Everyone in the business world knows why China is the place to be for entrepreneurs who are looking to expand to the Asian market. With China’s huge population and practically cheap and versatile manufacturing industry, expanding a business there seems to be a no-brainer.
However, some entrepreneurs also forget that rapid industrialization in China also spells stiff competition. It is also harder to break through into the Chinese market unless a business truly has a revolutionary and innovative aspect.
Luckily, China is not the only entrepreneurial haven in Asia. Aside from Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong is yet another Asian city that is well-suited for tech startups and foreign businessmen.
Hong Kong may be a small city with a population of around 8 million (that certainly pales in comparison with China’s overall 1.3 billion population), but it is no secret that it is also an internationally-known area for tech business, innovation, finance and even as a tourism hotspot.
It also offers a stable but growing economy, which creates a good ground for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Below are three more reasons why Hong Kong is the best Asian city for your business:
Great and Efficient Government Support
Although the term government support does not seem too rad, it is actually very helpful for many startups across the board. The Hong Kong government has programs which support emerging businesses in terms of finance and other business and professional services.
One such program is the Cyberport Incubation Program in 2014 which even have branches in China to assist startups who are also planning to expand to the Chinese market. There are several such ‘incubator’ programs in Hong Kong with different goals and business models on the ready. Government programs such as Invest HK also provide free advice and assistance to startups who are looking for more capital.
Aside from that, Hong Kong has a lower maximum tax rate – currently standing at 16.5%. This is actually lower than China which has a maximum rate of 25%.
Hong Kong is not also heavily bureaucratic compared to China. Business registration in Hong Kong can only take up to an hour at most, and you get a certification right away through a window – eliminating heavy paper work and exorbitant processing and assistance fees.
Hong Kong is strategically placed in a central location in Asia. Key Asian cities are easily accessible from Hong Kong. That even includes Bali (Indonesia) and Cebu (Philippines) if you want to enjoy a Tropical getaway soon. If you have business to attend to in major Asian powerhouses such as Shanghai, Beijing, Macau, Singapore and Tokyo, all these cities are just more or less 3-hours away via plane.
This accessible location is good for entrepreneurs who are planning to expand to other Asian cities, or those who are simply looking for good business partners all across Asia. Proximity to Guangzhou also gives some companies an edge (especially those who rely on hardware products) because transportation between these two cities only takes 2 hours – allowing for fast turnover rate.
If you’re worried about your physical office upon setting up in Hong Kong, there is no need to. Hong Kong is also a known ground for several coworking offices that offer furnished and well-designed spaces for office and business. Key players in this industry – WeWork and Naked Hub set shop in Hong Kong just this 2017. As much as possible, expect a competitive price range since there are several players in the coworking space industry. Finding a suitable one is not too hard, as there are already 60 coworking spaces around the city as of last year.
Offers a Nurturing Environment for Startup Companies
Do you know that over 35% of startup founders in Hong Kong are from China and other foreign cities? Hong Kong’s budding startup scene is varied in terms of culture and experience. This actually works in every entrepreneur’s favor because it gives plenty of room for refinement, knowledge and experience.
Aside from these, many startups in Hong Kong also aim to help other ‘startups’ get to the top. This includes Dragon Law, which is an online legal counsel startup that aims to help other startups become more efficient in their processes. OneSky is another startup which helps other foreign startups with language translation and localization. There are also groups like Startups HK which offer a community for both local and foreign startup entrepreneurs, and TIA HK which helps founders network with other founders.