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Hong Kong: A Springboard For Tech Opportunities

Tech Opportunities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong continues to serve as an important technology and financial hub despite various economic setbacks, according to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange.

According to figures from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, US$15.6 billion was removed from the city’s foreign exchange reserves from July to August, the largest decrease since 1997.

It was noted that Hong Kong’s function as a bridge to China’s financial and technological development remains an important factor amid uncertainty.

Hong Kong’s role, in particular in financial services, is to be a centre of gravity and play the role of connecting various nations through systems, people or technology.

Regarding the development of blockchain technology, one of China’s competitive advantages is that it is capable of more control over the direction of the economy. In comparison, market economies implement new technologies at different stages.

Blockchain is very difficult to implement in an established, mature economy to replace the incumbent system, because there’s just too much resistance and so much vested interest, and there is no real fundamental need, he noted. However, this is slightly different in China.

Its government is very powerful and has tremendous influence over the economic decisions of all the economic players in the country.

Blockchain plays a core role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation. The technology should be boosted to help China, and thereby Hong Kong, stay on the front line of theoretical, innovative and industrial aspects of blockchain and also occupy a seat in the global regulation-making process of the emerging technology.

The question remains, though, how will Hong Kong continue to be technologically and financially relevant on the global stage?

According to an earlier report by OpenGov Asia, two government surveys show that Hong Kong is continuing to attract and retain leading overseas and Mainland companies, as well as entrepreneurs from around the globe who use Hong Kong as the base to set up leading-edge and innovative businesses.

The city saw a 9.9 percent increase over the 2017 figure in the number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China.

The number of start-ups in Hong Kong was found to have risen by 42.8 percent over the 2017 figure in a separate survey conducted by InvestHK.

Experts believe that Hong Kong’s enduring business advantages such as its strategic position in the region as well as its international status as a sophisticated business and financial city will continue to attract world-class investment.

Moreover, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative will bring new opportunities.

According to the 2019 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong with Parent Companies Located Outside Hong Kong, the number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China was 9,040 in 2019. Among them, 1,541 had set up regional headquarters in Hong Kong, up 9.1 percent over the number in 2017.

In terms of jobs, the number of people engaged by the overseas and Mainland companies reached an all-time high at 493,000, compared to 443,000 in 2017, recording an increase of 11.3 percent.

Hong Kong’s start-up and FinTech ecosystem have rapidly and steeply risen in the last few years. The region’s renowned spirit of enterprise and its boundless energy create the perfect environment for starting a business.

This is supported by a strong network of incubators and accelerators, a pool of experienced angels and venture capitalists, a host of government-backed programmes and a welcoming community of start-ups, knit together by dozens of networking events, seminars and associations.

As the region moves into the new year, a special focus will be put on attracting innovation and technology companies in line with the Government’s policy objectives.

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