主持︰Talking about attracting talents, how would you say that, what is the future for accounting in HK as a profession? Will you say it's a good profession for young people to start with?
嘉賓︰The accounting profession is always a good training ground for young people , because at a very young age of your career, you're exposed to many different companies, and then you'll be exposed to senior executive, auditing and whatever. So it's just very good exposure.
But on the other hand, the income will not be as attractive as before, and also the expansion actually is in the minimum. So I think in attracting more talents to come into the accounting profession. We have to look at a much bigger area, the Greater Bay Area in the Mainland. And I give an example, back in 2000, 20 years ago, all the Big Four accounting firms in HK would have 1,000 to 2,000 people. In the Mainland, about the same, Now, all these Big Four, the number of staff they have in the Mainland is probably 5 to 10 times of HK. So where's the growth coming from? It's in the Mainland
And I can give you an example, that was when I was young, and I asked one of my younger partners. So you'll go to Beijing and he negotiated with me. He said oh, can I go every Monday and come back Friday? I said no. He said I paid for myself, I said no. "So I go Sunday night. I come back Saturday?" I said no. I said I want you to integrate into the community, and I think it's really good potential for you, a good training ground for you. So we negotiated. I wanted him to go for five years. At the end I settled for three years, so reluctantly he went. He doesn't want to come back anymore. Whenever I go to Beijing, he said Mr. Wu, I'm glad I listened to you, the world is much bigger here.
And I think what we need to do is to let the younger people see what opportunities are available in the Mainland. Plenty and not just Greater Bay Area, Beijing, Chengdu, whatever, plenty. And if I look at a lot of these opportunities in the Mainland, it's like the early 70s in HK, plenty of opportunities. So it's really hard to urge the young people that we have a very big economy behind us. And as I said China is the second largest economy in the world. We are right at the doorstep, if we don't get on to this economic express, what are we doing? Every company or people in other parts of world try to get into the China economy, and we are here.
主持︰So just now we talk about the Greater Bay Area opportunity, right? So what should university students or secondary school students should prepare themselves to open up their mind or to explore more when they're still in education?
嘉賓︰First of all, they should learn Mandarin. I understand a lot in fact Mandarin, the language actually it's no problem now for many students. I think it's just an open mind. A lot of people don't want to go out of the border. I think secondary students, school students, university students, they should have more exchange programs. Just go and see. I think once you see it, you believe it.
I think for university students, especially they can join more, like exchange programs, when they are still in university. And I think one of the problems is, I may be biased, when we were young, we loved to go to various places, even for a week's exchange in Japan, whatever. But now it looks like a lot of students don't even want to get outside of HK. When I do a lot of sharing at universities, I said we have to get rid of this "island culture". We always feel we are in a very sought-after island. We have everything here. Yes, we do have everything here but we are too small. Look at the world, the world is a lot quicker and we just have to forget about this "island culture", and go out and look at the world.
And I'm not just talking about the Mainland. Go to American, go to Russia, go to India. I think the more you see, when you have a bigger and better spectrum of the world, you will mature faster and learn a lot faster. You can actually absorb a lot of other people's good things, and also the money also comes from the market size.
● 點新聞英文節目《EyE on U 容來熙往》，由立法會議員容海恩及全國港澳研究會委員梁熙主持，邀請香港社會各界包括政界、商界及專業人士，分享及討論社會熱話。