Executive Director Mr. Kenneth Hui,
Deputy Dean Dr. Seungju Baek,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the AMRO-HKMA-ADBI Financial Leadership Training Program. On behalf of AMRO, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to HKMA and ADBI for their strong commitment and concerted efforts in making this training program a reality. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Finance of China for their generous financial support through the People’s Republic of China Technical Assistance Trust Fund at AMRO.

Dear colleagues, we live in an unprecedented complex world. Maintaining macroeconomic and financial resilience and stability is a more daunting task than ever before.

Just as leadership has played a crucial role in promoting China’s reform and opening up and in achieving rapid development in Singapore and some other countries, it also plays a crucial role in promoting macroeconomic and financial stability. The greater the uncertainty, the more leadership needed; the more complex the environment, the more leadership needed. Leadership is the process of influencing others to achieve goals.

Amid complexity and uncertainty, we need to foresee the future and create the future. The resilience of macroeconomic and financial systems is largely reflected in their ability to withstand shocks beyond conventional limits. To enhance the ability of the macroeconomic and financial system to withstand unconventional shocks, policy and decision makers must be more adept at identifying problems with greater foresight and outline key priorities from overlapping complex challenges.

Last week, AMRO organized the 2023 AMRO Forum in Kanazawa, Japan, with ADBI as our co-host. A senior official shared this story. 15 years ago, he believed that addressing climate change would mainly be the responsibility of his children’s generation. But now he strongly realizes that this is a duty that his own generation must take on. In the face of the long-term and significant challenges of climate change, the later we respond, the higher the cost. Huge stranded assets and weakened competitiveness will leave great hidden dangers for our macroeconomic and financial stability.

Leadership is first and foremost an ability to foresee the future. Without seeing future opportunities and challenges, one cannot lead the future. Of course, just being good at seeing the future does not mean the ability to lead or create the future. Leadership is a multifaceted art that goes beyond merely occupying a position of authority. It involves inspiring others, guiding them toward a shared vision, and empowering individuals to unleash their full potential.

Partnerships lie at the heart of modern-day endeavors. Effective partnerships can amplify strengths, pool resources, and promote innovative solutions. Successful leaders must be adept at implementing partnership strategies. They must be able to integrate internal and external resources, unleash team potential, convert opportunities into reality, resolve potential risks, and enhance the ability to resist future shocks.

It is not difficult to drive while the traffic lights are operating normally. What if all lights are faulty at the intersection? What if all three lights light up at the same time for the same direction? What if we are driving on a heavy fogy day? What if there is no road?

Leadership is much needed and very well-tested when we are facing multiple challenges. Imagine the environment we are facing today when we seek macroeconomic and financial resilience and stability. We are facing “higher for longer” financial environment. Some of us are constrained by persistent high debt and very limited fiscal space. We are also facing geopolitical tensions, plus long-term challenges, such as climate change, aging issue, digital transformation and so on. As a leader, it is our responsibility to decide which is the better way among multiple choices. It is also our responsibility to find a way when we are lost. This explains why AMRO emphasizes financial leadership while delivering our mandate.

HKMA, ADBI and AMRO jointly initiated this training course to provide a platform for developing leadership and professional skills, exchanging insights, and fostering a strong cooperative network among the senior officials from ministries of finance, central banks or their equivalents within the ASEAN+3 region. The program will help to share a common understanding of the unique and escalating challenges faced by public officials in the financial sector. The first day of the program will focus on examining these issues and the latest developments that authorities should be aware of. The second day of the program covers leadership skills. Given the limited time, we will focus on building partnership skills this time. The third day will provide an opportunity of learning via case studies. The HKMA has kindly arranged site visits for us to the Hong Kong Science Park and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. The program will enable participants to explore the potential of technology and the application of leadership principles in practice. We hope that participants will be able to draw parallels and connections from the learnings in the first two days during the site visits.

AMRO’s technical assistance (or TA) is well positioned to organize and deliver this program catered to our member authorities and partners. Under AMRO’s Strategic Direction 2030, the core focus of our TA activities is driven by the needs of the ASEAN+3 member authorities. Going forward, AMRO will design and implement more tailored TA programs and actively mobilize additional resources. Together with our partners, we would like to make the financial leadership training program a flagship training program in the region.

Let me close by thanking all colleagues from HKMA, ADB, ADBI, CMOF and AMRO for their contributions to this workshop. I would like to extend my special thanks to Ms. Fion Yip for facilitating the sessions tomorrow and helping our journey to develop the leadership, collaboration and partnership skills for all our colleagues here.

I wish you a successful and stimulating training over the next 3 days.

Thank you very much.