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HKICPA welcomes the Government’s commitment in the Policy Address to reinforcing Hong Kong’s international financial centre status

25 October 2023

(Hong Kong, 25 October 2023) The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“the Institute”) welcomes the initiatives outlined in the Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address to foster the development of green finance, the competiveness of the stock market and talent integration with Greater Bay Area (GBA) with the aim of strengthening Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre. 


The President of the Institute, Loretta Fong welcomes the initiatives set out in the Policy Address. “Maintaining a well-developed financial market and business environment that shows breadth and depth is the key to success for Hong Kong’s economic development. The Institute welcomes the initiatives in the Policy Address to promote the further development of green finance, efforts to improve the liquidity of the stock market and help develop Hong Kong’s role as a regional intellectual property (IP) trading centre, as well as encouraging talent integration across GBA, among others. The Institute will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders to strengthen the development of professional services in the accounting sector, which will ultimately strengthen Hong Kong’s status as an international finance centre and location for investment,” says Fong.


Under the backdrop of increasing attention towards environment, social and governance (ESG) development in the international landscape, the Institute welcomes the Policy Address’ initiatives to promote the development of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong.


The Institute believes early-stage funding support for pre-commercialized green finance technologies can catalyze market innovation and help to foster a more extensive innovation and technology ecosystem. At a broader level, this initiative, together with a number of measures in the Policy Address in support of Hong Kong’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, sends a strong message to the international community that Hong Kong is committed to sustainability stewardship. This will enhance the city’s reputation and contribute to its overall attractiveness.


The Institute will continue its close collaborations with financial regulatory bodies to gradually develop a set of sustainability standards that suit the Hong Kong’s business landscape and solidify the Institute’s role as the sustainability standard setter of Hong Kong. Having identified ESG-related knowledge as one of the key upskill areas for members, the Institute has stepped up its efforts in providing relevant training to keep its members abreast of the latest developments in the area.


The Chief Executive’s announcement to reduce stamp duty on stock transfers indicates that the government has listened to calls to take steps that could help reduce friction in the market and improve market liquidity. The Institute believes that, in a sluggish market environment, measures to improve Hong Kong’s competitiveness will be welcomed and could help increase the overall trading volumes.


The proposed “patent box” tax incentive accords with recommendations made by the Institute to encourage the use and development of IP in Hong Kong and improve Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness in this area. This, together with other IP-related initiatives, will also support the objective of increasing research and development activities conducted in Hong Kong.     


Efforts to deepen financial co-operation in the GBA are also welcomed. The institute believes providing expanded market access for Hong Kong-based financial institutions will further strengthen and diversify the city’s financial markets. Undertakings to promote regional exchange and co-operation in talent attraction will also help ease current pressures of talent shortages.


In terms of the accounting industry development, there are only around 300,000 CICPA members supporting a huge economy and a population 1.4 billion in the Mainland, while there are over 47,000 HKICPA members in Hong Kong. The Institute has actively engaged government authorities in the GBA in advocating for the profession, such as increasing the opportunities for Hong Kong accountants to practise in GBA cities and asking for policies at Guangdong provincial level to recognize Hong Kong CPAs as “high-end talent”.


In the future, the Institute will continue to nurture and develop the accounting profession in Hong Kong, advocate for the profession on key issues, and facilitate the profession to make long-term contributions to Hong Kong’s and the Mainland’s economic development.



歡迎政府施政報告採取措施 鞏固香港金融中心