Finance zone to showcase dynamic sector

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 February, 2008, 12:00am

Forums and seminars will cover all aspects and industries, but wealth management will feature strongly for students and workers

The financial planning sector has played a major role in Hong Kong's booming economy. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), organiser of the Education & Careers Expo, has extolled the importance of this business growth and lauded the Financial Planning Industry Zone set up at the event this year.

Angeline Chin, chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK), the zone's organiser, said that the theme pavilion aimed to increase public awareness of the value of financial planning.

'It also hopes to promote professional standards while highlighting the career prospects as a financial planner,' said Ms Chin, pointing out that the number of certified financial planners (CFPs) had increased from 90 in 2001 to 2,777 last year.

The zone will feature seven members - HSBC, AMTD Financial Planning, Cash Frederick Taylor, Convoy Financial Services, Noble Apex Advisors, Standard Chartered Bank and Prudential Assurance.

IFPHK will host an informative seminar on Saturday to launch the zone's financial planning day. Paul Pong, executive member of IFPHK, will be one of the guest speakers. Experienced CFP professionals and industry experts will also share their valuable experience and tips for success with the audience.

Lee Hing-wah, assistant professor of the School of Accounting and Finance, Polytechnic University, an expo participant, said people could take advantage of Hong Kong's booming economy by better planning their wealth management. 'The Hong Kong government is keen to promote this and injected wealth management topics after the restructuring of high school curriculums to meet the increasing demand,' he said.

Polytechnic University has also restructured its finance programmes by introducing a master's of finance in wealth management and a master's of finance in investment management in 2005.

Other theme days at the four-day expo starting today include Chinese Mainland Study Day today, Continuing Education Day tomorrow and US Study Day on Saturday.

Agnes Chan, the HKTDC's senior exhibitions manager, said by grouping seminars, forums and activities relating to a certain theme on the same day, visitors interested in a theme could easily find all relevant information under one roof.

This also provided a platform for exhibitors to reach their target audiences.

More than 500 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions, including newcomer Saudi Arabia, will take part in the 18th edition of the annual event. Last year, the fair attracted more than 191,600 visitors.

'We hope more people will visit the expo this year because it is suitable for everyone. Students can obtain information on studying overseas, in the mainland and in Hong Kong.

'Job seekers can understand more about various industries and companies, while continuing education information is available for everyone who wants to keep improving. We believe the expo is informative for students and workers who want prosperous career growth,' Ms Chan said.

Entitled Mapping New Directions, the expo is divided into two major sectors - education and careers. Nine local tertiary education institutes are taking part to introduce their continuing education programmes.

For the education market, Ms Chan noted that the expo could encourage visitors to study further. 'With many education institutes exhibiting, visitors can collect information from their booths within one venue,' she said.

To cater for those interested in studying abroad, there will be group pavilions from Australia, China, Europe, Macau and the US, which will highlight the advantages of studying in their respective countries. The Chinese mainland pavilion will feature a group of about 20 universities.

'Overseas study has always been an important and popular element of the expo. Visitors can collect relevant information, no matter where they plan to go. Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are popular study destinations. During the expo, there will be seminars and forums providing information on studying in these countries,' Ms Chan said.

More than 50 education and careers seminars will be hosted by different organisations including various government departments and professional accounting associations.

There will be about 45 sessions of education forums and more than 160 sessions of career video shows. Morison Chan Chi-kong, president of ACCA Hong Kong, another expo participant, said the expo was an excellent platform for the association to provide information to interested individuals of various backgrounds and education levels about the pathway to the accounting and finance profession.

Ms Chan said exhibiting at the expo could help exhibitors build up their image for the employment market.

Visitors will be able to understand more about each industry and some exhibitors will conduct on-the-spot job interviews.

The expo is open to the public and admission is free.