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Hong Kong remains the ideal tech start-up location

Hong Kong’s startup and FinTech ecosystem has rapidly and steeply risen in the last few years, notes a recent survey by InvestHK, the department of the Hong Kong SAR Government responsible for Foreign Direct Investment.

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.

The survey noted that Hong Kong has several factors which draw investors and tech talent to the region; Hong Kong’s tech ecosystem is benefitted by its geographical location, its simple tax system and low tax rate, the free flow of information, and its free port status.

Moreover, Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s freest economy for the 24th consecutive year, and is an ideal place for overseas and Mainland companies to run their regional and local operations, particularly in the fields of import/export trade, wholesale and retail, financing and banking (FinTech), professional, business and education services, and transportation, storage and courier services.

The survey noted that the top business sectors in the region include FinTech, e-Commerce/supply chain management/ logistics technology, professional or consultancy services, information, computer and technology (ICT). The region boasts of being home to more than 550 FinTech companies.

The statistics from the region are extremely promising as well and provide concrete evidence that shows why Hong Kong is the place for tech start-ups.

In 2018, the number of start-ups in the region rose by 18% (i.e., 2229 start-ups in 2017 to 2625 in 2018), this also led to an increase in the number of staff employed (51%) in the region.

A recent press release noted that Invest Hong Kong assisted a record number of overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong last year.

The Department had assisted 436 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2018.

This number represents an all-time high and a year-on-year increase of 8.5 per cent. The number of jobs thereby created (5268) also rose by 3.3 per cent on the year before.

InvestHK’s Director-General of Investment Promotion stated that noted that last year was another record year for InvestHK in terms of the number of companies assisted and the number of jobs created.

Hong Kong continues to attract overseas and Mainland investors because of its core advantages and emerging business opportunities, especially in light of the Belt and Road initiative and the latest developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay area.

It was added that the department’s targets in 2019 include companies ranging from entrepreneur-led ventures to multinationals that plan to set up or expand in the city.

Special focus is also being put on attracting innovation and technology companies in line with the Government’s policy objectives.

2018 Annual Results: Highlights

The 436 companies came from 43 economies. Mainland China continued to provide the most with a total of 101 companies, followed by the US (63), the UK (43), France (26) and Australia and Singapore (both 20).

InvestHK assisted companies from a broad range of sectors. The top sector was innovation and technology (99 companies), followed by tourism and hospitality (61) and transport and industrial (59).

The 436 companies together created 5 268 new jobs in their first year of establishment or expansion, representing a 3.3 per cent increase compared with 2017.

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