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Survey shows growth in companies from Asia setting up in Hong Kong (with photos/video)

     According to the 2013 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located Outside Hong Kong, the number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas, in the Mainland or in Taiwan reached 7 449 in 2013, up by 2.7 per cent from a year ago. The results of the survey were released today (October 23) by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).

     In terms of source country/territory, Japan topped the survey with 1 389 companies in Hong Kong, a gain of 14 per cent compared to 2012 (1 218 companies). Two others in the top five were from Asia: Mainland China (901 companies) and Taiwan (448 companies).

     Overall, the number of companies with parent companies located in Asia saw year-on-year growth of 7.8 per cent to reach 3 461 in 2013.

     The Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin, welcomed the survey findings, and said that they showed the robustness of Hong Kong, particularly for its regional neighbours.

     "Hong Kong is a strategic location in the region, and it attracts not only global functions from major multinationals but also more Asian companies that are using Hong Kong as their base from which to expand into other parts of Asia and to the rest of the world," Mr Galpin said.

     The annual survey aims to collect information on the profile of these companies and their views on the business environment of Hong Kong.

     This year, the survey saw a total of 7 449 respondent companies compared to 7 250 in 2012. Of the total, 1 379 operated as regional headquarters (RHQs), 2 456 as regional offices (ROs) and 3 614 as local offices (LOs).

     Analysed by country/territory where the parent company was located, the US was the second largest source with 1 339 companies, followed by Mainland China, the UK (586 companies) and Taiwan.

     The 7 449 companies together engaged about 385 000 persons. In terms of size, the majority of the respondent companies were of small and medium size, with 5 109 companies engaging fewer than 20 persons and 1 141 companies engaging 20 to 49 persons.

     The top three major lines of business engaged by these companies remained the same: import/export trade, wholesale and retail (3 411); professional, business and education services (1 330); and financing and banking (1 219).

     Of the top five factors that affected the choice of Hong Kong as an RHQ, RO or LO, all were given relatively high favourableness ratings: (1) simple tax system and low tax rate (73 per cent of the companies surveyed considered the factor as favourable for Hong Kong), (2) free flow of information (69 per cent), (3) geographical location (63 per cent), (4) free port status (63 percent), and (5) rule of law and independent judiciary (60 per cent).

Survey definitions
Regional headquarters: an office that has managerial control over offices in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

Regional office: an office that co-ordinates offices and/or operations in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

Local office: an office that only takes charge of the business in Hong Kong (but nowhere else) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

Survey methodology
     Data collected in the 2013 survey refer to the position as at June 1, 2013. Owing to the lack of a complete sampling frame of companies covered in the survey, the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs enumerated in each survey round represents only the best snapshot that could be taken at the time of the survey. Coupled with the voluntary nature of the survey, changes between years in the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs may be affected by the continuous improvement in the sampling frame of companies and response rate, and hence should be interpreted with care. However, it should be noted that since 2003, a high response rate of 97 per cent or above has been achieved in each round of the survey, so that the effect of the response rate is relatively insignificant. In addition, changes between years in the total number of persons engaged in these companies may also be affected by the response patterns of companies of different employment sizes. Hence, the relevant changes should be interpreted with care.

     The survey results are published in greater detail in the "Report on 2013 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong" by the C&SD. The publication is available for download free of charge from the C&SD website at:

     Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Business Expectation Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2805 6112).

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, Mainland and Taiwan 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 September 2, 2013, InvestHK has completed 3 000 investment projects creating 33 950 new jobs in the first year of operation or expansion and over HK$78.6 billion of investment. For more information, please visit

     For event photos, please visit

Ends/Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:08


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