Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu gives the keynote speech at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on Wednesday. (ANDY CHONG / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Financial, investment and business leaders from about 20 countries and economies gathered at the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit in Hong Kong on Wednesday, marking the city’s return to the international stage.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu welcomed enterprises and talent back to the city. “I can tell you the worst is behind us. Opportunity and timing are right here, right now, in Hong Kong,” he said.

The summit was hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in a bid to reassure the world that Hong Kong remains a global business and financial hub. The long-awaited event welcomed over 200 international and regional leaders from around 120 global financial institutions, including banks, securities firms, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds and insurers. More than 40 of those institutions were represented by their group chairman or CEO.

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Under the theme “Navigating Beyond Uncertainty”, participants shared their experiences and exchanged ideas with a focus on three sets of challenges and opportunities facing the global financial community, including the uncertainties caused by rising interest rates and the risk of stagflation, as well as the implications of mega trends such as technology and sustainability on the future of finance.

HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue Wai-man said the summit signals the resiliency of Hong Kong’s financial system, the vibrant ecosystem of the financial industry, and the “can-do” spirit of Hong Kong that will help push forward the sustainable development of the financial industry.

The city is and will continue to be an important financial center linking the mainland and international markets, as Hong Kong reaps the unique benefits of “one country, two systems”.

“‘One country, two systems’ is the unwavering cornerstone of Hong Kong. It ensures matchless connectivity, and opportunity, with our country and with the world at large,” said Yue. “Hong Kong remains the only place in the world where the global advantage and the China advantage come together in a single city. The unique convergence makes Hong Kong an irreplaceable connection between the mainland and the rest of the world.” 

Major mainland financial regulators, including the People’s Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, and China Securities Regulatory Commission, shared their policy perspectives at the summit via a recorded interview session.

“Hong Kong has great potential to deepen connections based on the mainland financial market, in areas of financing and investing under the Belt and Road Initiative, fintech and green finance, to support Hong Kong’s development,” PBOC Governor Yi Gang said.

“The PBOC will continue to help Hong Kong maintain a law-based, open, inclusive, and enabling business environment and enhance its status as an international financial center,” he added.

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CSRC Vice-Chairman Fang Xinghai said, “the nation’s opening-up can only be bigger and bigger going forward, and Hong Kong’s unique role in connecting the world and the mainland will continue and remains very important. There will be new exciting opportunities for us.”

“Do not bet against the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong,” the CSRC vice-chairman reiterated.

Yin Zonghua, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR and Liu Guangyuan, commissioner of the Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR, also attended the summit.