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News | Wednesday, 01 July 2009

Hong Kong, your gateway to China

Karl Stagno-Navarra

Since the forging of diplomatic ties between China and Malta almost 40 years ago, both countries have enjoyed sound and stable development of bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and equality. The two countries share mutual support and cooperation on a wide range of areas, covering politics, trade, economy, culture, education and civil affairs as well as health care, military, science, technology, judicial areas and people to people exchanges. In the past few years, Malta and China witnessed more frequent exchanges of high-level visits. Sino-Maltese relations, developed on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, have been lauded as a good example of friendly relations between two countries of different sizes, different social systems and cultural traditions. As time goes by, the friendly relations and cooperation in all fields will make even greater headway, which represents the common aspiration of the two peoples.
Sino-Maltese relations have a solid basis with both sides enjoying mutually trusted politics, mutually complementary economies and mutually communicated cultures.
Trade relations between the two countries have continued to flourish throughout the years, while many Maltese have visited the Asian giant and forged strong commercial ties with companies and services.
But in the wake of such positive developments, it is Hong Kong that is coming forward to promote itself as the main strategic gateway to do business with China.
Officials from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office have last week visited Malta and met with government officials and executives from Malta Enterprise and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry to promote and create the awareness amongst the Maltese business community about the potential of Hong Kong’s facilities to tap into mainland China.
Malta and Hong Kong are former British colonies and therefore they both have very similar legislation. Moreover, the financial services and legal set up are almost identical, with Hong Kong promoting itself as a main arbitrary centre for dispute settlement with Chinese companies.
Statistics clearly show that Hong Kong continues to be the top choice of location for overseas and Mainland China companies to manage their regional businesses.
According to an annual survey jointly released by Invest Hong Kong and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) in October 2008, Hong Kong was host to 6,612 overseas and Mainland China companies representing parent companies located outside Hong Kong, as at June 2, 2008.
This represents an increase of 2.7% from 2007. 3,882 of these companies served as regional headquarters or offices.
In recent years, two emerging trends have further strengthened Hong Kong’s status as a regional and even international hub: more multinationals have upgraded their Hong Kong operation by adding regional and even global responsibilities, while more and more Mainland companies have established local offices here to capture the business opportunities Hong Kong has to offer.
“We at Invest Hong Kong cannot and will not be complacent. The competition is getting stronger in the region, so investors have more choices. Given the recent global financial difficulties and uncertain economic outlook, companies may delay overseas investments or even reduce the size of their operations. We therefore have to work even harder to attract and retain investors from all over the world,” is what the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office representatives are telling the Maltese business community.
Key favorable factors affecting the choice of Hong Kong as a location for RHQ/RO/LO (in descending order of favorableness rating) are:

(1) Simple tax system and low tax rate;
(2) Free flow of information;
(3) Absence of exchange controls;
(4) Corruption–free government;
(5) Communication, transport and other infrastructure;
(6) Free port status;
(7) Political stability and security;
(8) Geographical location;
(9) Rule of law and independent judiciary;
(10) Availability of business services and professional support services.

Further enquiries and assistance could be obtained from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office located in Rue d’Arlon 118 – 1040, Brussels, Belgium.
Contact person :
Mr Siegfried VERSTAPPEN,
Senior Investment Promotion Executive
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels
Email: siegfried_verstappen@hongkong-eu.org

 

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01 July 2009
ISSUE NO. 588

Malta Today

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