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Sector-specific opportunities

There are numerous prospects and High Value Opportunities (HVOs) for UK business in various sectors, including business and professional services, consumer products, creative industries, environment, FinTech, healthcare, Hong Kong Airport, ICT, innovation technology, Kai Tak Development (KTD), tourism and hospitality, transport and West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD).

 

Research

Before exporting to Hong Kong and Macau, you should carry out extensive planning and market research. Ideally you should use both desk research and market visits, as you will need to determine whether there is a market for your product or service, and if your pricing is competitive.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) trade specialists to find local representatives for your products via: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-customers-export-opportunities.

From its worldwide network, DIT can provide international export sales leads. Find export opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau at: https://opportunities.export.great.gov.uk/. For more information about opportunities and advice on doing business in Hong Kong and Macau contact DIT at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-hong-kong#contact-us.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

Do not forget to check that your goods meet the legal requirements for export, at the UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) (formerly known as the Export Control Organisation) at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/export-control-organisation.   

 

Government tenders

Government tenders for goods and services are listed on the Hong Kong Treasury Branch website at: https://www.fstb.gov.hk/tb/en/information-on-government-tender.htm, as well as a guide to government procurement in Hong Kong.

Government tenders in Hong Kong are also published in the local press and on the Hong Kong Government Gazette at:https://www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/?lang=e&agree=0.

Partnering with a Hong Kong firm may improve your chance of success if applying for a government tender. Check with the DIT team in Hong Kong at: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/department-for-international-trade-hong-kong#contact-us for assistance and information about third-party advisers if you decide to have your tender bids submitted by a domestic company or consultant.

[Source – DIT/gov.uk]

 

Business and professional services

Hong Kong has a vibrant and diverse professional services sector, offering tremendous opportunities for business and professional services companies with the mainland Government’s Belt and Road Initiative, particularly in education and training, legal, accounting, human resources, consultancy and more.

  • Education and training – as a leading education hub in the region, Hong Kong has opportunities ranging from playgroups and kindergartens to international schools and higher education institutions, as well as from leisure learning to professional and vocational training centres.

  • Executive search and HR consulting services – boosted by the strong pool of local talent and business-friendly immigration policies making it simple to recruit overseas professionals, Hong Kong is a major market for the executive search and human resources consulting business.

  • Legal services – over 70% of international law firms, including more than half of the Global 100 have a presence in Hong Kong.

  • NGOs – Hong Kong is a popular location for international industry, cultural, advocacy and charitable organisations to set up their regional base, as well as professional institutes keen to develop Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

  • Testing and certification – accreditation services in Hong Kong are recognised internationally, and with the manufacturing and export activities of Mainland China and other neighbouring Asian countries, Hong Kong provides high levels of integrity and credibility as the preferred location for testing and certification operators.  

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on business and professional services and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Consumer products

Due to Hong Kong’s prime location, those involved in consumer products have proximity to both vendors and consumers and are well-supported by specialists in channel development and multi-platform marketing. The large market size of Hong Kong, Mainland China and Southeast Asia allows great scope for organisations to find success across a variety of industries and an abundance of opportunities for UK businesses in the following areas:

  • Retail - Hong Kong is the top shopping destination for over 56 million global visitors, and – together with its free port, low tax base and  absence of sales tax – is therefore an unrivalled ‘shop window’ for retailers and the ideal test-bed for new launches.

  • Cosmetics and personal care - Hong Kong’s open regulatory environment ensures significant market space for both cosmetics and personal care. Retail sales (excluding internet sales) reached US $6 billion in 2016.  

  • E-tail and e-platform sourcing - online shopping is increasingly popular amongst locals with purchases predicted to increase more than 50% over the next two years. Opportunities are present for UK businesses to source new products with regional shopping platforms, and Hong Kong’s location makes it an ideal gateway to Mainland China and other emerging markets and manufacturing regions across East and Southeast Asia.

  • Jewellery - Hong Kong is the world’s largest exporter of custom jewellery, and jewellery is one of the top shopping purchases made by visitors and are sought after for their quality and authenticity. 

  • Sourcing - because of its specific strategic business advantages, several of the world’s biggest retailers have set up their regional or global sourcing operations in Hong Kong.

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on consumer products and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Creative industries

As Asia’s creative hub, Hong Kong’s creative industries span art and culture, design, media, advertising, film, music, multimedia and more, and its international trade shows and events attract thousands of global visitors annually.

  • Art and culture, design - the region is one of the largest export markets for design services with proximity to manufacturers in the Greater Bay Area aiding reduced production costs. 

  • Media and entertainment - with excellent communication networks, Hong Kong is a prime regional location for media companies including TV broadcasters, news agencies and more.

  • Multimedia - Hong Kong’s world-class internet connectivity provides an excellent online and mobile platform for digital businesses.

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on creative industries and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Environment

The Hong Kong Government is tackling environmental issues through the development of schemes for:

  • landfill expansion

  • Organic Waste Treatment Facilities (OWTF)

  • integrated waste management facilities

  • electric vehicles and their associated support infrastructure

  • green buildings

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on environmental opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

 

Financial technology (FinTech)

Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading FinTech hubs, experiencing incredible growth in recent years. In 2017, 48 of the world’s leading FinTech companies were reaping rewards from the city’s technologically-advanced ecosystem.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – local banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong are proactively including AI technology as part of their modern financial strategy. 

  • Blockchain – to facilitate the growth of Blockchain technology, Hong Kong boasts a strong telecommunications industry and has attracted major cloud service companies from both the US and Mainland China.

  • Cyber security – cyber security provides the foundations for Hong Kong to grow its assets in FinTech, ensuring that the market stays safe.

  • RegTech – Hong Kong has strong practice in regulation technology. The University of Hong Kong is strongly committed to RegTech research and is collaborating with partners in Europe and Australia to support the city’s future. [Source – http://www.hku.hk/press/news_detail_16668.html]

  • InsurTech – whilst having some of the brightest insurance technology practitioners from around the world, many insurance companies in Hong Kong are adopting the latest technology and innovation.

  • Wealth management – clear and straightforward regulations, for example, on robo-advisers and the distribution side of wealth management are offered by Hong Kong.

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on FinTech and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Healthcare

Hong Kong has an ageing population and is keen to offer strong commercial opportunities for UK companies, increasing dialogue and research collaboration between the UK, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Opportunities to develop long-term partnerships include:

  • hospital building and redevelopment projects worth £4.9 billion (from now to 2022)

  • promotion of UK expertise present in Hong Kong to win business in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region of Mainland China

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on healthcare opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

 

Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok) is operating at near-capacity as the region becomes an ever-busier global hub for business, trade and tourism.

The redevelopment of Terminal 2 and construction of a third runway on reclaimed land began in 2016 at a cost of over £11 billion, and will provide essential capacity beyond its completion in 2023.

Project requirements include:

  • reclamation of 650 hectares of land

  • redevelopment and extension of Terminal 2

  • construction of the third runway, major concourse building and related taxi systems

  • enhanced and extended baggage handling systems

  • extension of the automated people mover system and new interchange

  • new airport security and air traffic control facilities and systems

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on opportunities at Hong Kong’s International Airport.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

 

Information and communications technology

Hong Kong is a leading financial centre, logistics hub and retail destination, and its ICT market plays a key role in supporting the city’s major industries. Its leading ICT infrastructure ensures communication with Mainland China, and a 144 Tbps trans-pacific cable connecting Hong Kong and Los Angeles is due to come online in 2019. With IP and data protection enforced by law, Hong Kong provides an excellent base for internet-based businesses to flourish.

  • Data centres – many high-end regional data centres are established in Hong Kong and companies from different industries outsource their data storage and management, creating opportunities for data centre operators. 

  • Big Data and analytics – Hong Kong hosts several data-driven businesses from the world of finance, logistics, trade and retail. The government has opened a dedicated data portal for public use, and the Hong Kong Hospital Authority is establishing a Big Data Analytics Platform to support policies and facilitate biotechnological research. 

  • Cloud technology – Hong Kong is a leading hub for cloud technology and acts as a launchpad for expansion into Mainland China and other international markets.

  • Software and services – many of the world’s leading software services companies base their regional operations in Hong Kong to mirror their client’s preferences, whilst Hong Kong’s IP protection and tech-savvy consumers provide companies with the perfect testbed for Mainland China. 

  • Telecommunications – Hong Kong’s liberalised telecommunications market has no restrictions on foreign ownership or limits to the number of market operators. Advanced infrastructure and a high take-up of services place Hong Kong at the forefront of telecommunications. 

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/ the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on ICT and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Innovation and technology

With strong government support and its proximity to Mainland China, Hong Kong is well-positioned to develop innovation and technology. It possesses major R&D infrastructures such as the purpose-built Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Cyberport, and – together with the security provided by its vigorous enforcement of IP protection – is helping drive major innovation growth.

  • Biomedicine – the sector is boosted by advancements in medical technology combined with the modernisation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Medical and healthcare equipment companies have opportunities to be contract manufacturers and sourcing partners in Hong Kong. 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics – being one of the largest data storage hubs in the region with significant computational power, Hong Kong provides an excellent environment for the development and application of AI technology. 

  • Smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) technology – Hong Kong is making great strides with the development of IoT applications, and its high density urban development provides the ideal test bed for smart city technologies.

  • Electronics – Hong Kong is a major centre for the region’s electronics industry, offering a solid research base with rigorous IP protection, comprehensive communications and excellent transport networks.

  • Clean technologies – Hong Kong is the ideal entry point for facilitating access to Mainland China markets in the sourcing and manufacturing of clean technology products.

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on innovation and technology and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Kai Tak Development (KTD)

KTD is a huge and highly complex urban regeneration development project on the site of the former Hong Kong Airport and the adjoining districts of Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong.

The area is being transformed into a green and quality environment with major leisure, sporting and tourism facilities spanning 320 hectares.

Major projects include:

  • multi-sports stadium complex

  • hospitals

  • ‘hotel belt’ with six potential sites for high-end hotels adjacent to the cruise terminal

  • an elevated mono-rail system

  • landscaped open spaces

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on opportunities at KTD.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

 

Tourism and hospitality

Hong Kong boasts one restaurant for every 300 people and locals eat out an average of 10.5 times a week, and with a population of 7.5 million plus almost 60 million annual visitors, its food services and trading companies have a large customer base. 95% of its food is imported and restaurants can easily source new and unique ingredients due to its free port.

  • Food trading – Hong Kong is ideal for trading due to its free port combined with the ease of setting up a company with minimal capital. 

  • Food services – Hong Kong is the culinary capital of Asia with 259 Michelin Star restaurants in 2017, and offers a wide variety of cuisines and styles. 

  • Hotel and travel – with world-class infrastructure Hong Kong is an ideal location to set up an agency serving both inbound and outbound travellers.  

  • Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE) – many of the largest trade shows in Asia take place in Hong Kong and Macau.

  • Personal services – tailored services ranging from fitness programmes and gyms to other lifestyle services are increasingly available in Hong Kong.

Contact InvestHK at: https://www.investhk.gov.hk/, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) at: https://www.ipim.gov.mo/en or the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on tourism and hospitality and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – InvestHK]

 

Transport

The Shatin to Central link is a major railway network extension project consisting of two sections and the construction of ten new stations. The East-West line will run for 11 km between Tai Wan and Hung Hom. The North-South line will run 6 km between Hung Hom and Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong has a 15 year railway development programme, with plans including a:

  • Northern Link

  • South Island Line (West)

  • North Island Link

  • West Express Line linking Hong Kong International Airport with Shenzhen Airport

UK companies involved in these projects at an early stage will be well-placed to achieve numerous follow-on opportunities.

Hong Kong’s two large bus companies operate an extensive network of routes as well as several ferry and helicopter operators.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on transport and other opportunities in Hong Kong and Macau.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]

 

West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD)

WKCD is one of the world’s largest cultural projects and covers 40 hectares in West Kowloon, comprising of 17 venues under the management of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. The project includes:

  • a new museum of visual culture

  • numerous theatres

  • concert halls

  • other performance venues

  • a large green space

A number of UK companies are directly involved across the supply chain for this project, and there are further opportunities including:

  • design and installation of entertainment attractions

  • audio visual technologies

  • digital media content, audience engagement and development

  • artistic and cultural content

  • interpretation and exhibition design

  • management and operation of world class multi-use stadia and venues

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Hong Kong at: commercial@bcg.org.hk for further information on opportunities at WKCD.

[Source – DIT Trade and Investment guide: Hong Kong, gov.uk]


 

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