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Hong Kong partners with China, Thailand to explore AI, DLT, CBDC initiatives

Hong Kong just launched a massive event this week that will explore initiatives like AI and digital ledger technology aimed at helping the fintech ecosystem grow.

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Thu, 07 Nov 2019, 03:50 am UTC

The financial industry is seeing a significant technological evolution following the arrival of blockchain technology into the main stage. Hong Kong has been among the very first countries to study and adopt this emerging innovation and it has recently partnered with Thailand and China to accelerate its progress.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched a five-day program yesterday, Nov. 6, gathering thousands of people in a bid to push the financial industry forward. Called the Hong Kong Fintech Week 2019, the event highlighted several initiatives that will help foster the growth of the fintech ecosystem.

Among the projects that have been mentioned is a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) trial that will be connecting the eTradeConnect and the People’s Bank of China Trade Finance Platform. This project is slated to take off in the first quarter of 2020. The goal of the PoC is to streamline the trade finance services for those involved in the endeavor, while simultaneously accelerating Hong Kong’s desire to expand its trade finance business, the announcement read.

PoC reports slated for release in Q1 2020

Meanwhile, Hong Kong will be collaborating with Thailand to research the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for cross-border payments. Similar to the aforementioned PoC, a joint report from both parties will be released in the first quarter of 2020.

Artificial intelligence is also included in these joint initiatives, with the HKMA already releasing an infographic providing a general idea of the prevalence of this tech in retail banking. The information in the fact sheet is based on an industry-wide survey that was gathered in the third quarter of 2019. Here’s what the fact sheet has to say about AI’s influence in this financial sector:

Retail banks highly interested in AI adoption

“One of the key findings shows almost 90% of the surveyed retail banks have adopted or plan to adopt AI applications. The survey included interviews and questionnaires conducted with banks, industry organizations, and fintech firms, with a view to understanding the current AI landscape in the banking industry,” the survey revealed.

Digital ledger technology and future fintech events like hackathons will also be explored, with the latter focusing on identifying talented individuals and future collaborative opportunities with like-minded entities. HKMA Chief Executive Mr. Eddie Yue is thrilled about this massive endeavor and believes that this is the next stage of the financial industry.

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