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Number of overseas and Mainland companies with HK business operations continues to grow

The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China climbed to 7 986 in 2016, compared to 7 904 a year ago, according to a joint survey conducted by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) and the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (October 26).

Results of the 2016 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located Outside Hong Kong show that the 7 986 respondent companies comprised 1 379 operating as regional headquarters (RHQs), 2 352 as regional offices (ROs) and 4 255 as local offices (LOs).

In terms of jobs, the number of people engaged by the foreign and Mainland companies (435 000) reached an all-time high, and went up by 3 per cent compared to 422 000 persons in 2015. In terms of source country/territory, Japan ranked first with 1 376 companies in Hong Kong, followed by the US (1 353), Mainland China (1 123), the UK (656), Taiwan (387) and Singapore (382). By sector, import/export trade, wholesale and retail topped the list (3 575), followed by financing and banking (1 520), and professional, business and education services (1 283).

The Acting Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Charles Ng, said, "Despite ongoing uncertainties in the global economy, we are cautiously optimistic going forward. As the results of the latest survey show, Hong Kong continues to attract overseas companies and Mainland companies, thanks to our city's unique location in the region, our role as the 'super-connector' between Mainland China and the rest of the world, and the latest innovation push by the Government. All these factors will continue to contribute to a favourable business environment in Hong Kong. InvestHK will continue its robust investment promotion efforts."

Survey definitions
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Regional Headquarters: an office that has managerial control over offices in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.
Regional Office: an office that co-ordinates offices and/or operations in the region (i.e. Hong Kong plus one or more other places) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.
Local Office: an office that only takes charge of the business in Hong Kong (but nowhere else) on behalf of its parent company located outside Hong Kong.

Survey methodology
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Data collected in the 2016 survey refer to the position as at June 1, 2016. Owing to the lack of a complete sampling frame of companies covered in the survey, the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs enumerated in each survey round represents only the best snapshot that could be taken at the time of the survey. Coupled with the voluntary nature of the survey, changes between years in the number of RHQs, ROs and LOs may be affected by the continuous improvement in the sampling frame of companies and response rate. Nonetheless, a high response rate of over 95 per cent has been achieved in each round of the survey since 2003, and thus the effect of the response rate is relatively insignificant. Furthermore, changes between years in the total number of people engaged by these companies may also be affected by the response patterns of companies of different employment sizes. With all the limitations mentioned above, the relevant changes should be interpreted with some caution.

The survey results are presented in greater detail in the "Report on 2016 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong Representing Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong" published by the C&SD. The publication is available for download free of charge from the C&SD website at www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp360.jsp?productCode=B1110004.

Enquiries about the contents of this report may be directed to the Business Expectation Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 3903 7262).

About InvestHK

InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government established in July 2000 to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong’s vibrant economy. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.

26.10.2016


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