Innovation and technology may well be one of the highest-growth sectors in Hong Kong this year, according to a KPMG survey on employment trends. 52 percent of the responding firms in that sector planned to increase their head count in 2020, by far the highest proportion among the six sectors covered by the survey. It is an even higher number than 2019’s 44 percent.
The key reason for that optimistic outlook, according to the report, is companies and consumers embracing digital transformation, especially following the wide publicity surrounding the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s issuance of virtual banking licences in early 2019.
It is worth noting that the survey was conducted in mid-January 2020, before Covid-19 had become a cause for major concern, but after Hong Kong had already suffered through months of increasingly violent civil unrest. Hence, the move to digitalization may reflect companies’ stepping up their creation and implementation of business continuity plans. If that is the case, the survey’s predictions about the innovation and technology sector may not fall too far off the mark, as business continuity plans have become even more important now that the Covid-19 outbreak has reached pandemic levels.
Murray Sarelius, Partner, Head of People Services, KPMG China, said: “Companies need to be nimble to protect staff and the business. The priority is checking that people are safe and then implementing business continuance plans if they’re available or working out how to react and cope in the new environment.”
Other sectors which are more likely to increase than decrease their head count include the public sector, financial services, and professional services, all of which have seen a push towards greater digitalization, and which also have not been as seriously affected by the previous year of turmoil.