HK-China Border Reopening

SMEs Upbeat On GBA’s Economic Prospects After HK-China Border Reopening

HONG KONG – A poll conducted by Bain & Company showed that most small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), which includes Hong Kong, are bullish on the area’s economic outlook over the long term and intend to invest there over the period, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday morning (11 January, SGT).

According to more than 66 percent of the respondents, they think the GBA’s economic growth between 2025 and 2035 would be at par or greater than the area’s historical growth.

However, 50 percent of the surveyed SMEs from mainland China and 33 percent of those in Hong Kong think that GBA’s economic growth from 2023 to 2025 would be weaker than pre-COVID forecasts.

Still, around 60 percent of Hong Kong firms polled and 80 percent of those from mainland China plan to invest at least 15 percent of their yearly revenue in 2023.

“SMEs in the GBA are highly positive (about) the economic outlook and they are eager to grow,” noted Frankie Leung, who is a partner at Bain & Co’s financial services division in Hong Kong.

Aside from that, about 50 percent of the mainland Chinese respondents revealed that they will likely expand into Macau or Hong Kong. In comparison, almost three-quarters of the surveyed SMEs from Hong Kong intend to expand into the Chinese mainland.

With a US$1.9 trillion economy and 87 million permanent residents, the GBA is one of the largest economies in the world that is comparable to South Korea or Canada’s. And Bain & Co’s expects the Bay Area’s gross domestic product (GDP) could reach US$2.8 trillion by 2027.

The survey involved 460 SMEs in the GBA. In particular, the research asked about their financial services needs & preferences in the short term (2023 to 2025) and in the longer term (2025 to 2035). Hang Seng Bank contributed to the study, which was published on Tuesday (10 January).

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