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Hong Kong strengthening business ties with India

Image Credits: InvestHK, Twitter

The Director-General of Investment Promotion recently started his duty visit to Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai in India as part of Invest Hong Kong’s (InvestHK) continued efforts to promote Hong Kong’s business attractions.

The official arrived in Kolkata and later visited Pune and Mumbai. During the six-day visit, he will meet with leaders of various sectors including multi-sector conglomerates, industrial manufacturers, an energy company, a port authority, technology and creative companies and chambers of commerce.

The official will also be speaking at a seminar in Kolkata hosted in collaboration with The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and at another in Mumbai co-organised with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, to update local executives on Hong Kong’s favourable business environment.

In Pune, he will speak at a start-up networking event on Hong Kong’s start-up ecosystem and InvestHK’s StartmeupHK Festival.

It was noted that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and also a major start-up base. The country has a very good foundation in technology and is a leader in research and development. At the same time, Hong Kong is seeing a crucial economic transformation, putting greater focus on technology and innovation development.

A number of new sectors like fintech and biotech are developing fast in Hong Kong. Over the years, the city’s start-up ecosystem has also grown rapidly. The two economies share a lot of similarities.

The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area sets out Hong Kong’s multiple roles, amongst other things as an international financial city, a global innovation hub and the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region.

These areas of work are all conducive to developing Hong Kong further as an international metropolis with enhanced competitiveness.

Indian companies that aim to expand into Asia and the world should leverage the unique international status of Hong Kong.

The Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between Hong Kong and India that recently came into effect should add more appeal for Indian companies to consider Hong Kong as a regional base, the Director-General added.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area covers nine cities in Guangdong Province, namely Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, as well as the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

It is an enormous market with a population of 71 million and a gross domestic product of US$1.6 trillion.

Hong Kong discussing set up of India office

According to a recent report, Hong Kong is contemplating opening a country representative office in India to boost bilateral ties.

The Director-General of InvestHK stated that Hong Kong does not have any direct government office in India. There is a plan to open one in Mumbai which could be similar to a consulate.

However, no details regarding the timeline for the proposal were given. Currently, the only operational InvestHK office in India is the investment promotion office in Mumbai, one of the 30 such offices located globally.

As Hong Kong is now governed by China under the principle of “one country, two systems”, the city enjoys a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs.

A double taxation avoidance agreement between India and Hong Kong has come into effect recently which would stimulate more the two-way flow of investments and trade. It will boost bilateral trade and investments but it is hard to quantify at the moment, the official noted.

The official stated that Hong Kong securing trade relations with India will get traction as many Chinese companies are setting up their bases in the country.

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