Business risks

Australian companies are advised to spend time investigating the market, obtain professional advice where appropriate and thoroughly investigate the issues in entering the market and before establishing business relationships.

Australian firms wishing to operate in this country should commit to the highest level of corporate behaviour and familiarise themselves with Australia's laws and penalties pertaining to bribery of foreign officials.

Bribery of foreign public officials is a crime. Australian individuals and companies can be prosecuted in Australia for bribing foreign officials when overseas. Further information on the regulations governing bribery of foreign public officials is available.

For further information on frauds, scams, personal and asset security, intellectual property protection and other business risks please read more about legal issues.

Intellectual property protection

Hong Kong has a robust legislative framework for the protection of all forms of IP.

Hong Kong has a well-established legal system based on the rule of law which offers strong legal protection for, amongst others, IP. Local laws fully comply with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

The Intellectual Property Department serves as the focal point for IP policy, law and registration and public education on IP protection. It advises the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on policies and legislation to strengthen IP protection, and also provides civil legal advice to other government departments on IP matters. It operates the registries of and exercises the quasi-judicial functions on trade marks, patents and designs. It registers copyright licensing bodies. It also takes part in the development and implementation of policies to promote international IP trading.

The Customs and Excise Department is responsible for enforcing the criminal aspects of infringement of IP rights. It investigates complaints alleging infringement of trademarks and copyright and complaints alleging false trade descriptions. The department has extensive powers of search and seizure, and cooperates with overseas enforcement authorities and owners of trademarks and copyright in a concerted effort to combat infringement of IP rights.

Dispute resolution

Hong Kong is one of the leading dispute resolution centres in Asia-Pacific, and a preferred venue for the resolution of commercial disputes. The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre provides cost effective, efficient, and reliable dispute resolution services, including mediation, arbitration, and adjudication.