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Invest Hong Kong to serve as gateway for mainland companies

Updated: 2013-09-08 07:41
By Zhuan Ti ( China Daily)

SAR looks to maintain its edge in investment, service industry

As an international financial and trade center, Hong Kong special administrative region has a well-developed system of integrated financial, insurance, accounting and legal services.

Because Hong Kong acts as the bridge between the Chinese mainland and international markets, mainland companies can utilize the region's wealth of international marketing expertise and wide array of professional service providers to expand their global business.

In 2013, Hong Kong was ranked the world's freest economy for the 19th consecutive year by the US Heritage Foundation.

 Invest Hong Kong to serve as gateway for mainland companies

Simon Galpin, head of investment promotion at Invest Hong Kong, says he is optimistic that the department will be able to accomplish its annual target for 2013. Photo provided to China Daily

The region's strict adherence to the principles of free market provides a fair business environment and level playing field to all investors, which significantly adds to the allure of Hong Kong as a business city.

Hong Kong provides a two-way platform, allowing overseas companies to access the mainland market while helping mainland companies to globalize operations.

Hong Kong ranked third in terms of global foreign direct investment inflows in 2012, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's World Investment Report 2013.

The report found that FDI flew into Hong Kong exceeded $75 billion in 2012, and Hong Kong ranked just behind the US ($167.6 billion) and the Chinese mainland ($121 billion).

In terms of outflows, Hong Kong ranked fourth in the world in 2012, with $83.9 billion outbound investment, behind the US ($328.8 billion), Japan ($122.5 billion) and the Chinese mainland ($84.2 billion), according to the report.

"Against the backdrop of a global decline in FDI, Hong Kong remains a significant conduit for both inbound and outbound investment," said Simon Galpin, head of Invest Hong Kong, the government department responsible for attracting overseas and mainland investments.

Hong Kong's enduring business advantages, including its low and simple tax regime, rule of law, free flow of information and capital, and a workforce with international and mainland perspectives, continue to make it a desirable platform for foreign and mainland investors, Galpin said.

"The region's status as an international business hub combined with its world-class infrastructure, low tax rate and simple tax system as well as a deep pool of international talent and free flow of information and capital make it an ideal springboard to help mainland companies expand their business worldwide," said Victoria Tang, associate director-general of Invest Hong Kong.

Multinationals are choosing Hong Kong as the center for their global operations, and the city is also attracting a growing number of entrepreneurs from around the world to tap into the opportunities it has to offer.

In the first half of 2013, Invest Hong Kong assisted a record total of 213 overseas and mainland companies with setting up or expansion in Hong Kong.

Galpin said he was encouraged by the interim results as they showed continued strength in inbound investment into Hong Kong despite challenging global conditions.

The 213 completed projects came from 33 countries and regions. The Chinese mainland was the largest single source of investment into Hong Kong.

These companies will employ an estimated 1,576 people in Hong Kong in their first year. By region, Asia was the biggest market source, with 89 projects completed compared to 73 a year ago, followed by Europe and North America.

By sub-sector, Hong Kong's opportunities in the first half of 2013 proved most attractive to companies in asset management, digital marketing, medical and healthcare, and food and beverage businesses.

In 2013, Invest Hong Kong will continue its efforts to promote the region as an ideal platform for mainland companies to "go global" while working closely with the Ministry of Commerce and its representative office in Hong Kong to organize seminars aimed at the fast-growing cities in the inland and coastal provinces.

Invest Hong Kong also offers a "one-stop" service to mainland enterprises, including the publication of a step-by-step guide for mainland enterprises looking to set up in Hong Kong.

It also maintains four investment-promotion units in the mainland cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou to reach out to companies and assist them in setting up their business in Hong Kong.

Looking ahead, Invest Hong Kong will continue to target and attract overseas and mainland companies in the priority sectors to Hong Kong through its global network of investment units and overseas consultants, with an emphasis on the financial services, creative industries as well as innovation and technology sectors.

Invest Hong Kong has been participating in CIFIT every year since 2002; and in 2013, it will continue to host seminars and participate in the Hong Kong Pavilion with the theme of "Windows of Infinite Opportunities" to promote Hong Kong as a preferred business location.

Over the years, Invest Hong Kong has also witnessed how CIFIT has grown continually stronger to become one of the largest and most far-reaching events in global economic cooperation.