had diplomatic relations since 1950, and Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Bern for four days last year.


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