Hong Kong vs Japan in the World Rugby Sevens Series

In a similar vein to the old joke about London buses – you wait ages for one and then three come along at the same time – after an absence of nearly three years from staging major events due to measures to keep Covid-19 at bay, in early November Hong Kong SAR hosted a flurry of high-profile international finance and sporting events.

Under the theme of ‘Navigating Beyond Uncertainty’ and billed by the government as a signal of how Hong Kong has got ‘back to business’, the three-day Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit attracted international and regional leaders, including MDs and CEOs from more than 120 global financial institutions – banks, securities firms, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds and insurers. High-profile financial heavyweights attending included senior management from Swiss lender Julius Baer, the UK’s Standard Chartered, HSBC and US giant JP Morgan.

Even an unseasonal typhoon that brought much of Hong Kong to a standstill failed to interrupt the meetings and presentations. Hong Kong’s chief executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, described the event as the ‘Hong Kong Onstage Again Summit’ in his opening speech.

Finance sector watchers monitoring the summit were more measured in their analysis. They pointed out that although any economic benefits were unlikely to be immediate, the summit was designed to reignite Hong Kong’s status as an international financial city.


Chris Davis is a freelance journalist who writes for business titles in Asia

After a three-year hiatus, thousands flocked to the Hong Kong Stadium for the Hong Kong leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series

Bid for the best

The Hong Kong promotion messaging ties in with key topics of the chief executive’s recent policy address, the first since Lee took office in July. As part of a slew of social and economic initiatives, he announced that the government would set aside billions to attract businesses to Hong Kong, especially those in the finance and IT sectors. Another key feature of his address was the launch of a top talent pass scheme to attract professionals with in-demand skills to pursue their careers in Hong Kong.

Coinciding with the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit, Hong Kong Fintech Week also brought together global leaders, renowned companies and innovators to explore growth across the world, in China and in the Greater Bay Area (an international innovation and technology hub comprising nine cities and two special administrative regions with a population of 86 million and a GDP of US$1.7 trillion). In addition to those attending the week-long hybrid event in-person, the organisers estimate that more than three million people globally followed the event online.

Field of dreams

In scenes about as far removed from a financial summit setting as possible, after a three-year hiatus, thousands of rugby fans and others looking for an excuse to party flocked to the Hong Kong Stadium for the Hong Kong leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, considered by many to be the gold standard for rugby sevens tournaments globally.

Firmly established as the world’s premier event of its kind, the weekend jamboree, which is celebrated as much for the vibe and the eye-catching costumes as the quality of the rugby, marked the first major outdoor international tournament that Hong Kong has hosted since the Covid-19 pandemic emerged. The event was seen as another ‘bud’ of reopening. To push its global branding, Hong Kong needs look no further than the support the tournament crowd showed for the home team, filling the stadium with roaring chants of ‘Let’s go, Hong Kong!’