Over 90 per cent of GBA enterprises intended to increase or maintain their ESG investments in the next two years, according to the results of the survey. Some 30 per cent of respondents were planning an increase while 64 per cent expected to maintain investments at their current levels.
The online survey by the HKTDC and UOB, a Singaporean bank, was conducted in July and August this year on 300 enterprises across the manufacturing and service industries based in the 11 bay area cities. This included 150 respondents from the nine mainland cities, 120 from Hong Kong and 30 from Macau. In-depth interviews were also conducted with professionals in the GBA across different sectors.
In Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s 2023 policy address on Wednesday, he outlined measures to deepen financial cooperation in the GBA, part of efforts to reinforce the city’s competitiveness as a financial centre.
These included establishing the Shenzhen-Hong Kong financial cooperation committee with the Shenzhen authorities in the first half of 2024. The committee would advise and offer suggestions to bolster mutual access to the financial markets, cooperation on financial technologies and green finance, as well as the exchange of financial talent, according to the policy address.
Measures such as these would definitely help to drive investments relating to ESG in the Greater Bay Area, said HKTDC’s Fan.
Almost all of the surveyed GBA enterprises (99.7 per cent) planned to incorporate or increase the level of ESG elements in their operations over the next two years. Some 84 per cent said they would pay more attention to the sustainable development of their production processes and management procedures as a priority, while 78 per cent said they would have their sustainable products or services certified.
Among firms that had adopted green practices, 98 per cent reported a positive impact on their businesses. Enhanced reputation and prestige of the company, as well as improved efficiency and cost reductions, were the top benefits for 75 per cent of them.
Around 70 per cent of respondents said they would consider using more green products and services provided by Hong Kong in the next two years.
“Hong Kong, with its complete financial ecosystem and capital raising experience, can provide green financial services and investment opportunities for firms in the Greater Bay Area, to help the GBA become a green financial centre,” said Brian Lam, chief financial officer and chief sustainability officer of UOB Hong Kong at the media briefing.