Kera Kong, Strategic Planner, RMB Business Division, Economics & Strategic Planning Department, Bank of China (Hong Kong), spoke at the China Committee meeting on 10 September about the development and prospect of digital RMB.
A thriving financial services industry is key to the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and progress in this sector can also foster the growth of other industries. At a seminar entitled “GBA Industry Focus Series: Financial Services Development and Opportunities” on 9 September, a panel of experts -- Chris Chan, Mainland China and Hong Kong Financial Services Deals leader at PwC Hong Kong; Anson Law, Market Outreach Division, External Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Bo Zhang, Deputy Director of South China, Financial & Professional Services, Department for International Trade, British Consulate-General Guangzhou; Michael Cheng, Managing Director, Global Coverage, BOCI Asia Ltd; and Christophe Lee, Founder & CEO, Lotus Asset Management Ltd – discussed the development and opportunities for the financial services industry in the GBA, as well as the prospects for Hong Kong in retaining its role as a regional financial hub, and Hong Kong’s role within the GBA more generally.
The speakers said that financial industry could support companies from a wide variety of sectors to expand their businesses in the GBA, and contribute to the growing integration among the GBA cities.
Liang Haiming, President of the Belt and Road Research Institute at Hainan University, accompanied by Professor Witman Hung, visited the Chamber on 30 August to meet with Petrina Tam, Convenor of the Chamber’s GBA Working Group, Wendy Hong, a member of the Working Group, and HKGCC’s Senior Economist Wilson Chong.
During the meeting, the participants discussed the development of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Border Economic Belt. Professor Hung introduced the concept of this “belt,” which is a platform that aims to deepen cross-border cooperation in a wide range of areas, including technology and innovation, high-end manufacturing, cultural exchanges, tourism consumption, medical care and education. Tam and Hong remarked that the main challenges would be free flow of data and people across the border. However, the platform has the potential to benefit Hong Kong businesses, especially if these hurdles were removed.
Cross-border income tax issues have become more complex in recent years due to changes in Individual Income Tax laws in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. These undeniably affect expats working in the Mainland.
At a Chamber seminar on 3 August, experts from KPMG China -- Isabel Liu, Tax Director, People Services; Anlio Shi, Tax Director, Greater Bay Area Tax Practice; and Christina Cheung, Tax Manager, People Services -- discussed the latest policy changes as well as related opportunities for expats working in Mainland China.
The speakers also recommended that businesses should obtain a benefit offered by municipal governments of certain GBA cities, called the “Overseas High-Level Talent and Financial Subsidy of Individual Income Tax for Overseas High-end Talent and Talent in Short Supply.”
The GoGBA One-Stop Platform from HKTDC is a new business support programme to help Hong Kong companies access the Greater Bay Area. It includes digital information, business tools, advisory services and training as well as access to promotional and networking activities.
HKTDC’s Deputy Executive Director Patrick Lau visited the Chamber on 29 July along with his colleagues Yvonne So, Director, Corporate Communications and Marketing, and Godfrey Chan Digital Marketing Manager (Corporate). They introduced the GoGBA One-Stop Platform as well as its WeChat mini programme to the Chamber’s China Committee Chairman Eric Fok, GBA Working Group Convenor Petrina Tam and General Committee Deputy Chairman Leland Sun.
The Chamber representatives shared their thoughts on the platform and both sides discussed ways to help the Hong Kong business community access the opportunities in the GBA.
The latest industrial upgrading in Foshan and Huizhou shows how the Greater Bay Area initiative is helping each of the 11 GBA cities to focus on and develop their particular strengths.
At a Chamber seminar on 22 July, Cynthia Lam, Director, China Tax and Business Advisory at PwC China, introduced the latest developments in Foshan and Huizhou. Roger Yeung, Vice President of Sales, BIEL Crystal Manufactory; Benny Wong, Chairman and Executive Director, Nameson Holdings; and Victor Lam, General Manager, Forward Winsome Industries, joined the panel discussion to share their insights on the business opportunities as well as their experiences operating in the GBA.
The speakers said that upgrading businesses to adapt to market changes was essential to success. They also advised members to consider the needs, land supply, transportation and preferential policies of each city when deciding where to expand into the GBA.
David Chung, Undersecretary for Innovation and Technology, updated members about the progress of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Loop at the GBA Working Group Meeting on 16 July. The election of GBA Working Group leadership also took place at the meeting. Petrina Tam was elected group convenor, taking over from PC Yu, who retired from the convenor after serving the group for three years.
We had an excellent discussion with Dr Kai-Fu Lee, author of the best-selling “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order,” at the Chamber on 15 July. He updated members on how artificial intelligence will continue to change the world, now that its ability to understand language has improved beyond human capabilities and as the volume of data available continues to grow. His predictions include much faster drug discovery, which will greatly reduce healthcare costs; global energy needs being met by solar and battery manufacturing; and the ongoing development of autonomous cars to a point where human drivers could be banned from highways.
Development of the Greater Bay Area’s western cities has a heavy emphasis on technology-intensive manufacturing, and their combined industrial value-added currently accounts for one-third of that of the entire GBA.
At a Chamber webinar on 22 June, Catherine Tsang, Partner, China Tax and Business Advisory Services, PwC China, introduced the latest trends in the western GBA. William Ling, Senior Vice President, Goldpac Group; Ivan Wong, Executive Director, Kum Shing Holdings; and Milford Choi, VP-Business Development Hongrita Plastics; also joined the panel to share their insights on the business opportunities as well as the local policies to support investment in each of the cities.
Peony Leung, Principal Trade Officer, and her colleague Jacqueline Chan, Trade Officer, from the Trade and Industry Department spoke at the China Committee Meeting on 17 June about the Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services, which was implemented in June 2020. At the same meeting, Norman Tam, Vice President from Tencent Cloud International, shared his insights into the latest developments in social media, online advertising, digital payments and online entertainment.
The election of China Committee leadership also took place at the meeting. Eric Fok was elected Chairman for the coming year, taking over from Petrina Tam, who retired from the chairmanship after serving for three years. SH Chan, Edmond Yew, and Felix Lee were re-elected Vice Chairmen of the China Committee.