Aussie SMBs tap into Hong Kong growth

Over 600 SMBs now present in Far East as business booms.

Australian SMBs are taking advantage of the economic opportunities afforded by trade and investment agreements with Hong Kong’s administration, to fuel bumper growth.

Hong Kong’s tax-free port and world-class logistics facilities have enticed businesses from across the globe, including Down Under, helping to reaffirm the city’s leading role in sourcing and distribution.

After signing new fair trade and investment agreements, Hong Kong does not currently apply any tariffs to goods imported from Australia.

Australian online clothing brand Grana decided to set up its base in Hong Kong in 2014, attracted to Hong Kong’s close proximity to low-cost, high quality materials in mainland China and favourable tax system.

Hong Kong’s strategic location to the mainland, has allowed Grana to source fabric from manufacturers the mainland directly, helping to operate cost-effectively, both locally and abroad.

 “It’s cheaper to ship from Hong Kong to Sydney than Sydney to Melbourne,” says Luke Grana, founder of the label.

Hong Kong’s location at the southern part of mainland China also attracted Samea Maakrun, founder and managing director of Sasy n Savy, started her skincare products companies in Hong Kong instead of Australia.

In 2000, Maakrun noted that the market for natural skincare products in Australian was already well served and, therefore, shifted focus to exporting, with Asia her first choice.

There are now over 600 Australian companies who have presence in Hong Kong, which according to a triennial survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements, is the second largest foreign exchange market in Asia and fourth largest in the world in 2019.

Average daily turnover of forex transactions increasing by 44.8 per cent from US$436.6 billion in April 2016 to US$632.1 billion in April 2019. Hong Kong is the third leading global financial centre, only after New York and London, according to the Global Financial Centre Index.

According to the Hong Kong Trade and Industry department, Australia ranked eighth among Hong Kong’s destinations of outward direct investment, with a stock of HK$134 billion and ranked 17th among Hong Kong’s sources of inward direct investment, with stock of HK$33 billion.

In 2018/19, The Hong Kong Trading Development Council (HKTDC) organised over 300 promotion activities and over 610 networking events – connecting

approximately 80,000 Hong Kong companies with its database of 6.8 million mainland and overseas enterprises and multipliers.

HKTDC says its response to the latest global and regional economic developments and policies, help SMBs capture new opportunities.

At one of HKTDC’s major toy fairs earlier this year, Beast Kingdom – which holds the licence to produce figures for brands including Disney, Marvel, Warner Brothers, Universal and Star Wars – used the opportunity to springboard its launch of figures for Blizzard, after recently winning the license.

“Due to an overwhelming response from buyers at last year’s Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, we have returned to the fair for the second consecutive year,” Fanny Liu, assistant manager, global market dept., Beast Kingdom, said.

“At this year’s fair, many new buyers from India, Russia and South America have made enquiries about our products. We have also talked to many existing distributors and some distributors from Mainland China placed onsite orders. The fair helps us reach out to international buyers and develop new markets, so we’ll maintain our presence here.”

Meanwhile, UK-based Green Board Games Company (GBG) returned to the Hong Kong Toys & Games fair for the 11th consecutive year.

“We are able to find two to three new distributors through the fair every year,” Sarah Winter, head of sales at GBG, said.

“The Hong Kong fair is one of the biggest toy fairs in the world with buyers coming from everywhere. At this year’s fair, we have met with new buyers from many places such as Africa, Australia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, South Africa and Southeast Asia. Buyers like our educational toys because children can learn with fun.”

What opportunities and networks might be open to your SMB in Hong Kong? Find out more and register for your free admission badge here.

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