Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia collaborate on tokens and payments

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Hong Kong is expanding its financial collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, targeting tokenization and payments infrastructure agreements.

On July 26, the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) held a bilateral meeting to strengthen the integration of financial services between the two countries.

As part of the meeting agenda, the HKMA and the SAMA discussed initiatives such as financial infrastructure development, open market operations, market connectivity and sustainable development. The central banks also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote joint discussions on financial innovation.

HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue (left) and SAMA governor Ayman Alsayari (right). Source: HKMA

According to an official joint announcement, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia’s authorities also took the opportunity to share their expertise in areas like tokenization, payment infrastructure and supervision technologies.

“There is a lot of room for cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong in the fields of economy and trade, sustainable development, finance and fintech,” HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue said.

SAMA governor Ayman Alsayari noted that the MoU will not only promote the continued development of the relationship between Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, but also help them “in the future.”

Related: Hong Kong would not go crypto without China’s approval — Animoca exec

The announcement doesn’t specify whether the development would include any joint efforts related to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), despite the HKMA recently allowing retail investors to trade crypto. On the other hand, the government of Saudi Arabia hasn’t been vocal on any plans to promote crypto in recent years, only warning that Bitcoin is “not recognized by legal entities” in the country in 2019.

The HKMA didn’t immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Hong Kong is already participating in several inter-jurisdictional tokenization initiatives. In mid-June, the Bank of China’s investment bank subsidiary BOCI issued a $28 million tokenized security in Hong Kong, minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The project deployed Goldman Sachs’ tokenization protocol GS DAP and cash tokens representing claims on the Hong Kong dollar.

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