As published on insurancebusinessmag.com, Tuesday 7 December, 2021.
International financial centre Hong Kong will play an important role in the building of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), according to Jessica Tan, co-CEO of Ping An Insurance Group.
Speaking at the Hong Kong Fintech Week last month, Tan said that the GBA, which integrates Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao into a global economic hub, will realize its full potential by overcoming three key challenges – multiple regulatory jurisdictions, supporting SMEs who drive cross-border trade, and enabling the flow of skills and talent.
“The GBA is a huge and exciting area,” Tan said. “I really hope we can take advantage of this, particularly Hong Kong as an international financial centre.”
The three jurisdictions of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have multiple government departments, each with their own standards and procedures, Tan said. Technologies such as blockchain can be used to create interoperable standards, enabling data to be shared across different systems for transactions in areas such as supply chain, trade finance and healthcare.
With more than half of the trade within the GBA coming from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), financial institutions can help SMEs by streamlining their processes to provide better and faster access to credit.
“In reality, a lot of the economic activity is not just done by big multinationals, but SMEs,” Tan said. “SMEs are not yet equipped with the ability to operate across the region seamlessly. They need help to lower the cost of doing business. This is where financial services can play a part.”
Lastly, the GBA needs cross-border flow of skills through individuals and small fintech companies to thrive, Tan said.
According to Tan, Ping An will launch an internship program allowing young financial services and technology professionals to experience working cross-border. The group also launched a fintech incubator accelerator, known as OneConnect Gamma O platform, to give fintech startups access to the latest technologies and provide opportunities to produce their own innovative solutions for financial institutions.