The variety of American firms with regional headquarters in Hong Kong has dropped under mainland Chinese language companies for the primary time in a minimum of 31 years.
There have been 240 US firms with regional hubs within the metropolis as of June 1, down 14 from the earlier yr and the bottom quantity since 2002, in accordance with information launched by the Census and Statistics Division relationship again to 1991. Mainland Chinese language companies with regional headquarters in Hong Kong fell by one to 251, the info present.
Strict Covid curbs, a nationwide safety marketing campaign and the struggling financial system have dented Hong Kong’s attraction as a global finance heart, with companies shifting sources to different facilities akin to Singapore. Whereas Hong Kong has eliminated its most onerous pandemic measures, akin to resort quarantine, guests are nonetheless topic to a collection of restrictions, and the border with mainland China stays closed.
Chief Govt John Lee acknowledged in his coverage handle final month that town had misplaced 140,000 staff over the previous two years, and made attracting abroad expertise one in every of his high priorities.
It is going to be an uphill climb. The variety of visas granted to abroad staff in Hong Kong fell by about two-thirds in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Journey has but to select up. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong’s flag provider, flew simply 16% of pre-pandemic passenger capability in September, whereas Singapore Airways Ltd. was again to about 73% of 2019 ranges, much like different main international operators like British Airways Plc and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Mainland Chinese language companies accounted for 18% of town’s regional headquarters, in comparison with 17% by American firms, the info confirmed. Japanese, UK and German firms had been the subsequent largest by quantity. On the peak in 2012, there have been 333 US companies with hubs within the metropolis.