With projects such as the Zero-carbon Building in Kowloon Bay (main picture), Hong Kong is rapidly taking a more sustainable route – and Mainland China provides much of the hardware for the renewable energy revolution.
The COVID‑19 pandemic resulted in huge disruptions to the global supply chain, leading many businesses – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of the world economy – to recalibrate their strategies and shift to a more sustainable approach.
As the centre of gravity for global finance shifts towards Asia-Pacific (APAC), cities in the APAC region in general and China in particular are performing strongly as financial hubs.
The rollout of the giant Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a new trade grouping that stretches from Japan on the fringes of the Arctic to New Zealand on the edge of the Antarctic, is driving optimism on long-term business prospects among enterprises in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Banks in Hong Kong are optimistic on their financial performance in 2022 with higher interest rates likely to improve margins, global business consultancy KPMG said in its latest report. Non-interest revenue should also increase as initiatives such as the Cross-Boundary Wealth Management Connect scheme offer new growth opportunities. Paul McSheaffrey, Partner, Financial Services for KPMG China, extracts the key trends, opportunities and challenges identified in the KPMG Hong Kong Banking Outlook 2022 report.
As fintech transforms traditional banking, with all financial institutions becoming fintechs and the metaverse becoming a venue for a parallel banking system, the industry’s talent transformation will need to go beyond swapping pinstripe suits for denim.
The fast-growing and densely populated Asian region is home to half the world’s population and the source of 50% of greenhouse gas emissions, making centrally located Hong Kong a natural base for efforts to counter global warming.
Going green evokes images of shutting smokestack power stations, switching to electric motor fleets or putting solar panels on factory roofs. Bankers, insurers and fund managers do not usually spring to mind.
Innovation and technology is taking the world into a new era, opening up fresh opportunities in the upcoming economic powerhouse: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). For companies setting their sights on this vibrant region, a range of support is at hand in Hong Kong. Among them is global banking giant HSBC’s US$1.13 billion “GBA+ Technology Fund”, and US$700 million “GBA+ Healthcare Fund”, which provide flexible financing support for new-economy companies in the region.
When asking what comes next, it is always a good idea to look at what came before. This year’s Asian Financial Forum (AFF) began on Monday, 10 January under the theme “Navigating the Next Normal Towards a Sustainable Future” and began with a plenary session where business leaders from across the world laid out their vision.
Start-ups come in all shapes and sizes and operate across every conceivable industry, and so have a plethora of needs to take themselves forward. Surveys conducted among entrepreneurs show they do indeed have some common needs, including streamlined financing and business management consulting services.
Staff shortages have gripped the developed world as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with reports of fruit and vegetables rotting in fields in the United Kingdom for want of pickers, and restaurants shuttered in the United States as cooks and waiters are thin on the ground.