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Invest Hong Kong Sees More Overseas, Mainland Investors

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

25 January 2013

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) has announced that it assisted 316 overseas and Chinese mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2012, representing a new record and a 4% increase over a year ago.

The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Simon Galpin, welcomed the increase in completed projects but noted that global uncertainties because of the euro debt crisis and American economy remained a concern.

"2012 was another record year for InvestHK in terms of completed projects," he said. "The positive results showed that Hong Kong continues to attract overseas and Mainland investors because of its enduring advantages and new business opportunities."

However, he noted that, "in the year ahead, we will remain cognizant of global economic trends and continue to identify the sectors and markets which will reap the best benefits for Hong Kong. Our targets will include both multinationals and start-up businesses, which aspire to set up in our city."

The 316 completed projects derived from 34 countries. Mainland China continued to be the largest single source of investment into Hong Kong with a total of 62 projects, followed by the United States with 54 projects, the United Kingdom (29), Japan (27) and Germany (17). The 316 companies planned to employ 2,937 people in Hong Kong for their first year of set up or expansion, up 8% from a year previously.

By broad sector definitions, the top three in terms of number of completed projects were transport and industrial (48), tourism and hospitality (46) and innovation and technology (43). By subsector, there were an increasing number of companies from the fashion apparel and asset management industries. That was said to reflect the role of Hong Kong as China's international business and financial center, and its attractiveness to visitors and high net-worth individuals who are boosting the demand for retail and asset management.

By region, Europe led the field with 110 projects completed, compared with 105 a year ago. Some 60 projects were from the eurozone economies, up by almost 16% compared to a year earlier. North America, including Canada, also reported growth, with 65 projects compared with 59 a year ago. Asia Pacific, excluding Mainland China, reported milder growth, with 74 projects, compared with 73 in 2011.

By market, Germany was the fastest growing from Europe, with 17 projects compared to seven in 2011 (up 143% from over a year ago). In Asia, Mainland China and Japan were ahead (up 10.7% and 17.4% compared to a year ago, respectively). Galpin confirmed that InvestHK is delighted "to see that German companies are choosing to set up in Hong Kong in growing numbers."

Galpin concluded that Hong Kong "is not only popular for multinationals with global functions but is also increasingly a magnet for entrepreneurs who are attracted by the business convenience and opportunities it has to offer."

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series, titled "Offshore For Corporates", discusses in depth the comparative merits of offshore HQs, with a Corporate Treasury section analysing how to get an optimal blend of tax-efficiency and profits and finally a study into how two types of international business can use onshore low-tax regimes in parallel with offshore jurisdictions to construct highly tax-efficient corporate structures, is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at
TAGS: individuals | Asia Pacific | business | entrepreneurs | China | United Kingdom | corporate headquarters | multinationals | Canada | Germany | Hong Kong | United States | retail | Japan

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