China’s Greater Bay Area- which includes areas like Guangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen and Hong Kong – would be the world’s 12th largest economy if taken as a single bloc, comprising of 11 cities with a combined population of 72 million and an economy worth about US$1.7 trillion. This will provide plenty of opportunities for Hong Kong.
At the time of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997, it accounted for nearly 20 percent of China’s GDP, but due to China’s rise since then, this has shrunk to 3 percent today. Despite that smaller slice of the pie, China’s growth is now creating opportunities for them rather than reducing them.
A clear advantage for Hong Kong firms and professionals will be in financial services. This sector has been gradually developing over the past few years, allowing offshore money to tap into China’s growing economy. More recent regulations on wealth management services now provide significant opportunities for both local, Chinese and foreign companies in Hong Kong looking to access the US$3 trillion of privately held financial assets in mainland China (of which over US$1 trillion is in the Greater Bay Area alone). This in turn will provide access to new investment and insurance products, green finance, and other innovative financial services and products.
Apart from wealth management, there are plenty of opportunities for life insurance, funds, securities and asset management while insurance will follow on the successes of the other services mentioned. B2B and B2C financial sector products, green finance, family offices, block-chain, and fintech are all creating new incentives to be in Hong Kong and the region.