Established in October 2019, the Portugal-Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“PHKCCI”) is a non-profit private organization that aims to promote trade, economics and cultural relations between Portugal and Hong Kong, providing a platform for companies and individuals to learn more about Portugal and Hong Kong and to find new business opportunities.
CW CPA is proud to be invited as a Supporting Member of the PHKCCI and was graced by the visit of Goncalo Frey Ramos, Vice President of PHKCCI in early 2020, sharing with the PHKCCI the objective of encouraging business cooperation between Portugal and Hong Kong.
On 18 June 2020, the PHKCCI organized the webinar “Hong Kong and Portugal: Access to Third Markets – to the Greater Bay Area and Portuguese Speaking Countries” chaired by Bernardo Mendia, President of the PHKCCI. Kemelly Vera, Advisor of CW CPA, and Luis Bravo, Director of Bison Bank, were invited as speakers. They highlighted the benefits of doing business in Hong Kong and Portugal.
Following the webinar, Bernardo Mendia was interviewed by China’s largest news agency, Xinhua News Agency, and published in its Portuguese version, acknowledging the integration of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) would bring opportunities and advantages for foreign companies in Hong Kong.
“For foreign companies, entering Hong Kong will mean entering in nine Chinese mega-cities and the Macao Special Administrative Region simultaneously,” said Bernardo. “The greater the integration of the region, the greater the advantages for entrepreneurs.”
Bernardo also mentioned, during the interview, that both Portugal and Hong Kong are gateways to large markets with common advantages such as legal, fiscal and financial regimes that are friendly to foreign investment, a broad command of the English language by their citizens, good transport and telecommunications, freedom of capital flow and qualified human resources. These factors attract entrepreneurs to develop their business in both places.
Bernardo hopes that companies in Portugal and Hong Kong will look for business complementarities and establish partnerships with mutual gains to build the necessary trust for lasting cooperation.
Interview article published in Xinhua Portuguese: http://portuguese.xinhuanet.com/2020-06/26/c_139168842.htm
Link to the webinar (in English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8twnj5AOSrw
(If you wish to join the PHKCCI, please contact Kemelly Vera by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Written by Ivo Pang, Intern of Latin Department, CW CPA
CW CPA is gaining a foothold in the Latin American and Spanish markets. As one of its two partners, Thomas Wong was interviewed by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants two years ago and his interview was subsequently reported by Master Insight, a growing online and traditional media publishing company in Hong Kong which has more than 65,000 online followers. He shared how he got out of the box and established one of Hong Kong’s most distinctive Certified Public Accountants firms. The interview article in Chinese was published on the Master Insight website on 21 November 2018. For those who have not read it yet, let us take an opportunity to read the article and learn from Mr Wong’s Latin journey.
The guitar melodies of a Latin rock musician, Carlos Santana, nurtured Thomas Wong’s way of thinking international when he was a teenager. Another inspiration for Mr Wong was the book Blue Ocean Strategy written by W. Chan Kim and Renee Maubourgne, which delivered a clear message: to stay away from the familiar. He read the book in 2006, the same year he started exploring the Latin American market through his friend’s connections.
Since CW CPA’s establishment, Mr Wong has continued his Latin dream and been making the firm to be seen in Latin America and Spain as the go-to firm for entry into Hong Kong and mainland China. He is not just dealing with numbers, but also gives overseas businessmen advice on everything from finding decoration workers to doctors. Recently, he saw changes, one of which foreseen by him was the huge surge of interest in the Greater Bay Area (“GBA”). As a strong advocate of the GBA concept, he believes the GBA will act as gateway for Latin American and overseas clients looking to expand their businesses into the mainland China and for Chinese companies to reach out to overseas.
Want to know more about Mr Wong’s business philosophy? Please spend a few minutes to enjoy the article here:
Written by Toby Wong, China Consultancy Team, CW CPA
During my first weeks in Hong Kong, in the late autumn of 2008, I greeted people on the street or in the corridors of The Gateway not infrequently, believing that this person was my colleague who worked at a few cubicles away in the office; all these people reacted with surprise and some prevention to my effusive greetings … Weeks later, I understood that I was wrong and that I had greeted many people who were not my colleagues. I laughed at myself, at my ignorance, the journey began.
During those same first weeks, I lost about three or five kilos of weight, something important given that I was not overweight on my arrival in Hong Kong. Weeks later, I realized that it was the result of my lack of skill in handling chopsticks, but in a short time I was able to regain the lost weight and add a few extra kilos after having mastered the chopsticks.
Not infrequently, during those same first weeks, I waited for the minibus on the wrong side of the street, seeing how that number 3 was going away, the one that would take me from Mong Kok to Tsim Sha Tsui in minutes. It took me a while to learn that I was in another world.
When I arrived in Hong Kong, I ignored the rules of the real estate, labor and social markets, but I did receive all the support, especially because I was adopted by a family, my new great family which protected and re-educated me, a family which tolerated my ignorance of their culture and values and offered me the privilege of a place at the table, to work, eat and celebrate together. I was not alone.
It is to that family that I am writing this message, to you, my Latin Department family.
For me, Latin Department, that is precisely my Family, I think not only for myself, but also for many of our clients, who like many of us, one day arrived or wanted to reach the other side of the world and had the privilege of finding more than just a service provider. For many of them, the Latin Department has been a family that welcomed and supported them in their projects, far beyond the portfolio of services that are bought and sold. Thomas’ interest and urgency in supporting our clients are genuine and I am aware that his selfless interest is superior to a business one; faith, service and community are practiced inside and outside the Latin Department.
It is a privilege to be part of this family and I tell fragments of my experience that perhaps only make sense to me, but with it, I want to honor a great truth and from my heart, celebrate with gratitude and humility, in family, this permanent journey on the other side of the world. I also know that for my non-Latino family, this has also been a challenge and a continuous learning opportunity.
A new era is making its way for the world and its businesses and with it, new challenges and opportunities will arise for those who have the necessary humility and determination. The Latin Department will continue helping and accompanying many people, companies, organizations and governments on their Journey to the other side of the world.
Written by Mauricio Quiroz
[Remarks: Mauricio Quiroz joined Thomas Wong’s Latin Department in November 2008. He’s a graduate in Business Administration from Universidad de Medellín in Colombia and holds an MSc in China Business Studies from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Asia Business from the St. Gallen Institute of Management in Asia (Switzerland and Singapore). His fruitful career as part of the Latin Department brought him from the level of Advisor to Senior Manager and ended in April 2013 after he joined the Colombian diplomatic service as the first Director of ProColombia in South Korea. Mauricio Quiroz is currently based in Switzerland where he lives with his wife and two kids and is responsible for international accounts and business development at a Swiss financial services company.]
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and evolve around the world, public and private sectors are scrambling to adapt to these times and take effective responses.
Whilst temporary containment measures are gradually relaxed by the Chinese government, the next step is to focus on mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 across the Chinese businesses over the long term. This means designing and implementing measures to integrate economic reactivation, investment encouragement, and getting the country back on track. To do so – alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic-, the Chinese government have introduced a series of supporting policies at both central and local level.
On this occasion, CW was pleased to have been invited by The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (“AmCham”) to host a webinar that took place on 19 April 2020. More than 100 people and companies registered and participated in the webinar focused on business crisis management and the government’s contingency aid offer to Chinese companies. Topics covering everything from how to be prepared for and manage this disruptive and emergency, policies and subsidies related to FDI, to the role of the technology in the era, were discussed.
Headed by the president of AmCham South China, Harley Seyedin, and with the participation of Thomas Wong, Partner at CW CPA, and Victor Herrera, as the main presenter on behalf of CW, the webinar further enhanced our relationship with American companies in South China. This translates into a greater network of knowledge and advice to all foreign companies established in Mainland China.
For CW, actively participating in these open discussions means our firm’s commitment with our clients and all those companies running business in Mainland China, sharing valuable information and being able to provide the right services with the highest standards of quality and performance.
The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating bilateral trade between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. AmCham South China represents more than 2,300 corporate and individual members, and provides dynamic, on-the-ground support for American and International companies doing business in South China.
Written by Victor Manuel Herrera, Latin Department, CW CPA
In late April, CW had the pleasure to deliver a series of webinars in Mexico, sharing insights, experience and knowledge on how to overcome business challenges during COVID-19. With more than 100 people registered for the webinars and many more watching the video recordings, these webinars resulted from the collaborative efforts with our strategic business partners such as InvestHK and COMCE Sur.
COVID-19 landed in Latin America on 26 February 2020 when Brazil confirmed its first case. Mexico confirmed its very first case on 28 February in Mexico City. Since then, governments across the region – including Mexico – have taken an array of actions to protect their citizens and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
With the new coronavirus spreading rapidly across all Latin American countries, the seeming difficulty to stop the spread of coronavirus and the travel restrictions imposed by some governments in the region, it is difficult for LATAM businesses to successfully stay afloat in these times.
In the next coming months, our Latin Department will continue organizing more webinars on various topics relating to the latest government measures in battling against COVID-19 and helping our clients in Latin America steer clear of any policy uncertainty.
- InvestHK is a government department of foreign direct investment in Hong Kong, having a vision to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as the leading international business location in Asia. Its mission is to attract and retain foreign direct investment which is of strategic importance to the economic development of Hong Kong.
- COMCE is one of the main organizations dedicated to promoting foreign trade, foreign investment and the development of technology in Mexico. It has more than 50 years of experience in foreign trade promotion and represents around 2,000 exporting companies which carry out approximately 80% of total exports in Mexico.
Written by Victor Manuel Herrera, Latin Department, CW CPA
Due to the restrain of activities and mobility across the globe, more and more people are finding new ways to acquire knowledge, interact with others and get updated. CW, in its effort to innovate, is always looking for the best practices and ways to identify the best business opportunities in mainland China and Hong Kong, even in difficult times.
On 3 April 2020, with the support of the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, the Colombia China Chamber of Investment and Commerce, CW, taking advantage of its Latin America representative office, held the webinar “Opportunities and trends in China after Covid-19”, with special focus on Shenzhen as a hub for start-ups, technological companies and innovative projects in general. More than 1,000 companies from 14 countries, 51 cities of South America, registered for the virtual event. It was a great success, not only in terms of the size of audience but also as a platform to present the recent business trends in China to businessmen and representatives of private institutions.
Please click the following link for the video of this webinar. The same has also been uploaded to our new Youtube channel.
Written by David Barriga, Latin Department, CW CPA
We are glad to introduce our new Spanish business advisor, Galo Rodrigo Cano, who has been on board since early April 2020.
Native of Burgos, Spain, Galo has been studying and working in China for more than 5 years. Having previously studied at Autonomous University of Madrid, Beijing Foreign Studies University and Peking University, Galo graduated from Tsinghua University with a Graduate Degree in Chinese Politics, International Relations and Foreign Policy in 2017.
Fluent in Chinese, Galo has solid experience in developing marketing strategies to cater for overseas customers in China. He worked at a relocation company in Beijing, helping expatriates to tackle the housing issues and settle in China. Also, before joining CW, he managed the event organization and corporate relationship at an international chain-branded hotel in Guangzhou.
He will be responsible for business development in the Spanish market and assisting Spanish clients in the design and implementation of business operations in China. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
For the second time this year, CW CPA has been recognized for its effective management of clients, employees and public relations during the COVID-19 crisis. On 16 April 2020, the National Business Association of Colombia (“ANDI”), considered as the most influential and important industrial association in Colombia, organized a webinar discussing experiences worldwide in dealing with the impact of coronavirus on business. Mr. David Barriga, CW representative in South America, was one of the main speakers of the webinar which was attended by more than 200 industrial and business leaders of Colombia.
David focused on the successful ways CW CPA has managed during the crisis under the leadership of Mr. Thomas Wong, Founding Partner of the firm. His main topics included: Keeping Staff Safe, Investing in Technology, Managing Cash Flow, Diversifying the Business and Optimizing Business Strategies.
In March 2020, CPA Australia selected our firm as a case study of an accounting practice in Hong Kong and mainland China. One more time, our firm has been internationally recognized for its commitment and behavior in such difficult times, offering quality and seamless services to its clients from all over the world.
Written by David Barriga, Latin Department, CW CPA
Given the current situation of the COVID-19 epidemic around the world, we have been receiving questions about handling special workplace situations.
In response to the uncertainties that disrupt the working life and company businesses, on 6 March 2020, our China Consulting Team (CCT) conducted a webinar in collaboration with the South China Branch of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CCI France Chine). Speakers included our Legal Advisor, Lily Fan, and, Assistant Admin and HR Manager, Betty Pan. During the webinar, several human resource topics including employee wage calculations, employee assistance and labor relations amid the outbreak.
Written by Marant Caballero, Latin Department, CW CPA
Every year, Allinial Global (“AG”) organizes an annual conference with the members of the Latin American and Caribbean Region in order to strengthen the interaction between their local members, facilitate the links between the different firms that are part of the association and update the knowledge about best practices in innovation, leadership and competitiveness issues applied to accounting firms.
On this occasion, Panama City hosted the meeting that took place from 9 to 11 February of this year. More than 35 representatives of regional firms belonging to AG actively participated in the 10 conferences and workshops that focused on key issues for the development of more and better business and services for clients and counterparts in the accounting, auditing, and legal services field. Topics such as digital transformation in external auditing, best practices in accounting advisory services for clients, leadership for a culture of faster results, and a detailed presentation of the investment business environment in Panama, were some of the topics discussed during the 3 days of the conference.
Headed by the president and CEO of AG, Terry Snyder, as well as Ana Navarro, Regional Director of Latin America, among others; David Barriga, on behalf of CW and acting as representative for the region, further strengthened his relationship with colleagues from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, the United States, Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia. This translates into a greater network of knowledge and services for CW customers in the region.
For CW, being an active part of this prestigious worldwide recognition alliance, such as Allinial Global, means our firm’s commitment to customers to strengthen our presence in the Latin American region, offering services with the highest standards of quality and performance in accordance with the best practices that exist in international matters for accounting and auditing.
Written by David Barriga, Latin Department, CW CPA