Hong Kong wants to become an international center for virtual assets as the territory seeks to bolster its status as a global financial hub following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government would announce its framework for developing virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, during Hong Kong’s Fintech Week from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan (陳茂波) said in a blog post on Sunday.
The policies would include a regulatory system and trial programs for the assets, Chan said.
Fintech Week has attracted participants from more than 500 organizations and more than 200 speakers from China and abroad, Chan said.
Hong Kong has lost its crown as Asia’s top financial center to long-time rival Singapore, after years of political turmoil and COVID-19 restrictions caused the economy to slow and talent to flee.
The territory last month scrapped its hotel quarantine requirements for visitors arriving via the airport, and is considering a package of policies, including easing property taxes and visa restrictions, to attract workers from mainland China and overseas.
Hong Kong International Airport’s passenger traffic volume last month increased by 133 percent from a year earlier, after authorities scrapped some of the territory’s harshest travel restrictions, including requirements for hotel quarantine and a pre-boarding COVID-19 test.
Passenger throughput climbed to 525,000, 10 percent higher than in August.
The growth was boosted by visitors to and from Southeast Asia, the Hong Kong Airport Authority said in a statement on Sunday.
Cargo throughput dropped 25 percent to 341,000 tonnes last month, continuing a months-long slump amid geopolitical headwinds and disruptions to the global supply chain.
KEY REGIONS HIT
Cargo traffic to and from key trading regions in North America and Europe is among the worst hit, the authority said.
Both exports and imports have slumped more than 25 percent.
In the first nine months of this year, passenger traffic surged 140 percent, while cargo volume fell 13 percent, the authority added.
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