It’s all about location, says Hong Kong

New Delhi : The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is actively wooing Indian investors — especially software firms and airlines — pitching itself as the gateway to the markets of mainland China, northeast and southeast Asia.

“There are a number of fundamentals about Hong Kong that are very attractive,” Stephen Phillips, Director General of Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) who was on a visit to India this month, told IANS in an exclusive interview. Stating that it is a very vibrant international city, Phillips said it is a “fantastic financial and professional services centre with a depth of talent and expertise to structure finance and business ventures across the region”. “It is a great location with a lot of talent that can help Indian businesses tackle not only the Hong Kong market but China, northeast Asia and Southeast Asia,” he said.

InvestHK is a government department of Hong Kong responsible for attracting businesses and entrepreneurs to set up a business and facilitating foreign direct investment into the city.

It offers free advice and services to support overseas companies from the planning stage right through to the launch and expansion of their business. Pointing to the centrality of Hong Kong’s location, Phillips said that almost all major cities within Northeast and Southeast Asia, home to around half of the world’s population, are within four hours flying distance. Stating that the city’s business environment is very conducive for companies, he said that Hong Kong has a very simple tax regime.

“The standard profits tax for companies is 16.5 per cent and there are plans to reduce that to 8.25 per cent after crossing HK$2,000,000 (HK$1= approximately Rs 8),” the InvestHK chief said.

“There will also be legislation put in place to encourage R&D investment in Hong Kong with a super deduction for R&D expenditure of about 300 per cent after HK$2,000,000 and 200 per cent thereafter. So, it enables businesses to do R&D and develop and rise in the heart of Asia in proximity to the mainland markets, to scale up manufacturing in mainland .”

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