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Hong Kong Welcomes FDI Growth In Latest Rankings

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
02 July, 2014

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) has welcomed the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2014, in which Hong Kong was ranked fourth in terms of global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2013, behind only the United States, Mainland China, and Russia.

According to the annual report released by UNCTAD, global FDI inflows rose by nine percent to USD1.45 trillion in 2013. With an inflow of USD77bn, Hong Kong continued to be the second largest FDI recipient in Asia after the Mainland (USD124bn).

The Director-General of Investment Promotion at InvestHK, Simon Galpin, said: "It is encouraging to see that Hong Kong continues to be one of the leaders in global and regional FDI. It shows that our city continues to be an important FDI conduit given its enduring advantages including low and stable tax, free market access, and easy business environment."

The UNCTAD report added that Hong Kong had been "highly successful" in attracting multinational companies (MNCs), with almost 1,400 such regional headquarters operating in Hong Kong as at 2013. It confirmed that Hong Kong continued to be one of the "major destinations" for the headquarters of MNCs targeting Asia Pacific markets.

It was pointed out that, in March 2014, the Chinese Government decided to move the headquarters of its CITIC investment group to Hong Kong, which is likely to enhance further its competitive advantages for attracting investment from leading MNCs, including those from the Mainland.

InvestHK – the department established by the Government to attract FDI and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong – has disclosed that it helped a record 223 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in the first half of this year, marking a 4.7 percent year-on-year increase. The Mainland continued to be the largest single source of growth with a total of 55 completed projects, followed by the US with 30 projects, Japan with 20, France with 19, and the UK with 18.

Galpin said that Hong Kong's status as an international business hub and its geographical location has continued to make it an ideal platform for Mainland companies to go global. He noted that companies in asset management, e-retail, and enterprise solutions were attracted to set up and expand in Hong Kong, and that, in addition, Hong Kong continued to attract start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In the first half of this year, InvestHK helped 39 start-ups to set up in Hong Kong, accounting for 17.5 percent of the total projects. Nine startups were from France, six from the US, five from the UK, and four from Germany, joining the multimedia, asset management, and alcoholic beverage industries.

Galpin concluded that "Hong Kong continues to attract not only multinationals but also a growing number of founders and entrepreneurs from Europe. Against this backdrop, we are optimistic that we will be able to meet our annual target of 350 projects this year."

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