Co-organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the two-day Asian Financial Forum (AFF) came to a successful conclusion today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This year’s AFF featured more than 90 prominent speakers including top government officials and business and financial leaders from around the world, including today’s Keynote Luncheon speaker Dr Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve System (2006-2014).

The forum welcomed more than 2,800 financial experts, CEOs, professional investors and high net-worth individuals from 38 countries and regions.

During the AFF, the HKTDC organised on-site real-time surveys to gauge the views of participating financial and business elites on key issues relating to the global economy and investment environment. Survey results showed that most participants were not optimistic about the prospects for the global economy this year.

Only 15.8 per cent of participants were optimistic about the global economic outlook

whereas 43.7 per cent were pessimistic, and 40.5 per cent expressed a neutral view. When asked about the biggest risk to the global economy this year, 36.3 per cent of the participants cited the potential for a hard landing of the Chinese mainland economy, followed by geopolitical tensions (21.8%), collapse of energy and commodity prices (20.4%), and uncertainty about the pace of US interest rate normalisation (17.9%).

China and US Seen as Offering Best Investment Returns in 2016

When asked about markets offering the best investment returns, China ranked first with 30.3 per cent of the votes followed by the US (23.4%), Southeast Asia (17.5%) and India (12.7%).

In terms of industrial sectors with the greatest potential to drive global growth, 23.4 per cent of respondents picked green industries/environmental goods and services, followed by telecom, media and technology (20.1%), E-commerce (20.1%), and healthcare (18.7%). Other sectors put to the vote were real estate and infrastructure (6.4%) and financial services (6.2%). Food and agriculture (4.3%) and luxury products (0.7%) were seen as having less potential to drive global growth.

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