HK’s ASTRI signs FinTech R&D MoU with Thai govt e-commerce agency

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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bangkok to strategically collaborate on FinTech R&D projects to support the implementation of electronic transaction development in Thailand.

Under the MoU, experts from both ASTRI and Thailand will embark on FinTech R&D projects, covering areas such as cybersecurity, blockchain technology, etc.

Talent nurture is also an important element in the collaboration. Training programs will be conducted to nurture cybersecurity professionals.

Both parties will also explore the possibility of cross-border sharing of cyber security intelligence through SecShare, a system developed by ASTRI and currently used by banking and financial institutes in Hong Kong to share vital information to defend against cyber threats.

ASTRI says the signing of the MoU marks a major milestone for the institute, as this is the first time that ASTRI will work with an overseas organisation on R&D projects since its establishment in 2000.

For ETDA, an e-commerce agency under the Thai Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the collaboration with ASTRI will facilitate FinTech R&D and put Thailand on track to be a leader in ASEAN, ASTRI said in a statement.

“While Hong Kong has been enhancing financial infrastructure to consolidate its status as an international financial center, Thailand – one of the countries along the Belt and Road – has seen robust growth in e-commerce in recent years,” said Dr. Frank Tong, CEO of ASTRI. “We’re very glad to have this opportunity to exchange ASTRI’s technological expertise with ETDA, and there’re a lot of areas, such as e-payment, where we can learn from each other. I’m confident the collaboration will benefit both Hong Kong and Thailand.”

Surangkana Wayuparb, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of ETDA, said, “The Thai government has recently launched a new national e-payment system, ‘Prompt Pay’, which aims to promote broader electronic payment adoption with the emphasis on ease and convenience. FinTech is one of the directions we are actively pursuing. We look forward to working closely with ASTRI in developing FinTech that would bring greater convenience as well as security to businesses and the general public.”

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