Hong Kong’s Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES) held a launch ceremony on 4 October for the first batch of 20 strategic enterprises, from Mainland China and overseas, who have agreed to set up or expand their businesses in Hong Kong. They will jointly promote the development of the innovation and technology (I&T) ecosystem of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu and Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, who both attended the signing ceremony, said the companies that had made commitments spanned life sciences, biotech, fintech, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and data sciences.
“Hong Kong welcomes you all with open arms,” said Lee. “You come from all over the world, and you bring with you innovation, technology and expertise in a great variety of sectors and areas. These smart strategic companies and the many more that follow in the coming months and years will help spur Hong Kong’s rise as an innovation and technology centre.”
Lee pointed to the “one country, two systems” principle as allowing the city to offer “unparalleled connectivity” between the mainland and the rest of the world and said Hong Kong was a value-adding conduit between Chinese and overseas enterprises.
He added the government would continue to attract top-grade staff from overseas as the city’s enhanced talent admission schemes had attracted more than 160,000 applications from around the world, with over 100,000 of them already approved.
OASES said some of the enterprises would establish in Hong Kong shortly, while some had already established and were ready to expand their businesses in Hong Kong. Most would be setting up research and development centres or regional business headquarters in Hong Kong.
In the coming few years, the strategic enterprises attracted under the scheme are expected to invest a total of more than HKD30 billion in Hong Kong and create about 10 000 jobs, the majority in scientific research and management positions. In addition to investment and employment, these enterprises will assist in gathering upstream, midstream and downstream enterprises in Hong Kong and promote the development of the I&T ecosystem.
The establishment of OASES was announced in the Chief Executive’s Policy Address last October to assist in attracting high potential and representative strategic enterprises from around the world to set up in Hong Kong.
As well as identifying target enterprises worldwide, OASES carries out negotiations, formulates special incentives covering land, tax and financing to facilitate the setting up of their operations in Hong Kong, and further provides employees with one-stop facilitation services covering visa applications and educational arrangements for families.
“Hong Kong is the best springboard and platform for strategic enterprises to tap into the Mainland and international markets, especially in the Asian region,” said Chan. “With the policy support from the central government, strategic enterprises can be provided with a better development platform in Hong Kong.”