2016 Asia Roundtable in Hong Kong and Shenzhen
China’s Financial Liberalization:
Are Further Improvements in Corporate Governance Needed?
The Pacific Pension & Investment Institute (PPI) is pleased to welcome its members to Hong Kong and to Shenzhen for the 2016 Asia Roundtable. We send our warmest appreciation to all of our partners who have provided assistance in developing this important program.
It is fitting that we are convening PPI’s ultimate gathering for 2016 in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The dynamics of both localities encapsulate why the global economy has become reliant on Asia as an engine of growth, and help us to understand what nations, states, and cities must do to retain their positions in a highly competitive market. Hong Kong’s healthy corporate governance structures offer investors a safe perch from which to access the Chinese market, while across the bay in Shenzhen, forward-thinking policies encouraging foreign direct investment have helped create a manufacturing powerhouse. And yet, both economic success stories face constant challenges—this year Singapore overtook Hong Kong as the world’s 3rd ranked financial hub—and the need to continue to ensure investor confidence by encouraging transparency and accountability will be paramount for both of these destinations.
Shortly after we conclude, the U.S. will hold what many believe is one of the more momentous elections in history. While the outcome will have far-reaching implications, in particular on U.S. economic relations with Asia, neither presidential candidate can ignore that this region has been integral to global economic growth for decades. In a world with flat returns and negative interest rates, political uncertainty in Europe and Latin America, and violent upheaval in the Middle East, the global economy continues its pivot toward Asia. We will explore many of these reasons for optimism first-hand, including China’s exploding financial services technology (FinTech) scene, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s success in attracting capital, and the soon to be inaugurated Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect. We will also learn about reasons for optimism in the broader region, such as the rise of consumption-fueled growth, India’s robust economic trajectory and reform measures, and the emerging economies and opportunities in Southeast Asia.
The 2016 Asia Roundtable will provide our members a platform to examine ongoing economic and political developments in China and the region. The improvement of corporate governance continues to remain a top priority for our membership, and we will explore in-depth the efforts that governments and long-term investors are making to strengthen these structures in Asia. We will visit the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and learn about the rapidly growing bond market in China, and how both of these developments might impact governance standards of Chinese companies. We will also examine whether China’s slowing growth might provide an opening for other economies in the region to attract investment.
Our discussions will feature prominent practitioners and analysts, and our site-visits will give us additional insights into the trends taking place here and throughout the wider region. We will hear from the heads of both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges as well as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. We will also have the privilege of engaging some of the dynamic industry leaders who are driving the FinTech and other dynamic sectors, and what this means for the future of China’s economy.
PPI programs strike a delicate balance between formal programming and networking opportunities. We firmly believe that the value of a roundtable to our members and other participants does not begin and end with each session. We encourage you to contribute to the discussion through questions and comments during the Q&A periods. We also urge you to introduce yourself to new colleagues during the breaks and meals.
Lastly, I take this opportunity to underscore PPI’s longstanding traditions. As with all PPI events, we require our participants to adhere to our no-marketing policy as well as the Chatham House Rule (no attribution of comments made). There are many ways that one might market financial products and services, from subtle to overt. Any list of prohibited marketing behaviors would be incomplete. Simply put, if a participant reports to any member of the PPI staff that their experience at a roundtable was diminished by the marketing behavior of another participant, we will act swiftly to address this violation of PPI policy, including removing the offending individual from the remainder of the program. Accordingly, he or she will not be invited to future PPI programs.
We strive to create an environment that is conducive to peer to peer learning— and in a safe setting. For many members, this is a key reason for attending PPI programs over those of our competitors. It is therefore critically important that PPI uphold the practices that encourage openness and a deeper sharing of information and experiences.
Thank you very much for your continued strong support of PPI and for your active participation in our global network of senior institutional investors. With best wishes,
Lionel C. Johnson