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More Japanese Businesses Tapping
Hong Kong’s Advantages

9 May 2012 More Japanese companies are using Hong Kong to support their regional business operations, according to the most recent available statistics from the Hong Kong SAR Government (HKSAR). 

The numbers from the HKSAR Census and Statistics Department showed that 1,150 Japanese companies were operating businesses in Hong Kong as of June 2011, an increase of six per cent over the previous year. 

Among those Japanese businesses, 426 were regional offices, up from 402 in 2010. A recent survey by the Japan External Trade Organisation indicates that more than 70 per cent of Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises would like to expand overseas, with 50 per cent aiming to expand exports within the next three years, and nearly 69 per cent considering China as their destination. 

Japan’s outward foreign investment flow increased significantly, to US$115.7 billion in 2011, double that of 2010, demonstrating demand from Japanese companies for an effective offshore base for expanding business. 

Hong Kong’s advantages for new businesses will be highlighted, 11-12 May, in Hong Kong during the annual Entrepreneur Day, a Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) event featuring seminars for start-up businesses and case studies by successful businessmen. 

Three Major Advantages
Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial spirit and economic advantages serve as a magnet for foreign companies looking to expand their business in Asia, says a Japanese businessman who has ran a company in Hong Kong for the last 23 years.

“Why does Hong Kong attract so many overseas investors? It’s very simple,” says Francis Isoo Iwasawa, who set up his consultancy, Asahi Iwasawa & Associates (AIA), in Hong Kong in 1989. “I call it the three pillars of Hong Kong’s economy: a laissez-faire government, a system free of foreign-exchange regulations and, of course, its simple and low tax rate. These three factors give businesses the incentive to set up here.”

Taking advantage of the business-friendly Hong Kong platform, and its British-influenced legal system, will be the subject of a thematic session at next week’s “Think Global, Think Hong Kong,” the biggest promotion ever launched by the HKTDC in Japan.

Practical Business Solutions
The seminar, “Practical Business Solutions for Your Global Expansion,” will take place in Tokyo, 15 May, and Osaka, 17 May, helping Japanese companies see how Hong Kong can help them expand their business regionally and globally. Prominent speakers from Hong Kong and Japan will provide business advice on legal issues, including taxation, customs handling, contract protection, intellectual property rights and risk management.

Featured speakers in Tokyo and Osaka will include: Makoto Shiota, Executive Director of the Organisation for Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Innovation; Yoshio Obuchi, General Manager, Kanzai Head Office of the Organisation for Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Innovation; Anthony Wu, HKTDC Council Member and HKGCC Chairman; and Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director of the HKTDC. Junius Ho, President of the Law Society of Hong Kong and Senior Partner in KC Ho & Fong, will welcome participants in both cities, highlighting Hong Kong’s advantages for doing business in China and leading into the panel discussions.

Panellists at the sessions will include: Gavin Nesbitt, Council Member of the Law Society of Hong Kong and Consultant at Deacons; Yuka Shigetomi, Partner at Ernst & Young; Melissa Pang, Council Member of the Law Society of Hong Kong and Partner at Pang & Associates; and Huen Wong, Immediate Past President of the Law Society of Hong Kong, and Chairman of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.

About “Think Global, Think Hong Kong”
The HKTDC’s largest promotional campaign in Japan, Think Global, Think Hong Kong (TGTHK), will take place, 13-19 May, in Tokyo and Osaka. More than 2,000 Japanese business leaders, heads of small and medium-sized enterprises and government officials are expected to participate in two major symposiums, nine thematic sessions led by prominent speakers from Hong Kong and Japan, together with a variety of networking events. TGTHK will showcase Hong Kong’s advantages for Japanese companies looking to tap new business opportunities in Asia, particularly on the Chinese mainland. The Hong Kong delegation visiting Japan is the largest ever organised by the HKTDC, with 128 government officials and business leaders from 15 industry sectors. Eleven Hong Kong service providers from legal, accounting, financial and corporate services will provide free business consultation to Japanese participants. A delegation of 16 lawyers, organised by the Law Society of Hong Kong, will also take part in the events in Tokyo and Osaka.

Japanese Co-organisers and Supporting Organisations
TGTHK is organised in association with the Japan External Trade Organisation and Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan. In addition, TGTHK welcomes the support of more than 100 Japanese organisations, including the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, Japan New Business Conferences, Osaka Prefectural Government, Kawasaki City, Kobe City, Kyoto City, the Kansai Economic Federation, the Kansai Association of Corporate Executives, and the Japan-China Economic Relations and Trade Centre.

Hong Kong Partners
Fourteen Hong Kong partners are lending their support to TGTHK: the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Tokyo), the Innovation and Technology Commission, InvestHK, the Information Services Department, the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Ltd, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Hong Kong Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Japan Society of Hong Kong, and the Law Society of Hong Kong.

Think Global, Think Hong Kong Website: www.thinkglobalthinkhk.com

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:

Joe Kainz
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com 

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