Doing Business in Hong Kong
Expats doing business in Hong Kong find themselves exposed to a laissez-faire economy that is, by some measures, one of the most open and transparent in the world.
Despite its proximity to Communist China, its status as a Chinese Special Administrative Region operating on the principle of "one country, two systems" means that Hong Kong is a world apart from the mainland. This is seen in the local government's respect for private property and personal freedom, and its emphasis on non-intervention in the private sphere.
In fact, partially because of their historical ties, Hong Kong seems closer to Britain, in that they share virtually identical company and trust laws, and a largely similar business culture.
Hong Kong retained its position in the World Bank's Doing Business survey for 2015, ranking as the third easiest country out of 189 to conduct business in. The region scores particularly high in key business areas such as dealing with construction permits, cross-border trading, starting a business and enforcing contracts. This is facilitated by its excellent infrastructure, an emphasis on free and fair competition, sophisticated financial networks and a well-educated work force.
It is hardly surprising that the region is a key financial hub in Asia, acting as a point where Eastern and Western business interests intersect. It continues to emerge as a key business destination and a magnet for global capital and multinational businesses. Although this Asian economic tiger may be familiar in certain ways, expatriates should make themselves aware of the nuances of conducting business in Hong Kong, if they want to be truly successful and respected in their new business environment.