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A local guide for UK companies who wish to do business in Hong Kong. Discover the latest market trends, trade events, press release and business opportunities from Hong Kong and China.

Regional Website: United Kingdom


Hong Kong Spotlight

HK-UK Business Partnership

Accelerating Growth      

Given their nature, e-commerce businesses can operate from any location. In the digital era, Hong Kong again comes up trumps for Internet entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Among them is Joshua J Steimle, founder of MWI, a digital marketing firm focused on search engine optimisation, content marketing and online public relations. He originally set up the business in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah, but in June 2013, he moved to Hong Kong to seriously fire it up.

“Many factors brought us to Asia, not all of them related to business, such as wanting to have an overseas experience for ourselves and our children,” said Mr Steimle. But the business reasons “are compelling enough,” he added. Asia has more than twice the number of Internet users than the US has people. “And in the US, it's getting more and more competitive when it comes to digital marketing. In Asia, I saw an enormous market that is underserved when it comes to digital marketing services. In Utah we have 300 competitors, whereas in Hong Kong, we have perhaps 20, at best.” - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YVQP&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.sfyH2NXc.dpuf
Given their nature, e-commerce businesses can operate from any location. In the digital era, Hong Kong again comes up trumps for Internet entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Among them is Joshua J Steimle, founder of MWI, a digital marketing firm focused on search engine optimisation, content marketing and online public relations. He originally set up the business in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah, but in June 2013, he moved to Hong Kong to seriously fire it up.

“Many factors brought us to Asia, not all of them related to business, such as wanting to have an overseas experience for ourselves and our children,” said Mr Steimle. But the business reasons “are compelling enough,” he added. Asia has more than twice the number of Internet users than the US has people. “And in the US, it's getting more and more competitive when it comes to digital marketing. In Asia, I saw an enormous market that is underserved when it comes to digital marketing services. In Utah we have 300 competitors, whereas in Hong Kong, we have perhaps 20, at best.” - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YVQP&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.sfyH2NXc.dpuf
With so much hinging on innovation in today’s competitive business environment, at no time has Hong Kong’s reputation as the regional trendsetter been more important, says Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). Dr Lee said that simply developing a clever idea is no longer enough.

“We really need innovative mindsets to understand that there is no one business model that applies to all anymore,” he said. “We live in an experience-driven world, where you have to do something to wow people. This is the role of design: to go beyond aesthetics and clearly cement the market with its ability to understand the thinking behind the users.”

Since its establishment in 2002, the HKDC has championed the cause of Hong Kong design excellence, promoting the use of design to create business value and benefit the community. Throughout the year, the publicly-funded, non-profit organisation also runs a programme of continuous education, fostering sustainable development through design and education. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09ZQAK&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.78ezf0Gz.dpuf
With so much hinging on innovation in today’s competitive business environment, at no time has Hong Kong’s reputation as the regional trendsetter been more important, says Dr Edmund Lee, Executive Director, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). Dr Lee said that simply developing a clever idea is no longer enough.

“We really need innovative mindsets to understand that there is no one business model that applies to all anymore,” he said. “We live in an experience-driven world, where you have to do something to wow people. This is the role of design: to go beyond aesthetics and clearly cement the market with its ability to understand the thinking behind the users.”

Since its establishment in 2002, the HKDC has championed the cause of Hong Kong design excellence, promoting the use of design to create business value and benefit the community. Throughout the year, the publicly-funded, non-profit organisation also runs a programme of continuous education, fostering sustainable development through design and education. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09ZQAK&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.4kb2pZyr.dpuf
Hong Kong’s business-friendly environment has received another boost, this time from the Fraser Institute in Canada, which has reaffirmed the city’s ranking as the world’s freest economy. The Fraser Institute’s latest annual Economic Freedom of the World report, released last week, gave Hong Kong top marks in three areas: size of government, freedom to trade internationally and regulation.

In another study published last month, the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15” ranked Hong Kong seventh overall. The city topped the list in the infrastructure pillar, “reflecting the outstanding quality of its facilities across all modes of transportation.” Hong Kong continues to dominate the financial market development pillar, owing to the high level of efficiency, trustworthiness and stability of its system, the report said. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09ZLYB&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.NLz8BI7U.dpuf
Chinese mainland e-commerce operators are switching from Taobao and other traditional e-business platforms to WeChat stores. Many conventional operators, including shopping centres, hotels, part-time purchasing agents and even second-hand goods dealers now use WeChat stores as a primary marketing platform.

For small-time operators, WeChat has a distinct advantage over other e-business platforms in the marketplace – it is highly personalised, spontaneous and interactive. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09ZKPN&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.2axerEiw.dpuf

In Europe, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have doubled annually since production vehicles were first marketed in 2010, according to a study by the environmental think-tank Transport & Environment. The same report predicts that China will be the next cab off the rank. Hong Kong offers pole position for manufacturers looking to tap this demand, highlighted by last month’s expansion of the United States' Tesla Motors in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong could “potentially be the place to showcase the success of electric vehicles to the rest of Asia,” according to Veronica Wu, Vice President of Tesla’s China operations.

“We want Hong Kong to be the Norway of Asia,” she said. “The Hong Kong Government is very open to the idea of electric vehicles and very committed to supporting sustainability. I think that Hong Kong will be a reference city in Asia-Pacific in terms of electric vehicle use.”


Given their nature, e-commerce businesses can operate from any location. In the digital era, Hong Kong again comes up trumps for Internet entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Among them is Joshua J Steimle, founder of MWI, a digital marketing firm focused on search engine optimisation, content marketing and online public relations. He originally set up the business in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah, but in June 2013, he moved to Hong Kong to seriously fire it up.

“Many factors brought us to Asia, not all of them related to business, such as wanting to have an overseas experience for ourselves and our children,” said Mr Steimle. But the business reasons “are compelling enough,” he added. Asia has more than twice the number of Internet users than the US has people. “And in the US, it's getting more and more competitive when it comes to digital marketing. In Asia, I saw an enormous market that is underserved when it comes to digital marketing services. In Utah we have 300 competitors, whereas in Hong Kong, we have perhaps 20, at best.” - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YVQP&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.M1zgr5vD.dpuf


Peter Levesque is Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham), and Chief Commercial Officer of Modern Terminals Ltd. He has more than 25 years of international transportation and logistics experience and has been working in the Asia-Pacific region since 1996. In Six Questions, Mr Levesque explains why the Chinese mainland remains a promising market for foreign companies.  

Why is it no longer business as usual in China?
After 30 years of remarkable growth, China’s economy is maturing. This is creating new business opportunities and markets for international corporations, but it’s also driving many international business leaders to re-calculate their long- and short-term China strategy. 

Business leaders are evaluating opportunities around China’s growing middle class, as well as its aging population. Executives are also keeping a close eye on market reform opportunities that may result from the testing being done inside Shanghai’s pilot Free Trade Zone. In such a rapidly changing environment, it is critical that businesses executives dealing in China be able to identify and exploit new opportunities early to ensure their future competitiveness and to drive profitable growth.       

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YE0U&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.Ozi6gbUA.dpuf

What a difference a decade makes. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the offshore renminbi market, launched in Hong Kong in February 2004, to facilitate cross-border tourist spending, and to promote financial and economic integration between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Previously it had been virtually impossible to conduct business using renminbi outside the mainland.  

Since 2004, the city has proved to be an efficient and reliable platform for companies to settle their mainland trade in renminbi, raise renminbi capital and diversify their renminbi portfolios. During this period, Hong Kong has amassed by far the largest offshore pool of renminbi liquidity and launched a wide variety of products. This has also supported the Central Government's strategy of liberalising China’s financial system. 

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YL27&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.rjiEOoP6.dpuf

 

According to a World Bank study published in April, Hong Kong ranks fourth in the world on a global ranking of material well-being. The study measures all expenditures in the economy that directly benefit individuals – rather than using GDP per capita. By this measure, the five economies with the highest individual consumption, per capita, are: Bermuda, the United States, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.  

Letizia Garcia Casalino, Director, International Accounts, Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty, said Hong Kong is considered a prime destination for any professional, whether a CEO, young professional or entrepreneur. “The vibe that Hong Kong offers is unique, and people who want to move here usually know it,” said Ms Casalino, who is Italian. “Hong Kong opens a lot of doors, and that is also why it’s a favourite destination for a lot of people with different objectives.” 

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09Y7ZG&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.hY6HlSgF.dpuf

Peter Levesque is Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham), and Chief Commercial Officer of Modern Terminals Ltd. He has more than 25 years of international transportation and logistics experience and has been working in the Asia-Pacific region since 1996. In Six Questions, Mr Levesque explains why the Chinese mainland remains a promising market for foreign companies.  

Why is it no longer business as usual in China?
After 30 years of remarkable growth, China’s economy is maturing. This is creating new business opportunities and markets for international corporations, but it’s also driving many international business leaders to re-calculate their long- and short-term China strategy. 

Business leaders are evaluating opportunities around China’s growing middle class, as well as its aging population. Executives are also keeping a close eye on market reform opportunities that may result from the testing being done inside Shanghai’s pilot Free Trade Zone. In such a rapidly changing environment, it is critical that businesses executives dealing in China be able to identify and exploit new opportunities early to ensure their future competitiveness and to drive profitable growth.       

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09YE0U&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.Ozi6gbUA.dpuf

According to a World Bank study published in April, Hong Kong ranks fourth in the world on a global ranking of material well-being. The study measures all expenditures in the economy that directly benefit individuals – rather than using GDP per capita. By this measure, the five economies with the highest individual consumption, per capita, are: Bermuda, the United States, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.  

Letizia Garcia Casalino, Director, International Accounts, Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty, said Hong Kong is considered a prime destination for any professional, whether a CEO, young professional or entrepreneur. “The vibe that Hong Kong offers is unique, and people who want to move here usually know it,” said Ms Casalino, who is Italian. “Hong Kong opens a lot of doors, and that is also why it’s a favourite destination for a lot of people with different objectives.” 

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09Y7ZG&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.CdAZMRjR.dpuf

According to a World Bank study published in April, Hong Kong ranks fourth in the world on a global ranking of material well-being. The study measures all expenditures in the economy that directly benefit individuals – rather than using GDP per capita. By this measure, the five economies with the highest individual consumption, per capita, are: Bermuda, the United States, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.  

Letizia Garcia Casalino, Director, International Accounts, Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty, said Hong Kong is considered a prime destination for any professional, whether a CEO, young professional or entrepreneur. “The vibe that Hong Kong offers is unique, and people who want to move here usually know it,” said Ms Casalino, who is Italian. “Hong Kong opens a lot of doors, and that is also why it’s a favourite destination for a lot of people with different objectives.” 

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09Y7ZG&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.CdAZMRjR.dpuf

The insurance industry has undergone major changes in the past decade. But recent developments in Asia, including the growth of high-net-worth consumers, make the region a market with strong potential. Results in Hong Kong bear this out.

Profitable Year

Hong Kong's insurance sector last year grew 13.9 per cent, year-on-year, as companies sold or re-issued premiums valued at US$37.5 billion. Revenue from established policies contributed US$31.9 billion to insurance company coffers, a 15.2 per cent increase on 2012, according to provisional statistics released by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

Life and annuity revenue increased 18.4 per cent, to US$22.2 billion, for non-linked business, and by 9.5 per cent, to US$7.03 billion, for linked business. Contributions of retirement scheme business grew by 2.1 per cent to US$2.19 billion.  

For the 155 insurers authorised in Hong Kong at the end of 2013, the news is generally good.

Strong sales in Hong Kong have contributed to a record quarter for the AIA Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-headquartered, pan-Asia insurance group. For the quarter ending 28 February, AIA recorded 22 per cent growth in the value of new business, which was a “very positive start to the year,” said Mark Tucker, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President.

 

 
  Mark Tucker, Chief Executive and President of AIA Group Ltd, talks about why Hong Kong is the perfect base for his company
“Excellent growth” in Hong Kong was a highlight of the quarter, while the Chinese mainland was the group’s strongest performing business overall. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09XMRF&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.90OWPzzJ.dpuf

The insurance industry has undergone major changes in the past decade. But recent developments in Asia, including the growth of high-net-worth consumers, make the region a market with strong potential. Results in Hong Kong bear this out.

Profitable Year

Hong Kong's insurance sector last year grew 13.9 per cent, year-on-year, as companies sold or re-issued premiums valued at US$37.5 billion. Revenue from established policies contributed US$31.9 billion to insurance company coffers, a 15.2 per cent increase on 2012, according to provisional statistics released by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

Life and annuity revenue increased 18.4 per cent, to US$22.2 billion, for non-linked business, and by 9.5 per cent, to US$7.03 billion, for linked business. Contributions of retirement scheme business grew by 2.1 per cent to US$2.19 billion.  

For the 155 insurers authorised in Hong Kong at the end of 2013, the news is generally good.

Strong sales in Hong Kong have contributed to a record quarter for the AIA Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-headquartered, pan-Asia insurance group. For the quarter ending 28 February, AIA recorded 22 per cent growth in the value of new business, which was a “very positive start to the year,” said Mark Tucker, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President.

 

 
  Mark Tucker, Chief Executive and President of AIA Group Ltd, talks about why Hong Kong is the perfect base for his company
“Excellent growth” in Hong Kong was a highlight of the quarter, while the Chinese mainland was the group’s strongest performing business overall. - See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09XMRF&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.90OWPzzJ.dpuf

Seven months since the Central Government launched the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council earlier this month organised a business mission to the area.

Among the 20 some-members who took part in the mission was Christopher Hammerbeck, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. The longtime head of the local British chamber says the Shanghai pilot scheme offers significant opportunities for Hong Kong

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09XE9L&DATASOURCE=hkthk#sthash.n9IX5yZX.dpuf

Hong Kong has one of the world’s most sophisticated and successful telecommunications and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) markets. Its mobile penetration rate of about 232 per cent, as reported by the Hong Kong Office of the Communications Authority, also makes the city among the most connected markets globally.  

As the industry is wholly privately owned, with no foreign-investment restrictions, all services are open for competition. The level playing field, coupled with the advanced technology and quality services of Hong Kong's telecommunications/ICT sector, is an attractive proposition for multinational companies. 

American telecom firms AT&T and Verizon are among the major players that have set up regional operations in the city, while leading Chinese ICT manufacturer Huawei took its first steps into the overseas markets via Hong Kong.

- See more at: http://www.hktdc.com/info/web/mi/article.htm?LANGUAGE=en&ARTICLE%5fID=1X09XVZG&DATASOURCE=hkti#sthash.DRwCLewd.dpuf

What's New

Think Asia, Think Hong Kong events in France and Italy Think Asia, Think Hong Kong comes to Paris and Milan
24 Oct 2014 (Press Release)
HKTDC's Think Asia, Think Hong Kong promotions will be extended to France & Italy, and feature an array of high-level speakers

Margaret Fong on her first day as HKTDC Executive Director  HKTDC's New Executive Director Takes Up Post
3 Oct 2014 (Press Release)
Margaret Fong, who has taken over as HKTDC Executive Director, stressed the importance of customer service and communication

The afternoon event will be held at St Hilda's College Free Hong Kong Seminar in Oxford
9 Sept 2014 (Press Release)
The half-day event will highlight opportunities in Hong Kong and China for UK companies

HKTDC will promote their licensing show and conference HKTDC at Brand Licensing Europe 2014
9 Sept 2014 (Press Release)
HKTDC will participate in the event at London Olympia to promote the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and The Asian Licensing Conference.

The Transport and Housing Secretary will deliver the keynote address Hong Kong Seminar in London, 25 September
7 Aug 2014 (Press Release)
Transport and Housing Secretary Prof. Anthony Cheung will focus on Hong Kong's connectivity and global role.
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