Updated: Mar 26
A highly dynamic city that serves as the perfect platform into Mainland China and Asia, Hong Kong is the ideal place for business in Asia. It is a business-friendly city with a multitude of advantages to ensure businesses can flourish.
Hong Kong is an ideal place to invest or to do business. It is characterised by its:
Free trade and investment policy
Rule of law
Complete freedom of capital movement
Clean and efficient government
Low and simple taxation
Close proximity to markets in Asia
Highly skilled workforce
A Supportive Government
Hong Kong will capitalise on the opportunities arising from the national Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development proactively and holistically. The government shall play the role of a “facilitator” and “promoter”.
The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It is a visionary, long-term initiative launched by the Chinese Government to foster closer economic, political, cultural and social links across Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The Initiative features “five areas of connectivity”: policy co-ordination, facilities connectivity; unimpeded trade: financial integration; and, people-to-people bonds.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area) is a world-class cluster of nine municipalities in Guangdong Province, plus the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macao. A major national initiative of China, the Greater Bay Area offers tremendous opportunities to the global community, in particular business, investors and professionals. Hong Kong is proud to act as "facilitator" and "promotor" to help global businesses to tap on the opportunities.
Premier Business Hub in Asia
Hong Kong enjoys an ideal location in Asia that enables businesses to tap into the multitude of opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area and throughout the rest of the region.
Gateway to Mainland China
Hong Kong is also known as the gateway to China as it offers easy access – commercially and geographically – to Mainland China business opportunities. The Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the largest and most productive manufacturing region in China, is immediately to the north of Hong Kong and business people commute regularly and easily between the two.
Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is the first free trade agreement between Mainland China and Hong Kong. It opens up huge markets for Hong Kong goods and services, greatly enhancing the existing close economic cooperation and integration. In brief, the Mainland applies zero import tariffs for exports from Hong Kong meeting CEPA origin rules for goods and preferential market access for Hong Kong companies in 47 service sectors, including banking, logistics, legal, audio-visual, transport and mining. Overseas companies can also benefit from CEPA in various ways.
The Perfect Business Base
With all of Asia’s key markets less than four hours’ away, it is easy to see why over 9,000 businesses and companies have made Hong Kong their home. Many have placed their strategic functions, including sales, operations, research and development (R&D), distribution, regional headquarters and corporate treasury centres in the city. Over 100 airlines offer easy and efficient travel to 190 locations from Hong Kong whilst half of the world’s population can be reached within five hours by plane.
The Belt and Road Initiative is set to link Mainland China with countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. As an international finance centre, Hong Kong’s independent legal system, rule of law, free flow of information and capital, and sound regulatory regime, put it in a prime position to help businesses make the most out of the Belt and Road.
Another opportunity arises from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (GBA) . The economic integration will combine the expertise of more than ten cities throughout the region to create a world-class city cluster. Hong Kong will play a key role in ensuring the city cluster is internationally competitive, making it the ideal location for businesses and companies to reap the benefits of the city cluster.
Another benefit of setting up business in Hong Kong is its free trade policy. The city’s free port status and easy customs procedures makes it easier for businesses and companies to operate.
Trade and Economic Ties
To secure favourable conditions for exports of goods and services from Hong Kong to the Mainland and international markets, Hong Kong government endeavours to enter into more Hong Kong's Free Trade Agreements with the trading partners. The Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) set up by the HKSAR Government in Mainland China and overseas will further promote economic ties and exchanges with Belt and Road countries.
So far, Hong Kong has forged eight Hong Kong's Free Trade Agreements, respectively with the Mainland of China, New Zealand, the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Chile, Macao, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Georgia and Australia. FTA negotiation has also begun with other trading partners. FTA negotiation has also begun with other trading partners. Hong Kong has so far signed Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements with 20 economies and has concluded negotiations with Bahrain, Mexico, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates. Negotiations will commence or continue with other Belt and Road countries.
A Leading Financial Centre
Hong Kong has long been the region’s leading financial hub. It offers a highly transparent and robust regulatory regime for financial services industries such as banking, securities and futures, insurance and retirement schemes. These industries adhere to the best global practices and standards, giving confidence to everyone looking to do business in Hong Kong.
The city is also home to the world’s largest offshore hub in Renminbi settlement. Businesses can easily enjoy a wide variety of Renminbi services on offer from banks and financial institutions.
Stock Connect and Bond Connect have launched in Hong Kong. They have given investors in Hong Kong direct access to Mainland China whilst further cementing the city’s status as an international finance centre. The relevant authorities are expediting the implementation of the Wealth Management Connect under which residents in Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong Province could carry out cross-boundary investment in wealth management products distributed by banks in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued virtual bank licences to eight virtual banks so far, and all have already officially opened. Insurance Authority has also issued four virtual insurer authorisations.
Low, Simple and Competitive Tax System
Businesses and individuals in Hong Kong enjoy one of the most tax-friendly systems in the world. Only three direct taxes are imposed and there are generous allowances and deductions which can reduce your taxable amount.
The three taxes are:
Profits tax for the first HK$2 million of profits of corporations is 8.25 percent. Profits above that amount will be subject to the tax rate of 16.5 percent. For unincorporated business (i.e. partnerships and sole proprietorships), the two-tiered tax rates will correspondingly be set at 7.5 percent and 15 percent.
Salaries tax with standard rate of 15 percent
Property tax of 15 percent
Hong Kong does not impose:
Sales tax or VAT
Withholding tax on dividends and interest
Capital gains tax
Tax on dividends
Free Trade Port
Another benefit of setting up business in Hong Kong is its free trade policy. The city’s free port status and easy customs procedures make it easier for businesses and companies to operate.
Multicultural Talent Pool
Hong Kong is home to a diverse talent pool, equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive business in Hong Kong and beyond.
A Multi-lingual Location
Newcomers to Hong Kong will find that language is rarely an issue with most locals being either bilingual or trilingual. Many business professionals can speak English and Cantonese (Hong Kong’s most widely spoken language), a lot of people may also speak Mandarin (Mainland China’s official language).
Top Educational Foundation
Hong Kong is home to 22 degree-awarding higher education institutions. Currently four Hong Kong universities are featured in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings top 100 list, demonstrating the high quality of our education system.
With liberal immigration policies, a vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle and abundant opportunities for career advancement, Hong Kong offers attractive prospects for professionals and experts from around the world. Various talent admission schemes are in place to attract talent and drive Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy.
Open Business Environment
Hong Kong has always maintained an open business environment for business activities and commerce.
One Country, Two Systems
Hong Kong has maintained its own currency, political and legal systems. This has allowed the city to continue to flourish as an international business city whilst enjoying the benefits of unrivalled access to opportunities in Mainland China.
Some of the benefits of One Country, Two Systems include:
No foreign ownership restrictions
English and Chinese as official languages with English the preferred language for business and contracts
Free movement of capital, talent, goods and information
Independent participation in international forums
World’s Most Competitive Economy
Hong Kong has been recognised as one of the world’s most competitive economy. The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitive Yearbook 2021 ranked Hong Kong 7th out of 64 economies.
The ranking reflects the consistent strides Hong Kong has made in building a favourable business environment. IMD assessed the economy across four competitiveness factors; economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Among various sub-factors, Hong Kong is ranked top globally in “Business legislation”. Hong Kong's rankings in "International trade", "Tax policy", "Finance" and "Management practices" also remained in the top-three positions globally.
Strong Intellectual Property Protection
The Government of Hong Kong SAR has specific policies and legal protection in place for intellectual property rights. The city’s intellectual property laws have been developed to reach the highest international standards to create a free and fair business environment.
Hong Kong is a global city that has attracted people from all corners of the globe. Many are drawn to Hong Kong thanks to its compact size, vibrant lifestyle, beautiful scenery and welcoming international community. The city’s business community is no different, allowing businesses of all types to thrive in the city’s cosmopolitan surroundings.
A Global Foodie Feast
The variety of food on offer in Hong Kong is one of the best in the world. With thousands of options from street-side food stalls to Michelin star restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Hong Kong. Options are not only plentiful but also diverse, with a wide array of cuisines available for Hong Kong’s international community.
No Language Barriers
Don’t worry if you don’t speak Cantonese – English is one of the city’s official languages along with Cantonese. All of Hong Kong’s signs and transport networks are bilingual in English and Chinese . Many locals are also fluent in Mandarin.
A Nature-filled City
You wouldn’t know it by looking at the towering skyscrapers and bright lights of Hong Kong, but the city is home to beautiful beaches and endless hiking trails. One only has to make a short journey away from the city to discover a completely different side to Hong Kong filled with nature and wildlife. Although Hong Kong is one of the world's largest metropolis, three-quarters of the 1,108 square kilometres of land is countryside.
Those with children will be happy to know that Hong Kong has over 50 international schools offering different international curricula. From kindergarten all the way to university, an international level of education is available to those seeking to maintain the educational consistency of their home country.
Hong Kong is listed as one of the safest countries in the world by different publications and organisations. The city is a relatively crime-free society where people rarely fear for their personal safety.
World Class Infrastructure
Hong Kong enjoys some of the most advanced business infrastructures in the world. Businesses and companies can take advantage of the leading business infrastructures in place to maximise their opportunities throughout the region.
The multi-award winning Hong Kong International Airport is the world’s busiest cargo gateway and one of the busiest passenger airports. Getting between the city and the airport only takes 23 minutes via the Airport Express and in-town check-in is available for those seeking maximum convenience. A Three-Runway System is being constructed to meet anticipated air traffic demand at least up to 2030.
Convenient Public Transport
Hong Kong is one of the easiest cities to travel around thanks to its abundance of low-cost public transport options. With one of the world’s most reliable and efficient transport systems, commuters can choose from buses, ferries, taxis, trains and trams to reach their destination. Whether meeting clients or travelling to work, Hong Kong’s transport system has created a truly connected city that businesses can benefit from.
Complete Internet Coverage
Businesses can enjoy reliable and secure communications throughout the territory. With the city having made great investments in its broadband and fiber-optic infrastructure, everyone is able to reap the benefits of a reliable, high-speed internet connection.
World Leading Logistics
Hong Kong has long been one of the world’s leading sea and air cargo hubs. Advanced port and air cargo facilities has ensured Hong Kong’s place as one of the largest trading entities in the world whilst also servicing a large portion of cargo in and out of Mainland China.
Express Rail Link
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link runs from the terminus at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station to the Shenzhen boundary in 14 minutes and shortens travelling time to Guangzhou to 46 minutes.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The 55km-long bridge is the longest bridge-tunnel sea crossing in the world. It connect Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and brings the Western Pearl River Delta region to within a three-hour drive of Hong Kong.
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