The new post-Covid normal “to bring more prosperity to Hong Kong”: Carrie Lam

January 11, 2022

HONG KONG – Two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, building the next normal with digitization and a green economy is within reach, but closer global collaboration is vital for a sustainable future, policymakers said on Monday policies at the Asian Financial Forum.

Under the theme “Navigating to the Next Standard Towards a Sustainable Future,” the session was part of AFF 2022, hosted online by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

“The distress and disruption caused by the pandemic over the past two years has taught us the importance of preparing for global crises. This certainly includes climate change, ”said Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, director general of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Hong Kong SAR government expects some $ 30 billion in public sector investment over the next 15 to 20 years to support local carbon reduction measures, Lam said via a video during the virtual event on the theme “Navigating the next normal towards a sustainable future”.

“I am convinced that this will also create many opportunities for our growing green economy,” she added.

The SAR government looks forward to the creation of a voluntary global carbon market and carbon market opportunities as part of Hong Kong’s growing cooperation with the Greater Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay region , she said.

Speaking at the forum via video recording, Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury Secretary Christopher Hui Ching-yu said the problems caused by climate change must be resolved through joint efforts around the world. whole, adding that a resilient financial system is needed in Hong Kong to tackle the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.

To achieve the city’s carbon neutral goal by 2050, Hui said a large amount of investment is needed to finance green businesses and projects, but Hong Kong, as a premier financial center plan, is well positioned to become a sustainable regional financial center.

We need to refute the misconception that economic growth and the green transition are about choice.

Jin Liqun, President, Asian Bank Investment Infrastructure

In funding the green transition, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – has estimated that 500 billion euros ($ 567 billion) of capital is needed each year by 2030 to meet its target of reducing emissions. emissions, said Vincent Van Peteghem, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister. Minister and Minister of Finance.

“Even if governments invest huge sums to finance the green transition, we are aware that the flow of money is not infinite and that it will not be enough to fully finance the green transition”, he warned .

Van Peteghem said a green economic system requires global standards. “We need common global standards and definitions on green finance in order to fully explore the potential of our global financial markets. “

Climate change, along with digitization and healthcare are the three aspects to be considered in the post-pandemic recovery, said Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Thailand’s finance minister, adding that accelerating digitization amid the pandemic could reduce operational costs for businesses and governments. .

Turning to the new normal, Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, president of the Islamic Development Bank Group, noted that the world will experience more uneven development, slower globalization and deeper digital transformation, which could open up the path to sustainable development of the green economy. .

The defining characteristics of the new normal also include stronger emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil, which will contribute more to the global economy, said Marcos Troyjo, president of the New Development Bank.

“We must refute the misconception that economic growth and the green transition are a matter of choice,” said Jin Liqun, president and chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Building the next one is within range of normal, Troyjo added. “It is in our hands to define what the next normal will be, and the next normal will bring more prosperity to all.”

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