ADF 15th Anniversary Conference successfully concludes

Media OutReach Newswire – 6 July 2024 –
Accounting Development Foundation 15th Anniversary Conference was successfully held on 29 June 2024 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 434 attendees marking a landmark event in the Accounting industry. The event themed “Navigating Tomorrow: Strategic Pathways for Hong Kong’s Future Evolution”, brought together an impressive array of experts from various industries, professions and high achievers for a day of knowledge-sharing and to discuss critical aspects of Hong Kong’s trajectory. The conference was inaugurated by The Honourable Paul Chan Mo-po, GBM, GBS, MH, JP, The Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government and founding Chairman of ADF, who delivered a keynote speech. He highlighted the development opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI), noting the role of government in guiding capital and leveraging market resources to create favorable conditions for AI applications across vertical and cross-industry sectors, thereby fostering a vibrant ecosystem. He emphasized that accountants’ core functions and values, including professional judgment and ethical conduct, are irreplaceable by AI and rely on human experience, wisdom, conscience, and interpersonal communication.

The Unstoppable Rise of AI Development and Hong Kong’s Unique Opportunities

Mr. Chan remarked, “Over the past two years, large language models have developed rapidly, and generative AI applications have surged explosively, transforming numerous industries. AI development and application worldwide are unstoppable forces. Every technological revolution brings initial pains but ultimately results in productivity gains and quality of life improvements.” He asserted that AI development presents opportunities for Hong Kong, given its diverse economic structure and rich industries, enhancing socio-economic resilience against external factors and different economic cycles.

Mr. Chan identified four unique advantages for AI development in Hong Kong. Firstly, Hong Kong has strong research capabilities and is home to top universities, scientific research institutions and talents. Secondly, The safe and orderly flow of mainland data to Hong Kong will allow Hong Kong to bring together mainland and international data and attract cutting-edge AI companies to settle there. Thirdly, The AI ​​technology applications provided by Hong Kong can support “cross-regional” scenarios, including scenarios in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and even the entire mainland, as well as international applications. Lastly, Hong Kong has a complete capital chain, from seed funds to support start-ups, to venture capital and the stock market.

Honoured guests at the conference included Mr. Wang Songmiao, Secretary-General of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, Mr. Li Xuhong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Administration and Finance of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR and Prof. Lam Chi Yuen Nelson, JP, Director of Audit of the Government of the HKSAR. They engaged in insightful exchanges with members of the Accounting Development Foundation’s board of directors and other guests.

The keynote session “Navigating Tomorrow: Strategic pathways for Hong Kong’s Future Evolution” featured three eminent speakers: Mrs. Betty Yuen, JP, Chairman of CLP Power Hong Kong Limited and former Chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Janey Lai, CEO and Executive Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting Council and Dr. William Yu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation. As an important business hub in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong should increase cooperation with the mainland, the Middle East and other emerging markets to make Hong Kong a center for innovation and technology and drive the development of upstream, midstream and downstream industries. The green economy and climate change trends cannot be ignored and have become the focus of attention around the world. Companies will add sustainable ESG-related content to promote green finance, which requires the industry to work together to respond.

The first panel session featured a Legislative Councillor from the accounting functional constituency Hon. Wong Chun Sek, Edmund, and Dr. Jacinto Tong, Vice Chairman and CEO of Gale Well Group Limited discussing several hot topics. Councillor Wong expressed support from the government to build Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology centre. For qualifying companies enjoying a special reduced tax rate will not reduce the government’s tax revenue, but will rather promote and increase Hong Kong’s overall revenue sources. Dr. Tong pointed out that the current property market policy issue is a hot move, the transactions remained low after the Special Stamp Duty was withdrawn, followed by high interest rates and banks’ strict attitude towards property owners who are holding more than one unit.

The second panel discussion session featured insights from Mr. Parco Wu, Founder of PW CPA & Co. and Council Member of HKICPA & Immediate Past President of SCAA, Ms. Yan Yeung, Partner of PwC Tax Services and HKICPA Council Member, Prof. Calvin Tse, Founder of Sinno International CPA Limited and HKICPA Council Member and Mr. Frank Lam, the Director of Assurance Services and Leader of the Family Office of BDO Limited and HKICPA Council Member. In recent years, the trend of Hong Kong enterprises going north has been booming. The government is committed to helping and supporting Hong Kong small and medium-sized enterprises to develop in the mainland. Hong Kong people have increasingly adapted to the mainland’s life, food and culture. However, it is not easy for the accounting industry to start a business in the country. The speaker suggested Accountants may consider opening an accounting firm in Hong Kong and then setting up a branch in the Mainland. This would be more preferable.

Embrace and make good use of artificial intelligence to enhance and cultivate new industries.

The conference discussed from many aspects the future development direction of Hong Kong accounting for the overall society. AI is developing rapidly. Proper use of AI can reduce human errors, organize and analyze massive data, help practitioners conduct more accurate analysis, identify problematic financial statements, and Documentation, managing relative risks. In addition to improving its own advantageous industries, Hong Kong also needs to cultivate new industries to enhance the momentum of Hong Kong’s economic development, including the innovation and technology industry, life and health technology industry, financial technology industry and new energy industry. The accounting profession needs to increase their understanding and mastery of artificial intelligence, embrace and make good use of artificial intelligence, and improve “AI Literacy” and “AI Preparedness” just like they did when they first welcomed the computerization era.

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