Paul Chan Mo-po (left), Hong Kong financial secretary, and Clement Chan Kam-wing (right), chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Registered Public Interest Entity Auditors, witness the signing of a collaboration agreement between professional bodies within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sept 8, 2021. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Professional accounting groups from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao have signed a strategic agreement to propel the industry and take development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to new heights.
The accord was signed on Wednesday by the Guangdong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Hong Kong Association of Registered Public Interest Entity Auditors and the Union Associations of Professional Accountants of Macau, as well as 150 registered accountancy firms in Guangdong province and the two special administrative regions.
Government officials and representatives of the accounting sector from the three regions attended the ceremony, held simultaneously in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao via webcast.
“The agreement provides a new exchange and cooperation platform for practitioners in the accounting industry. We hope the accounting industry in the three regions can leverage this platform to the fullest to achieve the highest synergy effect,” said Lin Keging, executive deputy governor of Guangdong province.
“Such collaboration will link up the niches of a developed professional service sector in Hong Kong and Macao, along with Guangdong’s vast market potential, to provide high-quality professional services for the economic development of the Greater Bay Area,” he said.
Lin said the pact should foster deeper cooperation among accountants in information sharing, convenient cooperation, talent exchange, business development and technology collaboration. It’ll also be a win-win for the industry and help to integrate the Greater Bay Area’s development with national development goals, he said.
The agreement followed a new development blueprint issued on Monday by the central authorities to expand the scope of a cooperation zone for Shenzhen and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, two core growth engines within the Greater Bay Area. Under the plan, the Qianhai service industry zone, in western Shenzhen, will occupy an area of over 120 square kilometers, almost tenfold the original size.
Hong Kong’s integration into the national development has been a refrain in government documents. As the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) pledged support for Hong Kong’s effort to upgrade its services sector by providing high-end and high-value-added services, Hong Kong has been urged to step up cooperation with other cities in the Greater Bay Area, to make the most of the region’s innovative synergy and huge market.
The central government unveiled the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area in 2019, vying to transform it into a modern metropolis in finance, manufacturing and transportation, as well as technology and innovation.
The 11-city cluster region, which comprises nine cities in Guangdong and the two SARs, has a total population of 71.2 million with a combined GDP of $1.7 trillion in 2020, accounting for 12 percent of the nation’s GDP.
“Accounting practitioners and organizations in the Greater Bay Area should enhance exchanges and cooperation to accelerate the industry’s development. They should also explore cooperation and mutual assistance with their international peers to create new functions for the Greater Bay Area’s development,” Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.
Macao’s Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai-nong said: “This agreement can help mainland enterprises go out and attract overseas companies to the mainland market.”