Interesting facts and finer points of doing business, and living, in the magnificent world city of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is vibrant and resilient. Since 1997, when it returned to being a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, it has sailed through global economic crises thanks to its key drivers of economic growth, which in the case of Hong Kong are retail, logistics and business services, financial services, real estate development (boosted by public infrastructure works), and tourism. The UK government –and the Wall St. Journal– has designated it the world’s freest economy for 20 consecutive years and it is ranked as the world’s eighth largest trading economy and a leading financial and business centre for Asia.
It is also important to point out that it has a significant degree of autonomy from China and has its own legal system currency and customs jurisdiction; the only area in which it must follow China’s ruling is in foreign affairs and defence.
Another key to its success is the business access it provides to mainland China and to other parts of Asia. Add to this the fact that Hong Kong is a free port that does not levy any customs tariff and has limited excise duties and you have an environment that businesses love. It may be a relatively small territory with a total population of just over seven million, but there are at least 1,362 subsidiaries of American companies based here, and that is just the USA. In the last two years some firms have started bypassing Hong Kong and setting up subsidiaries on the Chinese mainland, however, they have discovered that they face higher costs and longer delays than if they’d established a Hong Kong intermediary.
5 reasons you should set up a business in Hong Kong
In my experience as an entrepreneur working around the world I strongly recommend doing business in HK and here are my five reasons for doing so:
- China welcomes foreign entrepreneurs and business owners to develop their businesses in Hong Kong and provides them with the tools to grow successfully with little stress in the registry process of the business. The same can’t be said of many other countries.
- The infrastructure facilities in Hong Kong are what make the city so well-known worldwide. Hong Kong’s air and sea transport facilities provide an excellent service for all customers, so all shipping, logistics and freight forwarding services are first rate. It is perfectly located for reaching other parts of Asia and has excellent telecommunications – a vital element for modern businesses.
- Hong Kong has some of the lowest tax rates in the world and a simple tax system. Low taxes are a great incentive for businesses.
- The legal system in Hong Kong tends to favour the business community and it is a transparent and fair system.
- It is one of the world’s most liberal economic systems due to its free trade policy, no trade barriers and no limit for foreign onshore and offshore investments. Capital just keeps flowing here
A fantastic lifestyle
And, on top of a superb business environment, Hong Kong is a fantastic place to live. Its efficiency is on show from the moment you land at its international airport and find yourself in the centre of the city in about 25 minutes. It’s a ‘work hard, play hard’ city, with the same trendy areas that you’ll find in New York or London and you can enjoy weekend breaks in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore or Thailand. It buzzes with a young, entrepreneurial spirit and it attracts an eclectic mix of fascinating individuals.
If you’re checking out Hong Kong as a place to set up your business, I’d recommend taking the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island to get a feel for the place. And, lunch on the IFC Terrace will give you a memorable view of The Peak and the harbour. As for restaurants and bars; Hong Kong has everything from fine dining to some of the best street food in Asia.
There are few downsides I can think of to doing business in Hong Kong and there are few places in the world that I’d put in the same class as this place, because it’s a city that just loves business like an entrepreneur.
I hope you enjoyed this and found it useful. Please subscribe to my blog if you’d like to receive an alert when I post new content.