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FDI into Hong Kong shows strong first half growth but global uncertainty may see slowdown (with photos/video)
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     Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today (June 21) announced that for the first half of 2012 the Department has assisted 209 overseas and Mainland Chinese companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong, up 5.6 percent from a year ago.

     The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin, was encouraged by the interim results, noting that they showed continued strength in inward investment into Hong Kong despite fears about the global economy.

     "Although global uncertainties remain, we are optimistic that we will be able to meet our annual target this year," Mr Galpin said.

2012 Interim Results: Highlights

     The 209 completed projects came from 32 countries. Mainland China was the largest single source of investment into Hong Kong with a total of 38 completed projects, followed by the US (37), Japan (22), the UK (18) and Germany (12). There was one addition to the place of origin list íV Bulgaria, and the investor is in the wine trading business. The 209 companies planned to employ 1,857 people in Hong Kong for their first year of set up or expansion, up 7.3 percent from a year ago.

     By broad sector definitions, the top three in terms of number of completed projects were "Tourism & Hospitality", "Transport & Industrial" and "Financial Services". By subsectors, Hong Kong's opportunities in the first half of 2012 proved most attractive to companies in asset management, software solutions and design services. These reflect both the traditional strengths of Hong Kong as a financial hub and recent trends such as the increasing number of Mainland companies using Hong Kong-based companies to help them "go gobal".

     By region, Europe led the field with 75 projects completed compared to 64 a year ago. Of these, projects from eurozone economies rose by 22 percent compared to a year ago. North America including Canada also reported growth, with 44 projects compared to 37 a year ago. Asia reported milder growth, with 73 projects compared to 70 a year previously. By markets, Japan was the fastest growing in Asia, with 22 projects compared to 18 in the first half of 2011.

     "Japan stands out. Its currency remains strong and gives Japanese companies higher purchasing power when expanding overseas. On the back of this, Hong Kong is a location that is close to Japan and provides the platform for Japanese entrepreneurs to expand internationally," Mr Galpin said.

     Meanwhile, over 88 percent of the 209 companies rated InvestHK's services as "very useful", compared to 81 percent a year ago. Mr Galpin described the high rating as a sign "that we're adding value", referring to the latest Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking (GIPB) survey conducted by World Bank Group that placed Hong Kong sixth in the world for handling investors' inquiries.

     Hong Kong's international business hub status continues to make it an ideal location in terms of attracting a broad spectrum of companies. In April, InvestHK assisted Nissan Infiniti's global headquarters opening in Hong Kong. Infiniti joined multinationals like General Electric and Schneider Electric which have based part or all their global functions in the city. At the other end of the scale, Hong Kong remains a magnet for entrepreneur-led start-ups from overseas, which are attracted by the city's ready pool of talent, simple business procedures and position as the financial and business capital of Asia Pacific.

Looking Forward

     Mr Galpin noted that the extent of the impact from the global economy on Hong Kong for the rest of 2012 and into 2013 remained to be seen.

     "As Asia market fundamentals remain relatively strong, economic stresses in the West are presenting a strong case for investors to expand their business to this part of the world as they try to move ahead of competitors. But if the global situation worsens so that investors have difficulty getting funding, they could delay expansion plans and hence this could impact foreign direct investment into Asia, including Hong Kong. Therefore, it is important that we continue at this juncture to strenuously promote our city's strengths and help investors gain a firm foothold here," Mr Galpin added.

About InvestHK

     InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government established in July 2000 to take responsibility for Foreign Direct Investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong's vibrant economy. As at June 2012, InvestHK has completed over 2,600 investment projects creating more than 30,000 new jobs in the first year of operation or expansion and over HK$67 billion of investment. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.

     For event photos, please visit www.flickr.com/photos/investhk/sets/72157630202395228/ .

For GIPB survey, please visit www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201205/21/P201205180468.htm .

Ends/Thursday, June 21, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:55

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