More Financial Firms To Expand In Mainland China Than Hong Kong
HONG KONG – A new survey by accounting body CPA Australia shows that mainland China is the top destination for Hong Kong-based accounting and financial firms, according to a press release published on Media OutReach on Tuesday afternoon (7 December, SGT).
According to the accounting organisation’s Hong Kong Economic and Business Sentiment Survey 2022, 87 percent of surveyed Hong Kong-based accounting and financial professionals, 87 percent expect their company to expand their business activities over the next 3 years.
The top destination for business expansion is mainland China, excluding cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), with 50 percent saying so. This is followed by Hong Kong (40 percent), GBA but excluding Hong Kong (36 percent), while 29 percent expect their firms to expand into Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, 67 percent of the 214 polled Hong Kong-based accounting and finance professionals expect the city’s economy to expand in 2022. Of these, 52 percent are projecting that Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP) would edge up by 2.9 percent, while 15 percent think it will grow by at least 3 percent over the same period.
“Measures to combat the pandemic and stimulate the local economy, such as the consumption voucher scheme, have bolstered the city’s economic recovery and prospects. Most respondents are cautiously optimistic about Hong Kong’s economic outlook and think the economy will grow at a modest pace,” said CPA Australia Divisional President for Greater China, Janssen Chan.
“However, restrictions on cross-boundary travel and the pandemic remain the top barriers to economic growth nominated by respondents. Despite improvements in overall business and economic sentiment, we should be mindful of the risk of an unequal economic recovery among different industries and the ongoing challenges posed by COVID, such as the emergence of the Omicron variant.”
Meanwhile, 36 percent of the surveyed professionals think that their firm will hire more people next year, up from 13 percent this year. Moreover, 53 percent project that their company’s revenue would rise by 2022, with 47 percent anticipating a growth of up to 29 percent.
“The survey findings indicate that business confidence in Hong Kong has improved over the past 12 months. Last year, only 26 percent of respondents expected their company’s revenue to increase in 2021. In contrast, reflecting a better-than-expected recovery, 50 percent of respondents said revenue will grow this year,” added Chan.
Asked what the government can do to improve Hong Kong’s competitiveness, most said that the authorities should strengthen the city’s status as a global financial centre. Another top recommendation is to support FinTech and other finance innovation, in addition to providing support to attract and retain talent in the financial sector.