A new exhibition tracing the history of Hong Kong's paper money was launched today (July 16) at the atrium of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).
"Stories Behind Banknotes", organised by HSBC, is one of the six thematic exhibitions to be staged at the Hong Kong Pavilion during Shanghai Expo, and will run until August 15.
The Commissioner of the HKSAR Expo Affairs Office, Mr Patrick Chan, and the President and Chief Executive Officer Designate, HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited, Ms Helen Wong, officiated at today’s launch ceremony.
Mr Chan said, "HSBC's exhibition of the banknotes issued by the bank in the past 145 years, in the Hong Kong Pavilion at the first-ever World Expo hosted by our country in the city of Shanghai, has special meaning.
"The banknotes featured in this exhibition are precious and very interesting. Many are rare, and some have never been publicly shown before."
"Stories Behind Banknotes" provides a unique insight into the social and economic transformation of Hong Kong since HSBC issued its first banknote in the city in 1865.
Among the 56 banknotes featured is the "duress note" issued during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II. Other rare notes from Shanghai and other note-issuing branches across China are also displayed.
HSBC Chief Executive Officer Hong Kong Mark McCombe said, "The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited has been the principal issuer of banknotes in Hong Kong since the bank issued its first banknote in 1865, the year of its establishment.
"Currently, approximately two out of every three banknotes in circulation in Hong Kong are issued by HSBC. HSBC's banknotes and their constantly shifting designs illustrate the trade and financial development of the region and provide a valuable insight into the culture and character of the city."
HSBC is a diamond sponsor of Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo.
In parallel with the "Stories Behind Banknotes" exhibition, Hong Kong will organise its first large-scale financial forum on the Mainland as one of the major programmes for Shanghai Expo.
The high-level financial forum, to be held at Pudong Shangri-La Hotel on July 21, will be attended by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, and experts in the financial services sector from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas.
The main aim of the Finance Forum is to promote broader exchange and deeper co-operation in financial services between Hong Kong and Shanghai. It will examine important issues related to China's continued opening up and the internationalisaton of its financial markets.
So far, three other thematic exhibitions have been staged at the atrium of the Hong Kong Pavilion – "Green Living in Hong Kong", "HKIA: Global Connectivity. World-class Service" and "One Country, Two Systems".
The "Stories Behind Banknotes" Exhibition will be followed by "Passion for Hong Kong: Exhibition of Works by Professor Jao Tsung-i" from August 16 to September 30, and the "Creativity of Hong Kong Industries" Exhibition from October 1 to 31.
For more details on Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo, please visit www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk .
Ends/Friday, July 16, 2010