Hong Kong‘s new Chief executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam took office in October 2017 and lets expect real game changes by women power! She spreads an aura of Hong Kong‘s competitive edge and practically every word that came out of her mouth while I had the honor of following three speeches of her during the Annual Federation, Smart-Business and Business Intellectual Property Forums‘ week after the second month of the beginning of her term conveyed content.
The city state has developed the soundest Rule of Law among all Asian economies and is the most competitive and freest Economy in the World. 5 Universities from Hong Kong are ranked among the top100 globally!
Over the last 2 years regional headquarters have been coming back to Hong Kong finding itself as the home of APAC corporates driving the GDP to leading growth rates over the West & North of Asia. The deficit-free city state currently sits on a reserve of 2 years‘ City Budgets! This allows a tax-rate cut by 10% of flat corporate taxes to 16.5% incentivizing R&D by a 300% off-set for the first HK$2mln and 200% thereafter. Hong Kong‘s dedication to Innovation is further underlined by building a second Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to foster the formation of a Creative Industry Cluster and an Information & Technology Cluster with integrated education facilities. In addition to the R&D tax incentives, Start-ups will get a 50% discount on Hong Kong‘s new Flat Tax Rate for the first HK$2mln earnings.
Further Hong Kong is boosting its connectivity by the soon to open Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and a new Hong Kong – Guangdong-Shenzhen Express rail. In addition a 7th land boundary control point will be implemented at Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai. And Hong Kong International Airport is being getting a 3rd runway. All this shall combine with Hong Kong‘s advantages of the One – Country Two Systems status. And the motto of the new Hong Kong government is to continue the support in integration development by investing into Hong Kong’s own programs.
In this self-confidence Hong Kong will next month be signing an agreement on Hong Kong’s role in the Belt and Road Initiative having become part of CCP‘s party statutes. Additionally Hong Kong is driving the Guangdong Hong Kong Macao Bay Area agenda fostered by China as Innovation & Technology Center Role Model for the node cities‘ development across the Belt and Road. Carrie Lam further announced Expansions for overseas External Trade Offices in Korea, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand and India. With Mainland China Hong Kong plans enhanced financial connectivity of stock exchange market places. And we will see Hong Kong continuing to drive FTAs, DTAs, IPPAs and CDTAs with other economies. Hong Kong’s new administration wants to extend the city’s role as facilitator and promoter in addition to being a Service Provider and Regulator by new style of governance (inclusive with compassion) under a new fiscal philosophy (make timely investment for higher quality). This will address the following areas:
1. Boost Innovation (currently just 20% of Shenzhen‘s $/GDP and only 10% technician rate)
2. Enhancing the Standard of living (addressing the issue of affordable housing)
3. Arts & Culture (West Kowloon Cultural District)
4. Sports events (Kai Tak Sports)
5. Tackle Climate Change
6. Tourism (Eco-, quality services, experience)
7. Trade Logistics pursue value added maritime services (fastest e-tailing distribution center)
8. Prof. Services by HK training-centers (Map out manpower needs and advertise abroad)
Most can be found in China‘s new Normals‘ expectation on the Hong Kong Belt and Road Node:
Four strength Four Platforms Bolster Four Weaknesses
Strategic Location Conferences & Fairs in depth study China Policy & Strategy
1st Mover Advantage Finance & Investment pertain know how on mainland Industry
Professional Services Service Platforms perceive National conditions B&R partners
Cultural Advantages Training & Education attract talents in & from all areas
So all in all one may agree with her saying: The best of Hong Kong is yet to come!