Small, nimble firms are well suited to thrive in the fast growing and rapidly changing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) but often find moving into unfamiliar environments challenging.
Fortunately for them, plenty of help is at hand. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the city’s leading bank, HSBC, this week unveiled a strategic partnership to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across all sectors unlock growth potential in the GBA and connect the wider business community to new opportunities in this dynamic urban cluster. [The main picture shows the bank’s recently introduced GBA proposition promoted at the tram shelter outside HSBC Main Building.]
The partnership will combine the respective networks and connections, market expertise as well as digital capabilities of both HSBC and the HKTDC to offer multi-faceted support to Hong Kong SMEs.
HSBC will become the HKTDC’s GBA strategic partner in four main aspects: co-hosting GBA knowledge and insights on respective digital platforms, organising networking events in mainland GBA cities, conducting proprietary research and providing dedicated services and solutions in their respective fields.
With about 70% of companies polled in an HSBC survey indicating strong interest in hearing about economic trends, forecasts and GBA news from experts across related industries, the bank will feed the HKTDC’s recently launched GoGBA WeChat Mini Programme with articles and market insights related to doing business in the GBA. HSBC’s award-winning business-to-business community platform – HSBC VisionGo – will also be integrated into the GoGBA app, empowering SMEs with value-added resources from the wider business ecosystems that are beneficial for their cross-border business journey.
The GoGBA WeChat Mini Programme, which provides important information and useful tools for doing business in the region, is part of the HKTDC’s GoGBA one-stop platform. This new platform offers multi-faceted online and offline business support to help companies access the GBA. It comprises advisory services and training as well as promotional and networking activities, in addition to the GoGBA WeChat Mini Programme.
“Last week, we launched our GoGBA one-stop platform to provide support for SMEs and enterprises in Hong Kong as well as the international business community to tap the potential of the GBA,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Patrick Lau.
Under the partnership, the HKTDC’s T-box (Transformation Sandbox) SME support programme will also be extended to HSBC VisionGo members, providing them with a variety of training, consultation and support measures; while HSBC will provide incentive offers on banking products and services for HKTDC T-box and GoGBA users. Research will be jointly developed to give businesses tailored insights into the GBA.
“Our T-box programme, launched in April 2020, has already helped more than 1,400 Hong Kong SMEs to enhance their business competitiveness and reach transformation goals in the areas of branding, e-commerce, manufacturing and supply chain solutions, and new markets,” said Dr Lau.
“To enhance these resources, we will work with industry leaders who share our goal of creating business opportunities, and we are delighted to work together with HSBC to offer multi-faceted business support for companies to capture more GBA opportunities,” he added.
Explaining the partnership, Daniel Chan, Head of Greater Bay Area, HSBC, said: “The GBA is becoming an economic powerhouse comparable to other city clusters globally, presenting new opportunities for businesses across a wide range of sectors.
“We are pleased to forge a new partnership with HKTDC, which enables us to capitalise on our extensive network in the GBA and further scale up our comprehensive support for SMEs. As a key connector in the business community, HSBC is well-positioned to be the go-to bank bridging businesses to the GBA and spanning the globe,” he said.
The two parties will co-host a series of GBA-themed free consultation and sharing workshops designed for SMEs. Business missions for Hong Kong SMEs to visit mainland GBA cities are also planned when borders re-open, enabling them to experience the opportunities on-the-ground.
As a leading international bank in the GBA, HSBC has already created sector-specific client coverage teams in order to meet specific business needs in the GBA, in addition to rolling out initiatives such as a mobile platform for SMEs with cross-border business needs – HSBC GBA WeChat Mini Programme– and the GBA+ Technology Fund to provide financial liquidity for the region’s high-growth technology sector.