Relocating to Hong Kong

HONG KONG

Relocation & Recruitment Advice

AP Executive deals with a portfolio of jobs in Hong Kong and jobs in the Far East, just contact our dedicated executive consultants to find out more or submit your CV online.

Overview

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory on the coast of southern China, comprising of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and the Outlying Islands.

Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded to China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and Defense affairs for the next 50 years.

As the world’s primer banking and finance hub, Hong Kong is ranked as the second most competitive city in the world (The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2015). This Asian city ranks third among leading financial centres in the world, only after London and New York. It scores high on several parameters such as business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure, human capital and reputational (2015, Global Financial Centres Index).

Hong Kong boasts one of the highest concentrations of banking institutions in the world, with 157 licensed banks, 24 restricted licence banks, 18 deposit-taking companies and 64 representative offices of overseas banks (end-December 2015 figures). The diversified financial sector broadly includes asset management, stock exchange, hedge funds, banking and insurance, accounting and risk and compliance. Thus creating a favourable environment for career development.

The most distinguishing feature of Hong Kong is its dense and tall skyline with a total of 1,223 skyscrapers. Some of the prominent ones are The International Commerce Centre (ICC) (1,588 ft) high, Two International Finance Centre (1,362 ft) high and the HSBC Headquarters Building.

Why choose Hong Kong

If you are considering a finance career in Asia or want to expand business operations into this region, you cannot ignore Hong Kong. When it comes to jobs within the finance sector, Hong Kong is predicted to beat London and New York by 2017, with 275,000 vacancies. A well-established and reputed financial centre, this Asian giant is known for its market transparency, advanced infrastructure, low taxation and free trade.  

The finance sector’s strength lies in the incorporation of Western-style business methods, strong connections with Mainland China, free economy, stringent regulatory framework and skilled labour.  Due to skill shortages within the finance industry, multinational companies frequently recruit overseas finance and legal professionals with a certain specialist skill set, offering them lucrative package and career development opportunities. As English is predominantly used in the finance and legal sectors, it is easier for expats to get into these sectors even without any working knowledge of Mandarin or Cantonese.

Attractive tax benefits and efficient business registration process make Hong Kong an ideal investment destination for foreign firms and entrepreneurs. The strategic geographic location also has several benefits. It allows businesses to expand operations into Mainland China, as well as get access to all the major markets in Asia. In addition, it is well-connected to major cities in North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and South Africa. Hong Kong is also a major port city in Asia.

With a significant expat population, Hong Kong is a highly cosmopolitan city with influences from the British/Western culture. The city offers a highly exciting and buzzing life, with luxury boutiques, Michelin-stared restaurants, bars, clubs, and a range of outdoor activities.

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Requirements to set up a company

If you’re looking to start a company in Hong Kong, knowledge of the Asian market and strong professional network can be an advantage. Whether you want to start your own business or invest in a Hong-Kong based company, you would require a local sponsor. There are two kinds of visa routes available: Investment visa and Entrepreneur visa.

For more detailed information on these two visa types, please click here.

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Requirements for employees wishing to relocate

Once you have secured a job offer from a Hong Kong-based company, you need to apply for a work visa under the General Employment Policy (GEP) scheme. This visa is issued for a specified period of time. British National (Overseas) Passport holders are exempted from such rules, meaning they do not require a visa to live or work in Hong Kong.

For more information, visit the official website of Hong Kong government.

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