The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in a bilateral meeting in Abu Dhabi on 29 May, have agreed to enhance collaboration between the two jurisdictions on virtual asset regulations and development.  

In addition, the two central banks facilitated discussions between their respective innovation hubs on joint fintech development initiatives and knowledge sharing efforts. A joint working group led by the CBUAE and HKMA, with support from the relevant stakeholders of the two jurisdictions’ banking sectors, will be formed to take forward the agreed initiatives.

Following the bilateral meeting, the two central banks, joined by senior executives from the UAE and Hong Kong banks, conducted a seminar on key opportunities to pursue between Hong Kong and the UAE. The seminar covered discussions on possible arrangements to facilitate better cross-border trade settlement, how UAE corporates can better utilize the Hong Kong financial infrastructure platforms to access Asia and the Mainland markets, as well as financial and investment solutions and capital markets opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).

Banks operating in the UAE that participated in the seminar included First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, HSBC and Standard Chartered, whilst participation from banks operating in Hong Kong included Bank of China, Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, stated, “We are pleased to have welcomed the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and its delegation to the UAE as we look to build on our central banks’ existing and robust relations. During the day’s discussions, we explored deepening collaboration across several important areas including financial market infrastructure development and mutual opportunities for growth in digitization and technological advancement.”

Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the HKMA, added, “These events enhanced the collaboration between the central banks of Hong Kong and the UAE in a number of important areas, and provided a platform for financial institutions and corporates from Hong Kong and the UAE to step up exchange and collaboration.  Hong Kong and the UAE are two financial centers sharing many complementary strengths and mutual interests, and there is much room for market participants from these two places to work together and build up the connectivity.”

This is not the first time the Central Bank of UAE has cooperated with Hong Kong Monetary Authority, prior to this they worked on the mBridge CBDC project. 

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