Asia's world city

    Hong Kong has positioned itself to become the world city of Asia.

    This positioning is designed to highlight Hong Kong's existing strengths in areas such as financial services, trade, tourism, transport, communications, and as a regional hub for international business and a major city in China.

    It is also an aspirational undertaking - a benchmark by which Hong Kong's development as a society and an economy can be gauged and debated.

    Hong Kong's positioning as Asia's world city, like other world cities such as London and New York, is based on:

  • Its role as a manager and co-ordinator of global economic activity
  • A core of world-class service providers and a highly productive workforce
  • Modern hard and soft infrastructure
  • Educational and other institutions focused on knowledge-creation and enhancing the quality of life
  • Commitment to maintaining the rule of law, freedom of expression and association, the free flow of information, openness and diversity
  • Strong links with its hinterland, the Pearl River Delta, one of the most rapidly growing regions in the world

    The positioning of Hong Kong as Asia's world city was first put forward by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, in his 1999 Policy Address.

    Subsequently, the Chief Executive's Commission on Strategic Development recommended in its February 2000 report that: "Hong Kong needs to promote its unique position as one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities in Asia to a wide range of international audiences. A successful external promotion programme can have a significant positive impact on Hong Kong's ability to achieve a number of key economic, social and cultural objectives."

    This led to the launch of the Brand Hong Kong programme in May 2001 to provide a greater focus to the international promotion of Hong Kong as Asia's world city. The programme was launched by Mr Tung at the FORTUNE Global Forum held in Hong Kong, which brought together 500 of the world's most influential business leaders as well as other dignitaries such as former US President Bill Clinton.

    The platform at the heart of the programme is: "Hong Kong is where opportunity, creativity and entrepreneurship converge. It is a dynamic physical and cultural hub with world-class infrastructure, Asia's most strategic location, and a global network of people with an impressive record of success that can support achievement of your goals and objectives."

    The core values underpinning the programme are: progressive, free, stable, opportunity and high quality. Hong Kong's attributes, reflected in the core values, are: innovative, cosmopolitan, enterprising, leader, connected.

    A key component of the brand programme is a Hong Kong's new visual identity - a stylised dragon - that has been used to promote Hong Kong extensively in the international arena. The dragon incorporates the Chinese characters for Hong Kong (Hong Kong) as well as the letters 'HK', to signify a blend of East and West.

    The visual identity is complemented by the brandline 'Asia's world city'.

    The Brand Hong Kong programme and Hong Kong's positioning was developed following extensive qualitative and quantitative research amongst business and government leaders in Hong Kong and internationally.

    The research demonstrated that, while Hong Kong was held in high regard internationally, not all audiences had a strong grasp of the dramatic changes that have made Hong Kong one of the world's most modern and dynamic cities, with a backdrop of beautiful natural assets.

    International focus groups reviewed a number of tagline options, narrowed from existing phrases and submissions from copyrighting teams in Hong Kong and internationally. The final choice - Asia's world city - while familiar to Hong Kong audiences, was seen by focus groups in Hong Kong and internationally as reflecting the city's unique position in Asia and around the world.

    Since its launch, Brand Hong Kong has been extensively used internationally by Hong Kong's 10 Economic and Trade Offices, providing a further platform to promote Hong Kong to key business and government audiences in the major international markets where they are located.

    Invest Hong Kong

    Regional operations in Hong KongChart
    Invest Hong Kong was established in July 2000 to spearhead Hong Kong's efforts to attract inward investment.

    Over the past two years there has been strong growth in the number of international companies establishing regional operations in Hong Kong. This is undoubtedly due to Hong Kong's prime position at the mouth of the fast-growing Pearl River Delta and increased international interest in the Mainland market due to China's WTO accession.

    At the end of June 2001 there were 3 237 companies with regional headquarters or offices in Hong Kong, an increase of 8% over the 3 001 in June 2000 and the highest on record since statistics began to be collected on such operations 11 years ago.

    The major lines of business for those establishing regional headquarters were wholesale, retail and trade related services, financial services, business and professional services and the manufacture of electronic goods.

    New arts district

    A spectacular new arts district at West Kowloon will be developed on a prime, 40-hectare waterfront site facing the central business district on Hong Kong Island.

    This world-class integrated arts, cultural and entertainment district will dovetail with plans to open up wide promenades and outdoor spaces on both sides of the harbourfront in a concerted effort to maximize the potential of Hong Kong's most stunning asset, the beautiful Victoria Harbour.

    Once completed, the new district - Hong Kong's very own 'West End' with a Broadway skyline - will provide a unique attraction and boost Hong Kong's attraction as a leading centre for the arts and entertainment.

    This 'cultural oasis' will enrich the lives of Hong Kong residents, attract visitors from neighbouring cities and enhance even further one of the most beautiful skylines in the world with a new, distinguished landmark.

    An international design competition, which attracted 161 international and local submissions, was held to devise a concept plan for this prime, vacant site. A design submitted by Foster and Partners of the UK was awarded First Prize by the international judging panel chaired by Lord Rothschild, one of the world's leading patrons of the arts and heritage.

    Announcing the winner on February 28, 2002, Lord Rothschild said:"The signature feature of the design, a great canopy, flows over the various spaces contained within the development to create a unique landmark. The sinuously flowing form of the site contours and the canopy produce a memorable effect."

    The master layout plan, even at this conceptual level, organises the site to take full advantage of its prime waterfront location and its proximity to Kowloon Park and the Canton Road retail district.

    The planning process will take about three years and construction about four years. The first of the new facilities is expected to be completed by 2008, or earlier, if the planning and building process can be accelerated.