The numbers of business operations in Hong Kong from overseas and the mainland, including start-ups, reached record high in 2021, according to two latest surveys published Thursday by the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
"Despite the social and economic challenges faced by Hong Kong over the past two years, Hong Kong remained resilient and maintained our unique advantages and attractiveness to the international and mainland business community," Edward Yau, secretary for commerce and economic development of the HKSAR government, said.
"The start-up community in Hong Kong has also flourished with impressive growth in numbers. With these remarkable achievements, the government will continue to strengthen efforts in investment promotion with a view to attracting more overseas and mainland companies to do business in Hong Kong, and strive to nurture start-ups, with a view to injecting new impetus into our economy," Yau said.
One of the surveys, jointly conducted by InvestHK, an investment-promoting department of the HKSAR government, and the Census and Statistics Department, revealed that the number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas and in the Chinese mainland has increased by 10 percent from 8,225 in 2017 to 9,049 in 2021.
According to the 2021 Annual Survey of Companies in Hong Kong with Parent Companies Located outside Hong Kong, among the 9,049 companies, 1,457 have set up regional headquarters in Hong Kong, 2,483 as regional offices and 5,109 as local offices.
In terms of jobs, the total number of people engaged by the overseas and mainland companies reached 473,000, up by 7 percent compared to 443,000 in 2017.
In terms of source country/territory, the mainland ranked the first with 2,080 companies, followed by Japan (1,388), the United States (1,267), Britain (667) and Singapore (449).
By sector, import/export trade, wholesale and retail topped the list (4,294), followed by financing and banking (1,728) and professional, business and education services (1,361).
The other survey, the 2021 Annual Startup Survey, found that Hong Kong's start-up scene remained vibrant, with the number of start-ups increasing by 68.5 percent from the 2017 figure to 3,755.
These start-ups engaged 13,804 persons, up by 118 percent compared to 2017's figure. They spanned different business sectors, such as financial technology, e-commerce, supply chain management and logistics technology, as well as professional or consultancy services.