HK Biz Leaders Bullish on Sharing Economy

Hong Kong finance executives are embracing the sharing economy with 62% saying it will be good for Hong Kong’s competitiveness.

The American Express Global Business and Spending Outlook survey showed that 83% believe that the “sharing economy” will greatly impact their industries within the next five years, while 77% said that their firms would “likely” develop offerings based on sharing economy innovations during the next five years.

The positive mindset toward a sharing economy is especially telling when other surveys showed that Hong Kong fared poorly in this regard.

The University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme in August 2017, commissioned by the Sharing Economy Alliance, showed that Hong Kong scored an average of only 1.9 points. Singapore and Seoul scored the highest in the category for developing innovation and technology (3.8 points out of 5),

"Our findings suggest that we need support and leverage the industry groups created to drive innovation and ensure that Hong Kong maintains its competitive edge because they are the incubators for potential partners as companies seek to digitize and modernize operations. It's also equally important that we embrace government policies that support these investments," Stephen Pendergast, Vice President & General Manager - Global Commercial Services, Hong Kong & Taiwan at American Express said in a press release.

Seventy-three percent regarded technology was the top source of conflicts and disagreement among age groups within the workforce, followed by communication style (63%), work-life balance (50%), work ethic (43%), and willingness to collaborate and work as a team (33%).

“Companies are embracing technology at the strategic level, but more work is needed to ensure that it is adopted and embraced throughout the company,” Mr. Pendergast said.

“First, managers need to be ambassadors and clearly communicate how the new technology will better meet customer needs and make their lives easier. Second, internal communications need to be more fun and engaging, and continue beyond the launch of the new technology so that employees can ask questions, share success stories, and feel supported throughout the time,” he added.

Overall, the respondents felt the economy is moving in the right direction, with 93% expecting substantial or modest economic expansion in Hong Kong, compared to 85% globally.

However, 87% are concerned that an unanticipated event related to economic, political, social, or environmental issues could negatively impact their firm.