At the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong and its islands returned to the sovereign rule of China from the United Kingdom in 1997. While the People’s Republic of China maintains responsibility over foreign affairs and defence, Hong Kong benefits from a great degree of autonomy in governance, economic affairs and trade matters, remaining a democratic nation.
Now the regional business hub of Asia, Hong Kong has been named the World’s Freest Economy for more than a decade, making it an ideal location for foreign investment and business headquarters. Expect to experience a low and simple tax regime that gives minimum costs and maximum earnings, particularly for start-ups, while local and foreign companies enjoy equal allowances. Additionally, there is no VAT, GST or any other sales tax in Hong Kong, no withholding tax, capital gains tax, or levies on dividends. With proximity to mainland China, and as a magnet for global businesses, the incentives for organisations seeking to expand their work across borders seem endless.
The complex history of the country has created a fusion of East and West that extends into the business culture and etiquette. It is certainly worth familiarising oneself with the local particularities before meetings and trips. Business in Hong Kong can be frantic and fast-paced. Patience and attention to detail are important attributes for successful commercial dealings.
Though the risks of doing business in Hong Kong appear minimal, a solid understanding of the legislation on taxes, trading, permits and other specific features is vital. The World Business Culture website has all the relevant information for expanding into this cosmopolitan international centre for businesses, aiding a smooth and successful transition.