Number of overseas and Mainland companies in HK continues to grow generating more jobs
The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China climbed to 8 225 in 2017, compared to 7 986 a year ago, according to the results of a joint survey conducted by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (11 October 2017).
Results of the 2017 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located Outside Hong Kong show that the 8 225 respondent companies comprised 1 413 operating as regional headquarters (RHQs), 2 339 as regional offices (ROs) and 4 473 as local offices (LOs).
In terms of jobs, the number of people engaged by the overseas and Mainland companies (443 000) reached an all-time high, up by around 2 per cent compared to 435 000 in 2016.
In terms of source country/territory, Japan was ranked first with 1 378 companies, followed by the United States (1 313), Mainland China (1 264), the United Kingdom (675) and Singapore (408).
By sector, import/export trade, wholesale and retail topped the list (3 810), followed by financing and banking (1 621), and professional, business and education services (1 200).
The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Stephen Phillips, said, “As the results of the latest survey show, Hong Kong continues to attract a growing number of overseas and Mainland companies, reflecting confidence in Hong Kong’s business environment. InvestHK will continue to actively promote Hong Kong’s unique advantages to potential investors around the world. These include our city’s strategic location in the region, as well as the new and exciting opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development. I am confident that all these factors will help promote economic development and encourage companies to explore investment opportunities in Hong Kong.”
Regional Headquarters: an office that has managerial control over offices and/or operations in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one other place or more) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.
Regional Office: an office that co-ordinates offices and/or operations in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one other place or more) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.
Local Office: an office that takes charge of the business in Hong Kong (and nowhere else) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.
Data collected in the 2017 survey refer to the position as at June 1, 2017. Owing to the lack of a complete sampling frame of companies covered in the survey, the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs enumerated in each survey round represents only the best snapshot that could be taken at the time of the survey. Coupled with the voluntary nature of the survey, changes between years in the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs may be affected by the continuous improvement in the sampling frame of companies and response rate. Nonetheless, a high response rate of over 95 per cent has been achieved in each round of the survey since 2003, and thus the effect of the response rate is relatively insignificant. Furthermore, changes between years in the total number of people engaged by these companies may also be affected by the response patterns of companies of different employment sizes. With all the limitations mentioned above, the relevant changes should be interpreted with some caution.
The survey results will be presented in greater detail in the “Report on 2017 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong” published by the C&SD. The publication will be available for download free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp360.jsp?productCode=B1110004) as from end-October 2017.
InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government established in July 2000 to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong’s vibrant economy. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.
Hong Kong is a very mature hub for professional services, whether it’s legal, accounting and tax, as well as finance. We also see a lot of capital flowing from Asia to Europe and the US. The city is a good focal point for business.
Head of Asia Real Estate and Infrastructure and Global Head of Hotels Group of Berwin Leighton Paisner