PracticePeople In PracticeChina in your hands

China in your hands

Where business in China is concerned, everything is big - including the opportunities for work

Damian Wild

Damian Wild

More than $50bn (£27.4bn) a year is now invested in China, taking it above
the US as the top global destination for direct foreign investment. Over the
past couple of decades, its growth rate of almost 10% a year has been faster
than any other major economy. But it has problems – not least the need for more
accountants.

By most estimates, China needs 300,000 accountancy professionals – widen that
to unqualified finance staff and the country is looking at a figure closer to
three million. Overseas institutes are already looking to help plug the gap,
while the Chinese and Hong Kong institutes are also re-examining procedures in
an against-the-clock drive to qualify more accountants.

There are opportunities for UK accountants too, though mainly confined to the
very senior figurehead-types, Mandarin speakers and those with expertise in
unusual tax strategies or highly relevant financial instruments.

If you have all three on your CV, you can write your own cheque. But
opportunities don’t end there. Trade bodies in Hong Kong can help even the
smallest company – and its advisers – get a foot in the door.

When an investment opportunity of this sort comes along, there’s always a
danger that tactics resemble those employed by a junior school football team.
Everyone simply chases the ball and worries about what to do with it later.

But with China it’s different. The market is so vast and the opportunities so
varied – whether it be as a source of production or a potential sales territory
– it merits serious consideration.

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