Hong Kong is the fourth most desirable economy in the world for business expansion after the United States, United Kingdom and China, according to a survey by market research agency Vanson Bourne.
About one-third of decision makers in the survey who described Hong Kong as highly desirable cited its tax and governance rules as the most attractive factor. Affluence of its population and potential customer base add to its allure.
The survey, commissioned by British Telecommunications (BT), covered 1,150 business decision makers in 13 regions around the world.
Hong Kong is a gateway for foreign companies to the vast Chinese market, Kevin Taylor, president of BT Global Services for Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said.
Also, Taylor said Hong Kong’s cultural and geographical proximity to China is an added advantage.
Although executives in other countries see mainland China (29 percent) and Hong Kong (27 percent) having roughly similar levels of desirability, 36 percent of Chinese respondents consider the mainland highly desirable while only 20 percent of Hong Kong business executives think the same way about Hong Kong.
About 39 percent of German-based decision makers said China is the most desirable market for business expansion, ahead of their US (38 percent) and Indian (35 percent) counterparts.
Despite the rise of emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and India, established markets remain the most sought-after, according to the survey.
About 91 percent of respondents said ubiquitous nationwide high-speed internet connection is most helpful when expanding into new overseas markets.
They listed IT quality, communications infrastructure and IT skills of the workforce as the top three factors that influence their decisions.
Meanwhile, 37 percent of Hong Kong respondents cited personnel issues as an internal barrier to expanding overseas.
More than half of Hong Kong executives said government regulation is a major external challenge in overseas markets. In China, 58 percent of business decision makers see established competition as a bigger challenge than government regulation, 11 percentage points higher than the global average.
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