Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah (right) and Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu (centre) hold a conference on October 7, 2021 to explain the Policy Address plans. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or in the mainland, and the number of startups have both reached record high in 2021, underscoring Hong Kong as the ideal place for companies to set up or expand their businesses.
According to the annual survey of InvestHK, the Hong Kong government’s agency to attract overseas direct investment, 9,049 overseas and mainland enterprises had established their bases in Hong Kong this year, compared to 9,025 a year ago. The number has registered an accumulative increase of 10 percent during 2017 and 2021.
The number of startups also hiked to 3,755 in 2021, compared to 3,360 in the previous year, and the number has gained 68.5 percent accumulatively from 2017 to 2021
These business bases created 473,000 job positions last year, and posted an accumulative increase of 7 percent between 2017 and 2021.
The number of startups also hiked to 3,755 in 2021, compared to 3,360 in the previous year, and the number has gained 68.5 percent accumulatively from 2017 to 2021.
ALSO READ: Hong Kong, once again world’s freest economy: stability remains key
“Hong Kong endured the China-US trade war, social unrest and the COVID-19, and many think foreign firms in the city are being subjected to huge pressure. The number speals for itself. There is no exodus of business firms operating in Hong Kong, rather the number of overseas firms operating in the city are generally on the rise,” Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said in a press conference Thursday.
In addition, the city’s trade sector also rebounded, as the total value of mercantile goods trade reached HK$65 trillion in the first eight months of this year, ranked the sixth in 2020.
Although the city’s external trade sector is still buoyant and overseas companies are still keen to establish their presences here, the city’s exhibitors, exporters and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are still grappling with the COVID-19 impacts.
The government on Thursday announced a slew of measures to shore up financial support to these affected business segments.
For exhibition companies, the administration announced it will further extend the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme for six months to end-December 2022. The amount of the immediate relief given to eligible private organisers of exhibitions will be equivalent to 20 percent of the average annual rental of the relevant exhibitions, subject to a cap of HK$1 million per event.
READ MORE: HK's development linked to that of the mainland
Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation, the statutory government body to promote trade finance for exporters, will launch the “Export Credit Guarantee Scheme” on a pilot basis early next year. HKECIC will provide credit guarantee coverage to the policyholder’s export finance, up to 70 percent at a maximum of HK$50 million, thereby helping SMEs to obtain export finance more easily in the market.