Non-local companies that have established offices in Hong Kong and are conducting business from the city have seen their number rise to a record high, a survey showed.
As of June, some 7,904 overseas firms had offices in Hong Kong, an increase of 4.2 percent over the same period last year, according to a survey conducted by Invest Hong Kong, the government’s investment promotion agency.
Most of such companies came from the United States (1,368), followed by Japan (1,358) and mainland China (1,091), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Mainland China-based firms recorded the highest growth, with their number up 14 percent from a year ago.
Sector-wise, 3,482 such newly established operations were engaged in import/export trading, wholesaling and retailing, while 1,438 are in the financial and banking industry.
Survey respondents cited housing and inadequate supply of industrial and commercial buildings as some of Hong Kong’s shortcomings in attracting new firms to set up business operations in the city.
Simon Galpin, Director-General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, said the number of mainland financial institutions that have set up branches in Hong Kong have increased significantly during the first half of this year.
The trend shows that Hong Kong has a special role in assisting mainland companies that seek to “go out”, he said.
Many mainland firms set up holding companies in Hong Kong before they seek overseas mergers and acquisition opportunities, Galpin said, adding that some Chinese startups are also coming to the city.
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