Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ3: Non-local media organisations and journalists based in Hong Kong

    Following is a question by the Hon David Li and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 23):


     Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of non-local media organisations and journalists based in Hong Kong as of January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008;

(b) whether the Government has any policy to attract more non-local media organisations and journalists to base themselves in Hong Kong; if it has such a policy, of the nature of the policy; and

(c) whether the Government has provided assistance to non-local media organisations and journalists in Hong Kong to gain a better understanding of the rapid development of the Pearl River Delta region where Hong Kong is situated; if so, of the nature of that assistance?


Madam President,

(a) In line with our policy of freedom of press, overseas media organisations are free to conduct business in Hong Kong; if an overseas media organisation wishes to establish an office, it only needs to set up a limited company under the Companies Ordinance and obtain a business registration certificate. Therefore, we do not have official statistics on the numbers of non-local media organisations and journalists based in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, according to the contact lists maintained by the Information Services Department (ISD), as of January 1, 2008, there were 314 overseas and Mainland journalists working for 115 non-local media organisations based in Hong Kong, including 103 overseas and 12 Mainland media organisations. The corresponding figures for January 1, 2007 are 314 and 107 respectively, including 95 overseas and 12 Mainland media organisations.

(b) Hong Kong's role as an information centre is an important condition that goes hand in hand with Hong Kong's development as an international financial centre. Media and multi-media is one of the main sectors that InvestHK targets in its efforts to attract foreign investment. For example, as a result of vigorous facilitation by InvestHK, two important and major media events in Asia, namely the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CSBAA) Convention and the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards, have been held in Hong Kong for many years in row with InvestHK as their principal sponsor. The CSBAA Convention is an annual event of the media and telecommunication sectors in Asia and attracts the participation of more than a thousand practitioners. The SOPA Awards is an important activity for publishers in the region. InvestHK will continue to provide support and incentives for such representative events in the Asia-Pacific Region to be held in Hong Kong.

     Overseas media organisations, like other overseas business organisations, will consider a number of important factors when deciding to establish offices in Hong Kong, including Hong Kong's geographical location and global connectivity; the simple and low taxation regime; Hong Kong being an important international financial centre and a regional commercial hub, especially a gateway to China; and the free flow of information, press freedom and freedom of speech in Hong Kong which are important fundamentals for news reporting. All these factors work together to make Hong Kong a popular regional base for non-local media organisations and journalists.

(c) One of the major duties of the ISD is to liaise with and assist Hong Kong-based non-local media and visiting journalists. With the rapid development of the Mainland, overseas media are becoming more interested in such issues as the role of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as a gateway to the Mainland and a platform for the Mainland to go global, the economic integration between the HKSAR and the Mainland, and the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). For journalists who are interested in knowing more about Hong Kong's co-operation with the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region, the ISD will arrange for senior officials from relevant policy bureaus to be interviewed or to conduct briefings on related subjects. In response to media requests, the ISD will help journalists to visit the PRD Region by liaising with the parties concerned there and by lining up visit programmes for the journalists in accordance with their requests.

     InvestHK has also been actively promoting Hong Kong as a gateway to the Mainland market. In order to promote the advantages resulting from the economic integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland, it has been working closely with various Mainland provinces and cities (including PRD cities) to organise seminars in major overseas markets since September 2002. In addition, InvestHK has published a report entitled "Greater Pearl River Delta (GPRD)", providing comprehensive information on the GPRD Region, including facts and figures about the economies of the major cities, regional development trends and business opportunities. Through investment promotion activities jointly organised with Guangdong Province and several other GPRD cities, InvestHK will continue to communicate directly to business executives based overseas the strengths of the GPRD, thus facilitating overseas companies to gain a better understanding of the region.

     As regards operational matters, InvestHK also provides overseas media organisations with all the support required to establish or expand operations in Hong Kong, which includes information provision, site visits to office premises and business matching.

     In conclusion, the Government will continue its efforts to maintain the free flow of information in Hong Kong. We will also continue the publicity efforts in major overseas markets and provide assistance to non-local media organisations and journalists to gain a better understanding of the rapid development of the PRD Region where Hong Kong is located, so as to attract more non-local media organisations and journalists to establish their bases in Hong Kong.

Ends/Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Issued at HKT 12:34


Print this page