A business seminar titled 'Is Hong Kong on your radar ?';, organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in collaboration with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels (HKETO, Brussels) and InvestHK, was held in Nicosia, Cyprus on 11 October 2017.
After welcoming words by the President of the CCCI, Mr Phidias Pilides, Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Miss Alice Choi, introduced the latest developments in Hong Kong, in particular in respect of business and investment
She outlined the advantages provided by the dual advantages of "one country" and "two systems", as well as Hong Kong's level playing field, which meant among others that overseas companies could benefit from the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, or "CEPA" on equal terms with Hong Kong companies.
"Apart from CEPA, and the leading role Hong Kong will continue to play in the process of the Mainland's further opening up its financial markets and the internationalisation of Renminbi, Hong Kong stands to benefit from two of the most exciting projects in recent years, China's Belt and Road Initiative; and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area," Miss Choi said.
Miss Choi said that in her first Policy Address, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, had announced measures to make Hong Kong more competitive, to help small and medium enterprises, and to press ahead with innovation and technology (I&T) development at full steam.
The Government would halve corporate profits tax on the first HK$2 million of profits to 8.25%, half the standard rate of 16.5%. One of the measures to encourage research and development (R&D) investment by enterprises was the introduction of a 300% tax deduction for the first HK$2 million eligible R&D expenditure, with the remainder at 200%.
Hong Kong takes pride in the fact that it has always been the gateway connecting Mainland China with the rest of the world, and it stands ready to help Cypriot companies seize the far-reaching opportunities these projects are providing, she said.
"I hope that many of you will join the business mission to Hong Kong that the Chamber is organising on November 7-11 to seize the opportunity to make business contacts in Hong Kong and see first-hand what our city has to offer," Miss Choi added.
At the same seminar, Ms Paula Kant, Senior Investment Promotion Executive at InvestHK, who is based in HKETO, Brussels, gave participants details of Hong Kong's advantages, its burgeoning start-up ecosystem and the opportunities for various sectors. She explained how InvestHK and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council could assist Cypriot companies in growing their business in Asia.
Cypriot companies related their positive experiences of doing business in Hong Kong and Asia, including the country's leading pharmaceutical company, Remedica, which also operates in Hong Kong. The presentations were followed by a lively round-table discussion during which the speakers took questions from participants, and a networking cocktail.