2024 kicked off with my annual mission to the Asian Financial Forum in January and, in addition to leading a 3 day program for AFF delegates, I spent a full two weeks in Hong Kong catching up with local investors, business partners and friends who provided some unique on-the-ground perspectives. I also spent an interesting day in Shenzhen as part of an HKTDC visit which included a review of Ping An’s OneConnect technology platform, a high level view of the new Hetao Cooperation Zone on the banks of the Shenzhen river, and a drive around downtown Shenzhen in a driverless car.  

Knowing that many of my readers and followers haven’t been to Hong Kong and China since pre-Covid, here are a few observations:

  • Hong Kong is fighting back hard to arrest the movement of people, business and wealth to Singapore by allocating capital (sovereign wealth funds, investment match programs and incentive schemes) towards positioning Hong Kong as a new ‘tech hub’ as much as a financial services centre. This is already attracting the interest of entrepreneurs in developed countries who need access to early stage capital and larger markets to commercialise and scale their businesses into Asia. Whilst my flight from Sydney to Hong Kong was only one-third full, daily flights from Dubai, Doha and Delhi are jam packed!


  • Shenzhen is booming. It’s almost a different market to the rest of China. Investors should look for opportunities to invest in the companies who make up the supply chains of some of Shenzhen’s fast growing tech companies (BYD, Tencent, Huawei etc.) who will become the household names of the future (e.g. Huana Neo, Huile Tech, and Beite Tech) and access them via Hong Kong (Stock Connect, Wealth Connect etc.)


  • The growth and development of the ‘Greater Bay Area’ of China, a small area (equivalent to the size of the island of Tasmania) comprising the 9 cities of Guangdong Province plus Hong Kong and Macau, is a signature policy of China’s Government and a major opportunity for Hong Kong to be positioned in its traditional role as ‘the gateway’ to a market of over 86 million people. You will hear a lot more about this, if you haven’t already.

It’s too early to write off Hong Kong as ‘just another Chinese city’ (as seems to be a popular line in the media) and it’s time to go back and have a look for yourself. Come with me if you like?

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