Personal Profile Antoine Martin Founder The Asia-Pacific Circle


Head of Insights & Co-Founder – The Asia Pacific Circle.

Researcher (CUHK Law)


Dr. Antoine Martin is the Head of Insights & Research of The Asia-Pacific Circle, which he co-founded in 2016 in Hong Kong with Philippe Bonnet.

Antoine follows analyzes and comments on developments in international trade, investment, and Fintech policy, with a particular focus on Asia-Pacific relations. He is also a scholar at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, a leading academic institution in Asia.

Beyond following Asia-Pacific trends, Dr. Antoine Martin enjoys pushing, challenging and helping entrepreneurs, lawyers, bankers and experts of all kinds to identify their message and formulate their ideas. His ultimate goal being, of course, to give them more tools to engage in value-creating discussions with their interlocutors. Now, can you see a trend? Would you like to share some thoughts? Please get in touch!



Selected Insights by Dr. Antoine Martin:


HKMA Open API Framework: What it means for Hong Kong Banks

HKMA Open API Framework: What it means for Hong Kong Banks.

August 24th, 2018 | On July 18th, 2018, the HKMA released its Open API Framework as a means of promoting the development of Hong Kong’s Fintech, banking and financial services industry. The initiative has been commented widely, and the idea that new applications will now be made available is often used as a conclusion. In this Asia-Pacific financial insight, Antoine Martin goes through the HKMA’s Open API Framework document to explain its ins and outs. After a careful analysis of the document, he concludes that the stakes are much higher than mere flexibility. Especially considering the regulatory and financial burden to be imposed on banks. [Read the Insight]


virtual banks virtual banking guideline regulation hong kong HKMA

Virtual banks in Hong Kong: HKMA Guideline seeks Smart Virtual Banking.

July 16th, 2018 | In this Fintech insight, Antoine Martin analyses the recent release of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) Revised Guideline on Authorization of Virtual Banks. Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial places, yet the city’s banking offer is limited for many. This move by the regulator creates a significant new potential from a financial services perspective, i.e. developing virtual banks in Hong Kong. But there is more. With the Revised Guideline on Authorization of Virtual Banks, the HKMA has several objectives in mind. First, opening access to financial services to non-banks. Second, solving a market deficiency which so far has left many citizens un-banked. Third, pushing Hong Kong’s Fintech policy a little further.  [Read the Insight]


tradepact on china and trump on steel tariffs 2018 by antoine martin asia pacific circleTrade Insights: Trump, China, and a Tale of Aluminum and Steel Tariffs.

April 27th, 2018 with Bryan Mercurio | The complex relationship between President Trump and Beijing has again taken center stage with the announcement that the United States will take measures to increase the price of steel and aluminum imports from China to the United States. Sino-U.S. trade made headlines in late 2016 when President Trump lambasted China for violating the global trade rules. At the same time, President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement because … [Read the Insight]


are governments venezuela china entapay perverting the spirit of cryptos asia pacific circle antoine martinAre Governments Perverting the Spirit of Cryptos?

March 22d; 2018 | Looking at cryptocurrency and blockchain news this week got me thinking about a couple of things. Two interesting trends are developing alongside each other with, somehow, a slight dose of schizophrenia. One trend is purely regulatory, with a variety of governments pursuing their exploration of how to control cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and ICOs. But other governments have also been working towards creating their own sovereign digital assets. So, what is the logic? [Read the Insight]


China bans Bitcoin & Crypto-currencies: some trends.China Bans crypto exchanges and prohibits ICOS antoine martin the asia pacific circle

Nov. 15th, 2017 | The past weeks witnessed significant developments in the relationship between China and digital currencies. In particular, the prohibition of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the ban of several crypto-currency exchange platforms from Mainland China by Beijing had an important impact on the value of the Bitcoin in the fourth quarter of 2017. So, what is going on? [Read the Insight]


The Future of Fintech in Hong Kong: the FSDC’s fintech hub business plan.

Sept. 25th, 2017 | Asia-Pacific Fintech Insights: In may 2017 the FSDC released a Report named The Future of Fintech in Hong Kong as a means to help promote the development of Hong Kong Fintech industry. The report has been commented widely, but it was mainly interpreted as pointing to the limits of Hong Kong’s Fintech policy. In reality, however, this document is more like a business plan and roadmap on, as its title suggests, the future of Fintechs in Hong Kong. Hence, it deserves more attention.[Read the Insight]


MSCI Emerging Markets Index: Perspectives for China.MSCI on China and emerging markets 2017 insights on asia pacific by antoine martin Asia Pacific Circle

July 10th, 2017 | Summer 2017 was an important milestone for Beijing, particularly on the financial integration side of things. The introduction of 222 of the biggest Chinese companies into MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index after three years of consecutive rejection has somehow marked (the beginning of) a shift in Chinese financial governance. But what are the impacts of this shift? [Read the Insight]


Protectionism on the Rise, What impacts for Business in the Asia-Pacific?

May 5th, 2017 | Protectionism has become a trendy word recently and appears to be on the rise in various parts of the world. Starting with the United States. In reality, complex negotiations have eroded trade leadership at the WTO level and the trade policy dynamics in Washington and Brussels seem significantly compromised. The Asia-Pacific, as a result, might attract more and more interest from a political leadership and business perspective. [Read the Insight]


What is the Hong Kong – China Bond Connect about?Hong Kong China Bond Connect analysis Asia Pacific Circle Insights Antoine Martin Pascal Charlot

April 28th, 2017  with Pascal Charlot | The Hong Kong – China Bond Connect has recently made the headlines following a public announcement in March 2017 by Mainland China’s Premier that further fixed-income markets links would be established across borders. Would the news help reinforcing China’s and Hong Kong’s financial positions in the Asia-Pacific and globally? Analysis. [Read the Insight]


asia-pacific policy outlook 2017

2017 Asia-Pacific foreign policy: what to expect?

Jan. 25th, 2017 | Protectionism, elections, territorial stakes, foreign policy has become an increasingly relevant theme lately. In 2017, the global political economy as we know it will change. Foreign policies will be altered. Domestic interests will change significantly from one country to another. The Asia Pacific, however, might gain in influence, both as a region and as a focus point [Read the Insight]


trump will make china great again asia pacific insights antoine martin the asia pacific circle

Trump’s TPP & trade policy will make China politically great again.

Dec. 2d, 2016 | Mr. Trump has just made it clear that he would bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) down immediately after stepping into the White House. Politically, however, the idea of ‘Making America Great Again’ by building trade walls might shift from sweet to sour. Because Trump’s trade policy and strategy will have an unexpected outcome: making China great again politically. Analysis by Dr. Antoine Martin. [Read the Insight]


World trade derails? It’s all Uber’s fault!otto self-driven beer truck

Oct. 31st, 2016 | We are living in troubled times. The British are paving their way out of the EU (trying, anyway), the major agreements which were once expected to foster growth between the United States, Europe, the Asia Pacific or Canada are seriously compromised. Trade has shifted from policy goal to political incorrectness. Let’s face it, the world as we know it is shaking. And this is Uber’s fault. Or Google’s, or Alibaba’s. So they say… Analysis by Dr. Antoine Martin [Read the Insight]


china US steel agreement

The US – China agreement on steel overcapacity: impacts on trade & international affairs?

June 26th, 2016 | Early June 2016, an agreement on steel overcapacity was reached as part of the 8th U.S – China annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Simply put, China reiterated its commitment to finding a solution to the excess capacity issue in the steel industry. In this analysis, Dr. Antoine Martin writes that little change is likely to happen in a close future for various reasons, all linked to the fact that reforms would clearly have an impact on the country’s economic model as a whole. [Read the Insight]


global trade globalization global politics

Globalization, political tensions & economic uncertainty, what is going on?

Sept. 9th, 2016 | There are several ways of looking at globalization. One way is about asking why globalization is an important global policy move and why countries all over the world should make their economies more and more available to global business and trade. Opinion piece by Dr. Antoine Martin [Read the Insight]


China, Capital Controls, Lagarde and markets capital control IMF China Lagarde Kuroda Asia Pacific insights

Feb. 11th, 16 | Capital controls are amongst the early 2016 burning political economy trends, with China and international leaders such as Japan’s Central Bank Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde being at the forefront of a polemical debate on interventionism. [Read the Insight]


APEC 2016 Asia-Pacific trade policy: from tradeChina US Opera to game of thrones?

Asia-Pacific trade policy: from trade Opera to game of thrones?

Jan. 22d, 2016 | Analysis by Dr. Antoine Martin following on a previous comment which analyzed the 2017 Asia-Pacific trade negotiations. In this update, Martin writes that more than a trade Opera, regional dynamics are turning trade diplomacy into a game of thrones.  [Read the Insight]


china market economy or non-market economy asia pacific circle insights

Market Economy status or ‘non-market economy’ status? China, EU, US, WTO and world business.

Jan. 18th, 2016 | There are many comments at the moment on whether China has a ‘market economy status’ or a ‘non-market economy status’. Discussing whether China is a market economy may seem odd when taking a public debate perspective because. In this analysis, Dr. Antoine Martin writes that the country and its powerful economic policies leave no real doubt as to how Chinese businesses and world markets rely on each other to move on. [Read the Insight]


WTO: can the Doha round keep going on (and on, and on)?Doha buried in Nairobi

Dec. 15th, 2015 | Two years after Bali, the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference is taking place in Nairobi from December 15th to December 18th. Yet, the Conference’s Goals are not seen as ambitious and, despite the long known failure of the Doha Round negotiations, some of its remains seem to persist. For better or worse. In this opinion piece, Dr. Antoine Martin writes that, should business continue as usual, the Doha Round might be somehow buried in Nairobi. [Read the Insight]


Asia-Pacific negotiations: how about a regional trade Opera?

Nov. 23rd, 2015 | Part of the political economy challenges ahead is the evolution of trade liberalization negotiations in the Asia-Pacific region. In a comment dated June 2014, Jayant Menon (Lead Economist at the Asian Development Bank’s Office of Regional Economic Integration) actually presented a rather interesting snapshot of Asia-Pacific trade negotiations. Analysis by Dr .Antoine Martin [Read the Insight]



Looking for additional food for thought?

asia-pacific insightsAsia-Pacific Insights?

Are you looking for a big picture approach to regional developments? From Financial Markets to trade diplomacy and geopolitics, The Asia-Pacific Circle connects the dots in good business intelligence. [Read all our Asia-Pacific Insights].


Financial Market Insights

Financial Markets are predominant nowadays, hence our Asia-Pacific Insights closely look at financial developments in the region. From financial regulation to Fintech policy and cryptocurrencies, the Circle’s Financial Market Insights connect the dots. [Read our Asia-Pacific Financial Markets Insights].


Trade Insights

Pro-business policies or interventionism? Free trade or protectionism? What is the impact of China – US relations on global trade and business? Globalization is at risk, but trade diplomacy is an important aspect of Asia-Pacific relations. Our Trade Diplomacy insights also connect the dots! [Read our Asia-Pacific Trade Insights].



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