ICT to Hong Kong
(Last updated: 29 Nov 2012)
Trends and opportunities
ICT business opportunities
Hong Kong has a sophisticated economy and infrastructure, focussed around financial services; logistics; trading; and tourism, all of which have a high demand for ICT. Moreover, as the gateway to Mainland China there is nowhere better than Hong Kong to obtain the expertise, information and facilities needed to tap into the immense Mainland Chinese market.
The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) further provides Hong Kong with additional and exclusive Mainland market access benefits. Many international companies involved in China trade have chosen to establish their beachhead in Hong Kong.
The development of Hong Kong’s ICT industry also provides opportunities in a number of areas, which include the following:
- Banking, finance & insurance IT
- eLearning & digital content
- IT services
- Green technologies
China’s 12th 5-Year Plan has prioritised the development of 7 industries including new-generation information technology and scientific R&D. The total value-added output of the new industries is expected to account for 8% of China’s GDP in 2015 and 15% by 2020.
Overall, China’s software industry still lacks core technologies, high-end software development talent, and consistent high quality software products. Moreover, foreign brands enjoy a large market share in the high-end segment of the software market, with local software products comprising less than 30% of the market.
Why is this market attractive for Australian companies?
Hong Kong is a truly international city and has a prime location at the geographical and economic centre of Asia which makes it an ideal place for new exporters to start their international businesses. The characteristics of the market are:
- World’s freest economy
- No language barrier (English is the official language)
- Level playing field for foreign businesses
- A market leader for new products in Asia
- Sophisticated, reliable banking system and stable currency
- Consistent import regulations & rule of law (IP protection, Dispute resolution)
Hong Kong's role as Asia's leading logistics, communications and financial hub has made it a natural location for the development of a sophisticated IT infrastructure. Today it is home to most of the world's leading IT companies.
Foreign companies registered in Hong Kong will have distinct advantages in exploiting the huge potential in the Mainland where ambitious goals have been set for advancements in the areas of open source software, advanced wireless technologies and RFID. Hong Kong serves as a conduit to the Mainland market with established channels of cooperation in areas of innovation, technology and information. With the announcement on 17 August 2011, RMB investment will be added to the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) scheme to allow flow back of RMB raised in Hong Kong to China. Under the arrangement, local and foreign firms in Hong Kong will be allowed to invest directly in substantive projects in the mainland in RMB such that they will be able to send RMB back to China without any foreign exchange losses under the FDI Scheme. These policies further support Hong Kong as a leading offshore RMB centre. Locally, the HKSAR Government's outsourcing initiative and the continued expansion of e-commerce will provide substantial opportunities.
Marketing your products and services
Top tips to be successful in Hong Kong
- Choosing the right market strategy and differentiating products from competitors are critical success factors.
- Finding the right local partner is important for small to medium size companies entering the market.
How does doing business in Hong Kong differ from Australia and what do Australian companies need to do in approaching this market?
A Western style of doing business has been accepted in Hong Kong. Some common business practices are:
- Quick response is expected in this highly competitive market.
- Word of mouth is important. Good or bad references can be spread easily in such a densely-populated city.
- Business executives are practical and profit oriented. They tend to look for short term solutions with immediate results.
- Successful implementation reference is a key factor in decision making progress.
- Cost, including training and implementation, is highly sensitive in the Hong Kong market..
Key ICT events in Hong Kong
International ICT Expo in April every year (www.hktdc.com/fair/ictexpo-en/HKTDC-International-ICT-Expo.html
Links and industry contacts
Hong Kong Computer Society – www.hkcs.org.hk
Hong Kong Information Technology Federation – www.hkitf.org.hk
Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association – www.hkispa.org.hk
Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission – www.itc.gov.hk/
Office of the Telecommunications Authority – www.ofta.gov.hk
Hong Kong Software Industry Information Centre – www.hkpc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2777&Itemid=275&lang=en
Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association – www.hkwtia.org
Office of the Government Chief Information Officer – www.ogcio.gov.hk
The Australian Trade Commission – Austrade – is the Australian Government’s trade, investment and education promotion agency.
Through a global network of offices, Austrade assists Australian companies to grow their international business, attracts productive foreign direct investment into Australia and promotes Australia’s education sector internationally.
For more information on how Austrade can assist you, contact us on:
Australia ph: 13 28 78 | Email: email@example.com
A list of Austrade offices (in alphabetical order of country) is also available.