HONG KONG SAR – Media outreach – September 22, 2022 – Two-thirds of accounting and finance professionals expect business investment in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area to increase over the next five years, according to a report from the world’s leading accounting body CPA Australia.
CPA Australia report Seizing Success and Connectedness in the GBA: Financial Services found that nearly half of respondents expected green finance and carbon trading to play a major role in their company’s operations in the region over the next five years.
CPA Australia surveyed 483 accounting and finance professionals and 17 policymakers, regulators and business leaders across GBA cities for the report.
CPA Australia 2022 Greater China Divisional Council Chair and Financial Services Committee Chair Eden Wong said the GBA is on a strategic mission to innovate which will lead to an influx of capital into the region.
“The GBA is one of the wealthiest megacities in the world, with the highest concentration of wealthy people in the world,” he said.
The minimum potentially investable assets of wealthy families in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have risen from around US$365 billion in 2017 to US$415 billion in 2021.
“To seize these unprecedented opportunities, many companies have strategically planned to increase their investment in GBA over the next five years,” Wong said.
The report identifies six major influences on investments in GRB over the next five years:
- Business investment will increase
- More active green finance and carbon trading activity
- More efforts to improve the openness of capital flows
- Adoption of digital payment technology will improve connectivity
- More resources for talent availability
- Closer collaboration between authorities
“Regulators have been working to establish an ecosystem in Hong Kong to guide and support businesses on the path to a low-carbon and sustainable transition,” Wong said.
“They have established a policy framework and agenda for green and sustainable finance and issued guidance on sustainability-related disclosures.
“Hong Kong could act as a super connector to connect China’s carbon trading system with the rest of the world and put the GBA on a fast track to improving the quality and efficiency of green and sustainable finance. We suggest that city authorities in the GBA explore the possibility of establishing a unified carbon trading market to serve both domestic and international investors.
More than a third of respondents said the openness of capital flows was a key benefit for companies operating in the GRB. “Cross-border capital flows continue to grow and the use of the renminbi in global transactions is increasing,” Wong said.
GBA companies face a global talent shortage. Respondents said more resources for talent availability would lead to positive improvements over the next five years; seven in 10 called for more political support to tackle this issue.
Forty-one percent of respondents identified the mutual recognition of professional qualifications as the most critical factor in expanding the talent pool in GBA.
“Talent availability is a critical component of success,” said Wilson Pang, Greater China Divisional Councilor and CPA Australia Greater Bay Area Committee Vice-Chair.
Pang said there continued to be multiple accreditations for professional qualifications in mainland GBA cities and special administrative regions.
“To dismantle this barrier and accelerate the movement of talent, regulators and professional bodies should explore ways to simplify accreditation processes and encourage young professionals to gain hands-on experience working in other GBA cities,” said Pang said.
“Policymakers, regulators and investors who contributed to our report expressed the need for deeper future collaboration to address these issues.
“Recently announced measures in the GBA cooperative zones encompassing Qianhai, Hengqin and Nansha could encourage new cross-border investment.”
According to Pang, “regulators and businesses in the GBA should make a concerted effort to enhance the region’s advantages such as open capital flows and high quality financial infrastructure.”
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About CPA Australia
CPA Australia is one of the largest professional accountancy bodies in the world, with over 170,000 members in over 100 countries and regions, including over 22,200 members in Greater China. CPA Australia has operated in Hong Kong since 1955 and opened its Hong Kong office in 1989. Our core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accountancy profession and the public interest. We work with governments, regulators and industries to advocate for policies that drive sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. Learn more about cpaaustralia.com.au