Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Mar 27, 2023

‘100 foreign companies in talks with Hong Kong about investment plans’

‘100 foreign companies in talks with Hong Kong about investment plans’

Authorities hope to attract 1,130 companies to expand their operations in the city by 2025, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau says.

More than 100 foreign companies are discussing potential investment plans with Hong Kong authorities, the commerce chief has said, while also predicting the city’s economy will revive in the second half of the year.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah on Saturday stopped short of disclosing the names of the leading global corporations with preliminary investment plans in the city, saying it was commercially sensitive information.

“We have been discussing their requests on land, taxation and financial arrangements to see if they can be implemented,” Yau told a radio programme. “It takes time for companies to settle down in Hong Kong but the progress has been great … We are optimistic.”

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau.

Authorities last December set up the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises, a new initiative introduced in Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s policy address in October last year to entice target industries such as technology to invest in the city and to plan measures to meet their needs.

Yau, also a member of the office’s advisory committee, said he could not provide an estimate on the number of companies planning to put down roots in the city this year but the government would work hard to encourage corporations to invest in Hong Kong.

He added that the administration had set up a key performance indicator for the Commercial and Economic Development Bureau to increase inward investment by attracting at least 1,130 companies to expand their operations in the city by 2025.

City leader Lee earlier this month led Yau and about 30 delegates to the Gulf region for a week-long work trip which resulted in 13 non-binding agreements with enterprises and business chambers relating to innovation and technology, infrastructure and finance.

The governments of Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia also agreed to start negotiations on investment promotion and protection agreements.

Yau said the office would follow up on its plans to attract firms in the Middle East to Hong Kong, adding businesses there had expressed interest in visiting the city to explore investment opportunities.

He added Hong Kong had an edge in assisting foreign corporations interested in expanding into the mainland Chinese market.

The city would continue to explore markets in Central Asia and Africa in the future, Yau said.
Chief Executive John Lee (centre) at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

Simon Lee Siu-po, an honorary fellow at the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business at Chinese University, said the city government was “on the right track” when it came to attracting foreign investment, adding it had been relatively slow in reopening borders compared with other places. He stressed that different government departments had to work towards the same goal.

“If the bureaus do not coordinate their efforts and stay coherent on attracting foreign capital, investors may feel worried,” Lee said.

He cited plans for the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal as an example of a lack of coordination between government departments, saying potential proposals to turn nearby pandemic isolation facilities into youth hostels could affect economic development in the area and dampen the mood on investment.

He added the number of flights coming into the city had yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, and expensive plane tickets could increase the cost of investment.

Terence Chong Tai-leung, an associate professor of economics at Chinese University, suggested that the government could consider providing incentives to overseas corporations, such as tax deductions and rent discounts.

The commerce chief also predicted a revival of Hong Kong’s economy in the second half of the year, following the launch of an ambitious global tourism campaign called “Hello Hong Kong”, which will offer 700,000 free airline tickets to travellers, as well as goodies and special events.

“When we give out 500,000 free flight tickets under the first phase of the campaign, the number of people coming to Hong Kong will increase consumption and business, boosting the city’s overall economy,” Yau said.

Authorities launched the promotional drive earlier this month to entice visitors back to the city after three years of isolation under tough Covid-19 pandemic curbs.

Free tickets will be given out in phases, with the first targeting Southeast Asian countries to be distributed starting from next month. The second phase aims to draw in travellers from the mainland from April, then northeast Asia, including South Korea and Japan, and other markets in May.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board has also started giving away at least 1 million spending vouchers for tourists worth HK$100 (US$13) each under the “Hong Kong Goodies” campaign.

Separately, Yau also said authorities would follow up on Hong Kong Cable Television’s decision to pull the plug on its pay-TV services and focus on free-to-air services.

He said it was possible that a TV station with operational difficulties would lay off workers but he hoped the operator would redeploy the employees instead.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Overhaul Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Paris: Some of the police are stepping down and showing solidarity with the protesters.
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.