As a leading global finance center and a historically open economy, it is worth remembering that Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1997. But Hong Kong enjoys great autonomy from the mainland, and the city has retained its reputation for ease of doing business and free trade. It frequently attracts the attention of foreign investors looking for an entry point to the Asian market.
Hong Kong is an important banking and financial center in the Asia Pacific region, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange ranks the third largest in Asia and the fifth in the world in terms of market capitalization, as at 31 December 2019. Hong Kong ranked first in the global IPO market in 2019.
Hong Kong was the third-ranked location in the world in terms of ease of dong business according to the World Bank Doing Business Survey conducted in June 2019. Its simple, low cost tax structure has made Hong Kong a natural regional hub for multinational companies doing business in Asia. In addition, Hong Kong is a free port and generally does not levy customs duties except for a very limited number of goods. Because of its attractive business environment, Hong Kong receives the second largest amount of foreign investment in Asia and the fourth largest in the world.
Hong Kong is also the perfect gateway to access the dynamic and emerging market of mainland China, attracting many leading international businesses to choose setting up their regional operations in Hong Kong.
In the second half of 2019 and into 2020 Hong Kong has been experiencing first ongoing social unrest and then the impact of dealing with the impact of COVID-19. These have been well documented in the media, but inevitably have negatively affected Hong Kong’s GDP for 2019, and likely also for 2020. The openness of Hong Kong’s economy makes it sensitive to downturns in trade and investment flows, but it has also shown its ability to rebound quickly once the conditions change, as they did post SARS in 2003 and after the GFC in 2009/10.
This guide offers you an overview of the main features of Hong Kong as a potential location for your business. It is meant to be a practical resource and will be updated regularly. We will be more than happy to provide you with any further information that you need so please feel free to ask. You can find our contact details on the last page.
This guide will give you an overview of Hong Kong on the following topics:
- General information
- Establishing an entity
- Foreign business restrictions
- Investment incentives
- Work permit and visas
- Foreign currency transactions control
- Employment (tax & legal)
- Audit and accounting
- Country quirks
- Mazars Hong Kong: Your Contacts