Hong Kong, the third stage of my Asian trek, is richly endowed with accountants, at least 60,000. They have a remarkable appetite for qualifications. 'A collectors' market' as one well-placed observer told me. It is quite common to have a BA and a Masters, followed by two professional qualifications, perhaps topped off with a PhD.
The HK Institute of Certified Public Accountants has 35,000 members and a rather fierce CPD regime: your licence is not renewed if you do not fulfil your CPD. ACCA HK has near 20,000 members with a separate and growing membership in Mainland China. Despite a preference for face to face CPD events, online CPD has growing appeal as more HK based accountants work on the Mainland.
Even traffic jams are a factor shaping the market for accountingcpd.net. In Beijing two hours stuck in jam is a common hazard; turning mobile learning immobile but even more useful.
Hong Kong has quite a different rhythm from my earlier Asian stops. Much more cramped and anarchic than Singapore, more intense than Kuala Lumpur and Kunming; it combines Manhattan's Lower East side and mid-town 5th Avenue all on the same street.
Life on Hong Kong Island is crammed along the shore: huge tower-blocks towering and lowering over packed street markets disappearing down little alleys. The high-end tower blocks are streets in the sky: ground level and lower floor offer Gucci and Armani; coffee shops and even bookshops on mid level, lower rent floors; posh offices from floors 12-40. It took me a while to find a Starbucks at street level for breakfast. Cantonese cooking is too strong first thing.
Readers of my earlier blogs will know my enthusiasm for Chinese airports. Hong Kong airport is the triumphal palace of Boris's dreams. Built on an island, 34 kms to west of Hong Kong, it is a civic wonder. The Airport Express gets you into HK Central in 25 minutes for £8.50. Let Man Cheong, the Chinese god of literature, who protects civil servants, steel the hand of our own quavering bureaucrats.
Now on to Sydney and Melbourne.