Gobi Partners, a pan-Asian venture capital firm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) have on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deepen their partnership to support the innovation economy in Hong Kong and ASEAN.

Both parties said in a statement that under the MOU, both companies will explore further opportunities to drive business and financial connectivity between the Greater Bay Area and ASEAN.

They will also explore the opportunities of “TaqwaTech”, a new category of Muslim entrepreneurs focusing on using technology to serve the demand of the Islamic economy.

They will also explore opportunities of sustainable innovation and investment aligned to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and growth and empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs.

According to the statement, the MOU further underlines HSBC and Gobi Partners’ commitment in empowering diverse entrepreneurs, regardless of gender and background.

“Gobi Partners and HSBC share a common vision, which is to help innovative businesses unlock their potential, create more jobs and access new global opportunities,

“The MOU signals our commitment to support Hong Kong and ASEAN businesses at all stages, boost their growth and help them compete on the global stage,” said Luanne LIM, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC.

Meanwhile, Gobi Partners Co-Founder and Chairperson Thomas Tsao said that the firm is thrilled to amplify connectivity between Hong Kong and Southeast Asia so that the Greater Bay Area in China will become known as Greater Bay ASEAN.

“The signing of this MOU with HSBC marks a significant milestone further solidifying the collaboration between our two esteemed companies,

“Together, we are poised to make an impact in shaping the future of the region’s entrepreneurial landscape,” he said.

According to the statement, ASEAN is the largest digitally enabled population in the world with its e-commerce forecasted to grow to $88 billion by 2025.

It is also noted that in 2020 alone, 40 million people in Southeast Asia came online for the first time.

Cited a survey jointly conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, it said Southeast Asia’s digital economy is expected to reach $330 billion by 2025.

Recognizing the role technology and digital education plays in promoting gender equality, HSBC and Gobi Partners have also jointly hosted an event for female entrepreneurs and investors in March as part of their International Women’s Day celebration.

Gobi Partners is a venture capital firm with $1.6 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, the firm supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.

Founded in 2002, Gobi Partners has raised 16 funds to date, invested in over 380 startups and nurtured 10 unicorns.

The firm has grown to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Cairo, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Surabaya.

As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, Gobi Partners is committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption to ensure long-term value creation and sustainability across its portfolio.

As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the firm launched its second sustainability report in June 2023.

Gobi Partners releases 2022 Sustainability Report as part of its commitment to UNGC’s Corporate Sustainability Principles