HK and UAE central banks join forces over crypto regulations

31 May 2023

Central banks in Hong Kong and the UAE are seeking collaboration on crypto regulations and fintech development.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) held a meeting with its counterparts at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) on Tuesday, with both parties agreeing to “strengthen cooperation” on “virtual asset regulations and developments.”

In addition, both central banks also said they would facilitate talks on “joint fintech development initiatives and knowledge-sharing efforts” with the respective innovation hubs in both regions.

Some of the key points covered at the meeting included financial infrastructure and financial market connectivity between both jurisdictions, Cointelegraph reports.

Governor of the CBUAE, H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, said he expects the relationship with the HKMA will be long-term.

Whereas chief executive of the HKMA, Eddie Yue, said the relationship will be economically advantageous to both jurisdictions as they share “many complementary strengths and mutual interests.”

Both central banks held a seminar for senior executives from banks in Hong Kong and the UAE following the meeting. A series of issues were discussed, such as how UAE businesses can leverage the financial infrastructure platforms in Hong Kong to gain access to markets on the mainland and throughout Asia and ways to improve cross-border trade settlement.

Furthermore, Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s treasury chief, said the city had permitted retail investors to trade cryptocurrency within its new regulatory regime because “virtual assets are going to stay,” and the crypto benefits outnumber the potential risks.

“Despite the potential risks involved, (virtual assets) also carries with it fundamental value,” he said, adding: “So for these positive elements to be harnessed, these activities have to be allowed in a regulated way.”

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