It’s officially the Year of the Dragon: a year for fostering growth, progress and abundance. When looking forward to the year ahead, I also want to reflect on how Jersey’s relationship with Asia has evolved over 2023 and the exciting opportunities ahead, aligning with the spirit of prosperity that the Year of the Dragon symbolises.

In 2023, the financial services industry in both Hong Kong SAR and mainland China continued to feel the reverberations of the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with varying impacts and responses.

In mainland China throughout 2023, the focus remained on supporting businesses, enhancing digital infrastructure, and fostering innovation to adapt to the new normal. While challenges persisted, such as market volatility, the region’s regulatory framework and proactive measures helped cushion the blow and pave the way for recovery.

In Hong Kong SAR, the financial services industry faced a more complex landscape, exacerbated by the convergence of COVID-19 with ongoing constitutional uncertainties. Apprehensions among international investors and businesses were fuelled by travel restrictions, geopolitical tensions, Moody’s downgrading of Hong Kong SAR’s rating from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’, among other economic challenges. By the end of 2023, economists had lowered their GDP growth forecast from 4 – 5% to 3.2%.

While the performance of these vital Asian markets may not have reached the soaring heights expected in 2023, much is to be said about the significance of Jersey’s relationship with Asia to support the path to ‘prosperity’ in the Year of the Dragon.

A Year of Success

In 2023, Jersey Finance hosted a series of events that solidified our commitment to fostering partnerships in Asia. From the metropolises of London and Hong Kong SAR to Singapore and Shanghai, our Asia-focussed events created a platform for connection, collaboration, and knowledge exchange within the financial services sector.

We began the year in London with a roundtable event, hosted in partnership with Coutts, focussing on the Chinese private wealth sector and how it was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

March marked a milestone for Jersey Finance, with the launch of Jersey’s presence in Singapore. The launch catalysed a series of promotional activity for my colleague, Business Development Director – South East Asia, Yiow Chong Tan. Throughout the year, Yiow attended many events in the city to promote Jersey’s international finance centre (IFC) in Singapore, as well as completing scoping work in Malaysia alongside the Head of Global Business Development – Allan Wood. He touches on this in his latest blog.

Yiow's blog

Jersey’s IFC is recognised for its forward-thinking funds sector, with 81% of its overall funds businesses derived from alternative asset classes (as at December 2023).

A 2023 highlight for the sector was the introduction of new Jersey Limited Liability Company (LCC) legislation, expanding Jersey’s comprehensive suite of private fund vehicles and offering a number of key opportunities, including being used for issuing securities, as a manager vehicle, and as a fund entity in conjunction with the hugely successful Jersey Private Fund (JPF) regime. Our Head of Funds, Elliot Refson, visited both Singapore and Hong Kong SAR to introduce Jersey’s fund regime, structuring a Jersey fund, and the potential tax benefits of using Jersey structures.

It was an absolute pleasure to host not one but two networking receptions in the region, with one in Shanghai and one in Hong Kong SAR – the first of their kind since the COVID-19 pandemic imposed lockdowns. These events provided key industry professionals with unique opportunities to exchange insights and learn more about how Jersey can support economic growth in the Asia market.

As well as sponsoring the STEP Asia conference, we unveiled how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are impacting mainland China’s private clients and their advisers and highlighted Jersey as a jurisdiction for private wealth with two ‘Future Focus on Private Wealth and ESG’ events, co-hosted with event partners Intertrust, Ogier and Stephenson Harwood.

Outside of our events in the region, we launched our ‘Jersey’s Relationship with Asia’ video. Featuring insights from advisory and finance professionals based in Singapore, alongside Jersey-based experts, and the dedicated Jersey Finance team, our latest video unveils the synergies driving success in Asia’s financial services landscape.

The Year of the Dragon

As we step into the Year of the Dragon, our focus remains the same: acting as the bridge that connects Jersey’s IFC to finance intermediaries and advisers seeking stability and substance. Our strategic approach for 2024 involves sector-specific engagements, with a series of investment funds-focussed and private wealth-focussed events planned across Hong Kong SAR, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Keep Up To Date

To keep up to date with our events in Asia, create an account or follow the Jersey Finance WeChat official account to access exclusive Asia-focussed content.

Our growing presence in Asia signifies our commitment to growth, collaboration, and excellence. As we celebrate the Year of the Dragon, the second official Lunar New Year being celebrated on the Island, we look forward to soaring to new heights and deepening our connections in the Asia market, on both a personal and business level. May this year bring prosperity, success, and fortuitous opportunities to all our partners and friends. Happy Year of the Dragon!