Green finance and ESG (Environmental Protection, Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance) are major global development trends. At the Caixin Summit held in Beijing from 12th to 15th of November, Hong Kong Stock Exchange (00388) Chairman Ms. Laura Shih, stated that with the inclusion of A-shares in major international indexes, international investment managers have increasingly greater expectations for China’s ESG work and for listed companies’ ESG work. Hong Kong can make full use of the advantages of “One Country, Two Systems”, and a stable and flexible financial system, to play an important role as a bridge, and create important strategic value for China.

Laura Shih: Hong Kong has advantages as a bridge

She also pointed out that China has developed into the world's leading green finance centre and the world's second largest green bond market. However, the mainland green finance market is not fully integrated with the international market. Hong Kong Stock Exchange is responsible for promoting the development of ESG and green finance in the mainland towards internationalization. The HKEx will be committed to supervising listed companies to do a good job in relevant aspects, and play the role of interconnection, to further connect the mainland green financial market and the international green financial market, so that ESG can take root in the financial system of both the mainland and Hong Kong.

Chen Wenhui, vice chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund, believes that China is at an inflection point in ESG investment. He metaphorically said that “investors can obtain gold and silver mountains by protecting the green mountains and clear waters” to achieve a win-win situation of social responsibility and investment income.