[Hong Kong, 1 December 2016] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) announced today that it will work with Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), on cybersecurity and developing financial technologies (FinTech) – to help enhance the efficiency and security of the country’s electronic transactions, as well as the resilience of its financial system against cyber-threats.
“Hong Kong is a global financial hub, and ranks fifth among FinTech hubs worldwide. We’ve chosen to collaborate with ASTRI, which is one of the leading institutions with a strong focus on research and development in the areas of cybersecurity and FinTech. These are vital to strengthening Thailand’s financial infrastructure and increasing the efficiency and security of our fast-growing electronic transactions,” said Mrs Ruchukorn Siriyodhin, Deputy Governor, Financial Institutions Stability of BOT.
Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, Chairperson of the ASTRI Board of Directors, said “this partnership is a strategically important one due to the close relationship between the Thai people, and the people of Hong Kong and the mainland.” He added that Hong Kong and Thailand play crucial roles along the ‘One Belt, One Road’ given Hong Kong’s role as a “super-connector between China and the world and Thailand’s prominent position within the ASEAN region.”
“We’re honoured to have the opportunity to work with Thailand’s central bank. This collaboration is a recognition of ASTRI’s pioneering role in FinTech and cybersecurity research and application in Asia Pacific. It also opens up possibilities for ASTRI to cooperate with other ASEAN countries, which have a total population of 600 million and have vast potential for e-commerce. In the long run, we expect to see ASTRI form more cross-border technological partnerships,” said Dr Frank Tong, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr Tong and Mrs Ruchukorn at the Hong Kong Science Park today. Under the three-year collaboration deal, ASTRI and BOT will jointly carry out R&D projects covering blockchain technology, cybersecurity and big data analytics etc.
Both parties are expected to conduct programmes to cultivate local FinTech and cybersecurity experts. They will also explore the possibility of forming a cross-border cyber intelligence sharing platform – to enable financial institutes in Hong Kong and Thailand to share vital information to defend against cyber-threats. The collaboration will also bolster their cybersecurity and FinTech capabilities through talent exchange and training programmes.
As an economic, transport and cultural hub within ASEAN, Thailand has pledged to embrace technological innovation, and set out to transform the kingdom into a cashless society. Ahead of other ASEAN countries, it recently launched a national e-payment system ‘PromptPay’, which is expected to revolutionise the way people make payments in Thailand.
According to consultancy firm Accenture, FinTech investment in Asia-Pacific has skyrocketed from about US$880 million in 2014 to nearly US$3.5 billion in the first nine months of 2015.
Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, IC Design (Analog), IC Design (Digital), Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org
About Bank of Thailand
THE BANK OF THAILAND (BOT), a central bank of Thailand operated under Bank of Thailand Act, promulgated on 28 April 1942. BOT started operations on 10 December 1942 with the mission to promoting a stable financial environment to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development in Thailand. Our vision is to be an organization of vision and principles that engages with stakeholders in pursuit of Thailand’s sustainable economic well-being. For further information about BOT, please visit www.bot.or.th
Ms Eunice Cheng Tel: (852) 3406 2517 Email: [email protected]
Dr Frank Tong, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI (right), and Mrs Ruchukorn Siriyodhin, Deputy Governor, Financial Institutions Stability of BOT (left), sign a Memorandum of Understanding on FinTech research and development.
Dr Duncan Wong (1st from left), Vice President, Financial Technologies of ASTRI introduces ASTRI’s Multi-model Authentication Technologies to Mrs Ruchukorn Siriyodhin (3rd from left), Deputy Governor, Financial Institutions Stability of BOT.
Mrs Ruchukorn Siriyodhin (1st from left), Deputy Governor, Financial Institutions Stability of BOT presents a souvenir to Mr Wong Ming-yam, Chairperson of the ASTRI (2nd from left).