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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | editor, Hong Kong

SHINEWING (HK) CPA Limited's Andy Wong talks about Hong Kong as a financial hub

Andy believes that Hong Kong will serve as a gateway for businesses to tap into the global capital market.

Andy Wong, IPO leader and PRC-HK Business Coordination Partner of SHINEWING (HK) CPA Limited, has 28 years of experience in assurance and business advisory services both in Mainland China, Hong Kong and internationally.

He leads various projects in restructuring, business merger and acquisition, financial due diligence as well as audits and IPOs of listed companies in a wide range of industries. In recent years, Andy had successfully assisted many Mainland China and HK enterprises successfully listed on the HKEX.

In an interview, Hong Kong Business Review chatted with Andy who will join the panel of judges at this year’s Hong Kong Business Awards webinar, as he shared his insights on what homegrown businesses can learn from the crisis, the tension of Sino-US relationship, and where Hong Kong fares in all this uncertainty.

Which particular markets or sectors are your main focus? Can you share with us your work experience or any backstory that has contributed to your professional career?

Over my 28 years of professional services, I focus on initial public offering services, professional accounting/audit services, assurance and business advisory services, financial due diligence and corporate restructuring services.

Benefited from Hong Kong’s unique position as a global business hub and the accelerated opening-up of China's capital market, professionals including myself have been provided with ample opportunities to interact with Chinese companies. Working in ShineWing, one of the top 20 global networks originated from China, for 12 years together with my full-time experience of being stationed in Beijing for more than 2 years, I have accumulated considerable knowledge and experience in serving a diverse range of clients with different cultures from Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas.

What can SMEs and other homegrown businesses learn from the crisis? For those who have been badly hit, what do they need to consider to become more profitable and sustainable in the future?

The global pandemic COVID-19 brings a strong blow to the economy and creates enormous challenges for businesses. SMEs may suffer from a hard hit by financial losses, sales volume decrease, liquidity problems, etc.

To recover and survive from the crisis, SMEs may evaluate their own business strengths and plan better crisis management strategies. SMEs should also formulate a comprehensive, flexible strategic plan and take timely actions in various situations, to build resilience against the crisis. Robustness and flexibility are the key elements in tackling the challenges.

SMEs may find a new way to get capital. The crisis can be a catalyst for SME to shift from traditional financial solutions to digital and innovative solutions in addressing their financial needs, including managing cash flow. SMEs should also have the flexibility to upgrade their digital infrastructure and remote working tools so as to embrace new challenges and mitigate risks from continuous disruption to their businesses.

What’s your take on international companies moving their operations out of the Mainland? Where are the opportunities and how does Hong Kong fare in all these?

Some manufacturers relocate their production lines to Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Vietnam and the like, due to lower production cost and the avoidance of impacts from China’s regulations as well as the tension of Sino-US relationship.

However, China has been putting a great deal of effort into developing higher valued goods and services with a huge investment in technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain.

Against this background, Hong Kong, as a start-up hub for technology firms, has benefited from the accelerated growth of the Biotechnology, AI and fintech sectors in China, including more new economy and biotech companies seeking to list in Hong Kong. Coupled with the fact that the HKSAR Government aims at building a vibrant ecosystem with excellent software and hardware support for industry players to collaborate on research, development and innovation, these favorable factors enable Hong Kong to continue to serve as an important gateway for mainland businesses to tap into the global capital market.

HKMA and others recently implemented the Wealth Management Connect in the Greater Bay Area. What roles does this play in Hong Kong’s position as a financial and innovation hub and how does Hong Kong fare in all these?

Being the most open and international city in the Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong plays an essential role in facilitating and supporting the economic development of the region.

The Wealth Management Connect scheme could create new business opportunities for the financial industry, and provide more investment options of wealth management products for residents in the Greater Bay Area by accelerating RMB internationalisation and strengthening Hong Kong’s position as a global offshore RMB hub. Meanwhile, Wealth Management Connect provides more incentives for international financial institutions to have a foothold and invest more resources in Hong Kong so as to serve the large investor base in bay area cities, which will in turn strengthen Hong Kong's role as the international asset and management centre and important gateway for capital flowing into and out of the Mainland. Of course, these opportunities shall be affected by the Sino-US relationship in the long run.

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