30 years ago, Tsingtao Brewery became the first Mainland company to list in Hong Kong. Fast forward three decades and the integration of the Mainland and Hong Kong capital markets continues to provide huge opportunities for members of our profession – not only in terms of taking on governance functions in dual listed companies, but also helping a broad range of organisations operate successfully here in Hong Kong, in the Mainland and regionally.

This month’s edition of CGj presents the insights and guidance of practitioners closely involved in this work. Our cover story, by our Institute Vice-President Dr Gao Wei FCG HKFCG(PE), dives in at the deep end addressing one of the most complex areas of dual listing compliance – the connected transactions regimes of the Mainland and Hong Kong.

Dr Gao’s article highlights the fact that governance professionals need to be highly vigilant when it comes to the differences between the Mainland and Hong Kong connected transaction requirements. The goal of both regimes is the same – they seek to ensure that directors act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of the company, avoid conflicts of interest and ensure that transparency is maintained regarding any significant relationship between parties (and their ultimate beneficial owners) and related parties. Nevertheless, the devil is in the details and companies look to qualified governance professionals to ensure that they get this area of corporate transactions right.

This edition of your journal also brings you first-hand accounts from senior board secretaries and Hong Kong members based in the Mainland with an expertise in the Mainland corporate and regulatory environment. In our two In Conversation articles this month, our interviewees discuss the challenges they encounter in their work and the prospects for our profession in both the Mainland and Hong Kong going forward.

The interviewees emphasise that understanding the small print of the regulatory regimes in Hong Kong and the Mainland is only the first step in being able to help enterprises operate successfully in these different business environments. Governance professionals involved in such work need to develop their communication skills to be able to advise directors not familiar with, for example, the civil law system in the Mainland or the common law system in Hong Kong.

As mentioned above in the context of connected transactions, while the end goals of good governance are generally the same, the details of how you get there will vary depending on the nature of the market you operate in. Our recent Institute report, Upping the Game, released in July of this year, emphasises that governance professionals working in Hong Kong and the Mainland need the technical skills to be able to operate in the two different corporate and regulatory environments, but they also need the personal skills required to navigate the cultural differences they may encounter in the boards and teams they work with.

Meanwhile, our Institute will continue to do its part in helping governance professionals qualify and train for these roles. Despite numerous headwinds in the macro environment, in particular the current geopolitical tensions, the convergence of the capital markets in Hong Kong and the Mainland continues apace and our Institute continues to have a respected voice in promoting best practice in governance.