This aerial photo shows the central business district of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, on March 19, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

A survey released by CPA Australia on Thursday showed that two-thirds of accounting and finance professionals and top policymakers who responded expect corporate investment in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to surge in the next five years.

The respondents said increasing market demand and various Connect programs that facilitate cross-border capital flow and a financial opening-up will spur investments.

Another 35 percent of the respondents in the survey said they believe continuing to improve the openness of capital flow is essential to the city cluster’s financial-services sector

Another 35 percent of the respondents in the survey said they believe continuing to improve the openness of capital flow is essential to the city cluster’s financial-services sector.

The survey result was based on the quantitative and qualitative research based on the polling of 483 accounting and finance professionals, and commentaries from 17 policymakers, regulators and business leaders, including Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Securities and Futures Commission Chairman Lui Tim-leung, Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive Eddie Yue Wai-man, and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Aguzin.

ALSO READ: Officials hail HK's role in driving Greater Bay Area growth

Wilson Pang, divisional councilor in Greater China and deputy chair of the Greater Bay Area Committee at CPA Australia, said capital inflows and outflows depend on the factor combination of policy support, business opportunities and a perfect ecosystem.

“With increasing industry diversification seeking business transformation in the Greater Bay Area, corporates’demand for capital to finance sustainable development will increase in the future,” Pang said. “Improvement of capital flow connectivity and convenient cross-border usage of the renminbi are essential, leading to the integration of industry and financing, which will have a positive spillover effect.”

Eden Wong, president of the 2022 Greater China Divisional Council and chair of the Financial Services Committee at CPA Australia, said financial regulators should mull relaxing eligibility criteria for cross-border cash pooling so that corporations can have more flexibility in capital deployment.

ALSO READ: GBA's economy a magnet for Indonesian firms

The professional accounting body also recommended financial regulators consider building an interconnected payment and clearing system or allow the Faster Payment System for cross-border payments, as well as further loosening foreign exchange controls within the Greater Bay Area and expanding product variety under the Wealth Management Connect to facilitate cross-border capital flows.

CPA Australia also suggested financial regulators consider establishing a unified carbon trading market in the Greater Bay Area to serve domestic and international investors, and launching pilot programs for foreign-currency carbon trading in the city-cluster area.

Regarding technology and talent, the professional accounting body expects expediting the release of detailed policies on cross-border data sharing in the city-cluster area, and further expanding the scope of mutual recognition of professional qualifications between Hong Kong, Macao and the other nine cities in the Greater Bay Area.

READ MORE: GBA can play pivotal role in advancing national innovation