Overview of HONG KONG Miss Alice Choi Deputy Representative, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels Greece, January 2014
Outline • Introduction of HKETO, Brussels • Hong Kong and Greece • Key facts about Hong Kong 2
Introduction • Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels • The official government representation to the European Union and 15 European countries, including Greece. • Bilateral relations between Hong Kong and the EU, as well as governments of the 15 European countries. • Promote Hong Kong's economic and trade interests, as well as cultural and social exchanges with European countries. 3
Hong Kong and Greece • Gateway to Europe vs Gateway to Asia. • Export from HK to Greece 2013 (Jan – Nov): Around EUR 92 million (+1.7% compared to 2012) • Export from Greece to HK 2013 (Jan – Nov): Around EUR 53 million (+5.8% compared to 2012) • Total bi-lateral trade 2013 (Jan – Nov):Around EUR 145 million (+3.2% compared to 2012) 4
Hong Kong and Greece • Major Greek export to HK: • Telecommunications equipment (38.9%); • clothing (8.8%); • watches and clocks (7.9%); • plastic waste and scrap (5.4%); • perfumery and cosmetics (4.6%). 5
1. One Country, Two Systems • A Special Administrative Region of China under the 'one country, two systems' principle since 1997. • High degree of autonomy under the Basic Law, the “mini-constitution”. • Separate political and legal system from the Mainland China. • Separate immigration, customs, police and anti-corruption authorities and jurisdictions.
2. Rule of Law • Rule of law upheld by a legal system based on the British Common Law system, with a fully independent judiciary. • The fundamental rights of residents protected by law. • Legal and official regulations available in English and Chinese.
3. World’s freest economy • The ‘World’s Freest Economy’ by the Heritage Foundation in the US and the Fraser Institute of Canada. • No trade barriers • No restrictions on investments inward or outward. • No foreign exchange controls. • No nationality restrictions on corporate ownership. • Level-playing field for all. • The second easiest place in the world to do business, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013. • Constitutionally-guaranteed free press and freedom of speech. Unrestricted access to the internet. • Sound regime for the protection of intellectual property rights.
4. Low and simple tax regime Only 3 direct taxes in HK: profits, salaries, property • NO VAT/GST or sales tax • NOcapital gains tax • NOwithholding tax on dividends and interest • NO estate duty • NOglobal taxation (offshore income allowed/only HK-sourced income is taxable) • NOwine duty Source: Forbes Tax Misery Index 2009, Inland Revenue
5. International connection • The most globalised economy in the Ernst&Young Globalization Index 2012. • 3 883 international companies set up their regional headquarters and offices in Hong Kong. • English as the language of business. • The best international airport for eight of the past 11 years, with Flights to more than 160 cities. • International cargo hub. • Top choice by international exhibitions and conferences.
6. Gateway to China • Pearl River Delta - China’s largest and most productive manufacturing region • Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link scheduled for completion in 2015 – 45 mins to Guangzhou. • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge scheduled for completion in 2016.
7. HK-China Business Links • HK handles about one-fifth of China’s foreign trade. • Hong Kong is the single largest source (47%) of foreign capital for Mainland enterprises. • Hong Kong is the world’s largest and most efficient offshore renminbi (RMB) business hub, with the world’s largest offshore pool of RMB liquidity. • CEPA – A special free trade pact offering Hong Kong products tariff-free entry to the Mainland Chinese market and preferential treatment in Hong Kong service trades.
8. Upbeat economic data • World’s 9th largest trading economy in 2013. • Standard & Poor has assigned its highest rating (AAA) to Hong Kong’s long-term foreign currency and local currency ratings, with a stable outlook. • Number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China in 2012: + 4.3% (compared with 2011) • Latest GDP growth rate (Q3 2013): 2.9% • Latest Inflation rate (Nov 2013): 4.3% • Latest Unemployment rate (Nov 2013): 3.3% 14 14