Foreword from Andrew Heyn OBE, British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau
I am delighted to introduce this guide to doing business in Hong Kong and Macau. The UK Government and the British Consulate-General in particular, stands ready to help companies starting out on their export journey to Hong Kong, or expanding their presence in this important market.
Trade between the UK and Hong Kong is going from strength to strength. In 2017, the last full year for which we have details, the export of UK goods and services increased by almost a quarter to £11.4 billion. This represented one third of all UK exports to China. The latest figures for 2018, covering Quarters 1-3, show total trade increasing from £8.02 billion in 2017 to £8.15 billion.
These figures underline Hong Kong’s strength as a market in its own right – it was the third largest destination for UK goods and services in Asia in 2017. It also remains a super-connector for many companies looking to do business with Mainland China.
In addition, Hong Kong is a gateway to the wider Asia-Pacific. In 2018, 1,530 companies had their regional HQ in Hong Kong – 137 of which were UK companies. This reflects the fact that Hong Kong is an open market which benefits from low taxation, the free flow of information, and the rule of law.
Hong Kong was built on trade: it has sophisticated logistical and financial services companies and strong distribution links. Its efficient port terminal and status as a free port make it extremely attractive for re-exports, and Hong Kong offers unrivalled connectivity through air, rail, road and sea to Mainland China and international markets within Asia. In fact, half the world’s population is within a five hour flight from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a dynamic, entrepreneurial, forward-looking city, with which the UK has a long-standing partnership. The fact that Hong Kong chose the UK to be its partner country for Hong Kong’s Business of Design Week (BoDW) 2019 underlines this fact. Organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre, this world-class annual event is a celebration of design, innovation and brands. I look forward to welcoming the UK delegation to BoDW in December, led by Sir John Sorrell with young designers from diverse backgrounds and new, innovative companies, demonstrating the UK’s global leadership in sustainable design. Teams in the UK and Hong Kong are working to make this the UK’s largest design trade mission ever.
So, if you are thinking of exporting, or expanding your business, then look no further than Hong Kong. The British Consulate-General stands ready to support you.
Andrew Heyn OBE
British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau
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