Business digitisation in Hong Kong hampered by funding difficulties

While SMEs in Hong Kong may lack resources and technical expertise, many are planning to increase their digitalisation investment in 2023.
By: | June 23, 2023

Funding remains the key challenge for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong as they embark on their digitalisation journey.

This was revealed in a survey conducted by DBS Bank, which interviewed 105 SMEs between March and June 2023 and found that 93% of the SME community believes digitalisation is vital for their organisations. However, 57% of those surveyed identified funding as their biggest obstacle in pursuing digitalisation initiatives.

Besides funding, limited resources (46%) and a lack of relevant technical expertise or skillset (43%) were identified as contributing factors to the digital gap. In response to these challenges, 65% of the SME community expressed plans to increase their investments in digitalisation by more than 25% this year, compared to 2022.

When asked about their top priorities in digitalisation, the respondents highlighted digital marketing (46%), establishing an online presence through e-commerce and mobile applications (41%), and developing data analysis and management capabilities (37%) as key areas to focus over the next five years.

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Jolynn Wong, Head of Business Banking at DBS Bank Hong Kong, concluded, “As Hong Kong returns to normalcy, we have witnessed positive business momentum in the SME community, with business account openings increasing by over 80% year-to-date as of May 2023 in Hong Kong, compared to the same period last year. We will continue to enhance our digital solutions and banking services as SMEs revitalise, enabling them to conduct business more efficiently, effortlessly, and intelligently.”