If you are considering to relocate your own business or setting up an office for your company in Asia, why should you choose Hong Kong?
Hong Kong, as you may know, was a British crown colony from 1842 to 1997. In 1984 it a was decided that it was to return to Chinese rule because Great Britain’s lease on the area called New Territories expired in 1997. To avoid the colony to be split up or be subject to communist rule the British and Chinese governments negotiated a special status for Hong Kong under the principle of “one country – two systems”. A new constitution – Hong Kong’s Basic law – was ratified in 1990, and says that Hong Kong capitalistic system shall be unchanged for 50 years.
In the period from 1984 to 1997 there was great uncertainty whether China would honor this deal and a large number of Hong Kong citizen as well as companies moved to Canada, US and australia as well as other Asian Cities, especially Singpore. China however, proved all the doom sayers wrong, and it didn’t take long before the emigration turned to immigration. With the spectacular rise and endless opportunities offered in China today, Hong Kong is a thriving international city with an unique position as part of China but still with its own judiciary, financial, monitory and educational system. Hong Kong today truly deserves its own slogan as Asia’s World City.
When looking at where to set up your business or professional life, consider these very important factors in Hong Kong.
Economy and finance
- World leading finical system, currently rated the 3. largest financial centre in the world.
- Worlds freest economy 16 years running (annual index of economic freedom, The Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)
- 69 of the worlds largest banks are represented in Hong Kong
- Worlds 6. largest foreign exchange centre
- Largest number of IPO’s in the world
- Worlds 4. busiest airport
- One of the worlds largest container terminals
Independent and strong legal system
- Hong Kongs legal system is a bastion for rule of law, for individuals as well as companies.
- All business contracts as well as Intellectual Property rights are covered by international accepted law practices.
- The court of final appeal has at least one visiting judge from UK supreme court, the High Court of Australia or other supreme courts under the Common Law.
- All major law firms from the US and Europe has an office in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong is an important global and regional arbitration centre.
- Strong stance against corruption: Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, ICAC, is a unique success story and is used as an example for other countries. Transparency International’s corruption index rated Hong Kong 12. globally, right behind Norway.
Freedom of press and academia
- Freedom off speech and press is protected by Hong Kong’s basic law and no censorship is enacted. More the 40 news papers, 700 magazines and 130 media organisations including all the leading international ones are represented in Hong Kong.
- Three of Hong Kong’s Universities are rated among the top 50 in the world and among the top 4 in Asia:
- Hong Kong University
- City university of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong university of science and technology
Gateway to China and centre of expertise on China
Hong Kong’s strong economic position is of course, as it has always been, largely due to its close relations with China.
- Over 40% of the investments in China since Deng Xiaoping introduced the open door policy has originated in Hong Kong.
- Half of the about 120,000 factories in the pearl river delta area are owned by Hong Kong interests.
- The free trade agreement CEPA between Hong Kong and China allows free flow of 1500 product categories and 42 sectors of services.
- Hong Kong is the first market outside mainland China that are allowed to trade in chinese currency (RMB) and have capital in RMB.
- Hong Kong is the stepping stone for Chinese companies that want to expand internationally.