Banking and financial services professionals wanting to increase their insight into the industry will have a useful avenue to do so through a large-scale international banking event to be hosted in Hong Kong next summer.
In cooperation with The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB), the European Banking and Financial Services Training Association Asbl (EBTN) is organising the 61st International Banking Summer School (IBSS) in Hong Kong in July 2008.
EBTN promotes an exchange of ideas and good practice between the banking systems of different countries, says the association's president Mario Spatafora.
The IBSS's objective is to upgrade banking professionals' skills in a globalised market, Professor Spatafora stresses. "The EBTN has members from various European Institutes of Bankers and non-European Institutes of Bankers, including Hong Kong, Australia and India," he says. "We aim to provide training activities and help organise studies and surveys related to banking institutes and the industry in Asia."
The summer school targets participants in executive and senior management positions from different parts of the world.
Professor Spatafora adds, "We believe human resources development is extremely important. The 10-day workshop is therefore also a special occasion to highlight different practices and ideas from different countries' banking professionals."
Next year's IBSS will address issues facing the global contemporary banking industry and the fast-evolving Asian markets. It will explore new challenges such as the influx of globalisation and changes in customer demands. Strategies for staying ahead will also be discussed.
The summer school programme will also include a number of social events where senior banking specialists and executives interact and share knowledge, updates and practices; and expand their networks in the quest to broaden their career prospects. "In a way, the IBSS will therefore foster professional cooperation at a global level. This was also the case at previous conferences," Professor Spatafora says.
Hong Kong platform
According to Professor Spatafora, Hong Kong has been selected as next year's IBSS venue for a few good reasons.
Hong Kong is the gateway to China and bridge to the emerging economies of South Asia, South-east Asia and the Middle East. As such, many market transactions are performed in Hong Kong. The city's unique proximity to its neighbouring countries and its key role in driving global economic growth are considerable advantages, says Professor Spatafora.
"Most of the leading international financial institutions have their regional headquarters in Hong Kong where a majority of business decisions are made," he notes. "Hong Kong's IT infrastructure, friendly business environment and world-class transportation system; plus its long history and strong background in banking and financial services, can certainly help integrate the best of the East and the West."
Professor Spatafora is also confident that the HKIB can add a new dimension to IBSS. "The HKIB is well-versed in organising top-notch training and conferences," he says, stressing that Hong Kong has a lot more to offer. "All participants will benefit from Asia's abundant social and cultural offerings, many of which can be discovered in Hong Kong," he remarks.