The Greater Bay Area: a potential multi-city financial center
To be a multi-city financial center may be the trend for the future development in the Area. In this case, the time-honored cooperative model— “having the stores out front and factories behind”— in the manufacturing industry may be replicated in the financial industry.
In the manufacturing industry, “the stores out front” refer to Hong Kong and Macao, “the factories behind” refer to the Pearl River Delta. Products made in the Delta are sold worldwide through Hong Kong and Macao.
Similarly, in the financial sector, “the stores in front” now refer to foreign-funded or Hong Kong-funded financial institutions in Hong Kong, and “the factories behind” still referring m to the Pearl River Delta. However, “the stores in front” are now providing international financial products and services for “the factories behind”.
The model meets the expectations of the financial sector as it introduces financial services from Hong Kong into Mainland China, benefiting the economy on the Mainland and expanding the market for financial institutions in Hong Kong.
Qiao Lei, CFO of the Bank of China (New York), hailed the plan of developing the Area as “a forward-looking idea”.
“With Hong Kong’s edge in the financial industry, we can give scope to the potential of the Greater Bay Area and develop the Area into an international financial center.” commented Mr. Qiao.
Wang Baolian, assistant professor from the Gabelli School of Business in Fordham University, pointed out that Guangzhou and Shenzhen could duplicate the advantages and learn from Hong Kong’s experience in the integration process of the financial market.
Besides, Professor Wang also comments that policy support is in urgent need. “The biggest problem lies in how to integrate the flows of capital, human resources and logistics between Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland, China,” says Professor Wang, “it goes way beyond the Greater Bay Area alone when it comes to combining the advantages of the three regions and realizing a comprehensive opening-up to the outside world.”