Hong Kong has strong ambitions to strengthen its position in the fintech industry. Various financial incentives will be officialized soon to attract new talent. However, a growing skills shortage in the country looms, and it is essential to nip that in the bud quickly.
New Incentives For Hong Kong Fintechs
It is commendable to see the HK government acknowledge the country falls behind on the fintech front. Moreover, introducing new financial incentives to rectify that issue is a smart decision. In its current shape, Hong Kong is an “uncompetitive” financial hub, primarily thanks to changes affecting immigration and the ongoing quarantine measures due to COVID-19. Moreover, while the pandemic affects the whole world, it seems to cause concerns in Hong Kong and adjacent regions continually.
Making matters worse is the growing talent gap affecting established fintech players in the region. Almost two in three firms have a skill shortage or expect one to materialize soon. Changing that narrative is not easy, but there are ways to circumvent the problem. In addition, fintechs would love to see the government be more supportive in its policies.
It remains unclear if any policy changes occur. However, the HK government will introduce various financial incentives to address the fintech skills shortage. Up to $1.3 million in cash subsidies will be granted to fintech proofs-of-concept. Furthermore, the government will lessen the immigration restrictions for qualified individuals capable of giving the country a much-needed boost.
These measures paint an exciting outlook for Hong Kong in the fintech sector. The region still has much to offer as a financial hub, even if the past few years haven’t been too kind to the country. Taking action is crucial, as losing the competitive edge in fintech can be a death blow. Recovering from such a setback will take years, if not decades, and such a scenario is best avoided.