Hong Kong is one of the fastest growing markets in the world being a founding member of World Trade Organizations and a member of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. It is also called as the gateway to China because it offers an easy access to business opportunities in Mainland China. Government’s trade policy reflects Hong Kong’s status as a centre of free trade and ideal place to do business, imposing less restrictions and allowing free market forces to regulate exports and imports. It provides protective measures and subsidies as a means for avoiding balance-of-trade deficits.
Any person establishing business in Hong Kong, in an individual capacity or partnership or a corporation whether it is local or foreign owned, must be registered with the Inland Revenue Department. Hong Kong Government’s basic policy of minimum intervention in local business and industries has always been much attractive to foreign investors.
There exists no restriction on foreign investors and foreign-owned companies. Although there are some statutory restrictions on foreign ownership of licensed television and sound broadcasters. In order to secure, maintain and improve access to foreign markets, Hong Kong is party to a number of multilaterals, regional, plurilateral and bilateral trade agreements.
There is no particular foreign exchange control regulation in Hong Kong, the local currency is freely convertible and no government or other guarantees are required. Anyone can freely remit the funds outside Hong Kong in the form of dividends, interest or profits earned against the investment, royalties, service fees and branch profits. The repatriation of the company’s profits are very important for any overseas company conducting business in this city.
Hong Kong executed many free trade agreements with certain economies and being a free port, it does not levy any customs tariff on import or export of the goods. Licensing is required for import and export of some goods to fulfill obligations undertaken by Hong Kong with its trading partners and to meet public health and safety or internal security needs, yet there is no hard and fast procedure for licensing. Hong Kong collects an excise duty only on few goods, irrespective that whether they are imported or locally manufactured. It is a mandatory duty of the importers in Hong Kong to get customs clearance and complete other formalities with concern authorities. Charges should be based on the value and nature of goods imported, except for articles exempted from declaration charge.
Hong Kong Government has no direct control over the prices. Although, there are only some exceptions in this regard relating to certain organizations engaged in utility services and most forms of public transport. They need to obtain Government ‘s prior approval for any price increment. As of now, there is no competition law in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s expertise in the protection of Intellectual Property Right has been recognized by Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC). Hong Kong is worldwide famous for leadership in Asia in the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. The registration of trademarks, copyrights, patents and registered designs are governed by separate ordinances.
Across Asia, Hong Kong plays a major role in export and import of goods and services. Hong Kong frequently trades with China, India, Vietnam, Netherlands, Macau and imports mostly from China, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Singapore and United States. Hong Kong mostly exports goods manufactured in Hong Kong and those produced in Hong Kong-owned industries in China. It includes gold, broadcasting equipment, integrated circuits, diamonds and telephones.
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