Ease of doing business
Hong Kong has its own currency, political and legal systems. There is free movement of capital, talent, goods and information and no restrictions on foreign ownership. Its free trade status and easy customs procedures also make it easier for businesses and companies to operate.
Hong Kong’s links to international markets within Asia also make it attractive for re-exporting. With a third of all UK exports to China coming to and through Hong Kong and many regional headquarters based there, opportunities to sell to the wider Asia region are extensive.
Breadth of opportunities
From sustainable technologies to food and drink, medical devices to luxury brands, Hong Kong is a market offering opportunities across many industries. Ongoing and future infrastructure projects present consultancy and design work whilst creative and cultural exchange offer plenty of scope to harness UK expertise.
Top five UK goods exported to Hong Kong, China , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023
|Goods||Value (£ billion )|
|Mechanical power generators (intermediate)||3.3|
|Miscellaneous electrical goods (intermediate)||0.3|
Top five UK services exported to Hong Kong, China , in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023
|Service||Value (£ billion )|
|Other Business Services||1.6|
|Telecommunications, computer and information services||0.3|
ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2023
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Hong Kong, China.
Total import value (into the UK from Hong Kong, China) and export value (from the UK into Hong Kong, China) over time
|Year||Imports (£ billion )||Exports (£ billion )||Total trade (£ billion )|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Hong Kong, China.
Hong Kong, China: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Hong Kong, China have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Demand for learning and teaching supplies
Hong Kong has over 70 international schools including 8 British-style international schools which generally operate on self-financing basis. The international schools are receptive on collaborating with the UK to source various types of learning and teaching supplies. The opportunity for international school partnerships also extend to the Greater Bay Area.
Demand for international collaborations
Hong Kong hosts the annual Learning and Teaching Expo. This event provides educational buyers with the opportunity to find innovative educational solutions, in particular AI, machine learning and immersive technologies from the UK. There are a number of local education distributors who can bring UK learning and teaching supplies into local schools.
An international platform for UK providers
Local universities are keen to explore partnerships with UK universities in R&D and joint programmes. There are opportunities for UK universities that offer in-demand programmes such as AI, digital transformation, environmental, social, governance (ESG), and fintech at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Access to capital
Hong Kong has a deep pool of investors, including venture capital firms, private equity funds, and angel investors, who are actively seeking investment opportunities in the fintech sector. The city's vibrant financial market and strong investor community provide fintech startups with access to capital and opportunities for growth.
Supportive regulatory environment
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have implemented initiatives to encourage innovation and ensure the stability and security of the financial system. The government has also launched regulatory sandboxes and introduced various licensing schemes to facilitate the growth of fintech companies.
Highly skilled talent pool
Hong Kong has a diverse and highly skilled talent pool, with professionals experienced in finance, technology, and business. The city's universities and educational institutions offer programs specifically tailored to fintech, ensuring a pipeline of talent equipped with the necessary skills for the industry.
High demand for imported gourmet products
Hong Kong is a sophisticated and mature market with a high demand for gourmet products. The affluent consumer base are price-conscious but are willing to spend more on new products and high quality items. British products are highly regarded by Hong Kong consumers, therefore exporters are encouraged to showcase the fact that their goods are ‘Made in the UK’.
Rising demand for healthy, organic, and functional foods
Growing awareness of health and sustainability has driven demand for healthy, organic and functional foods. In 2021, organic packaged food and beverages in Hong Kong recorded a value growth of 1.6%, amounting to £73.4 million. Opportunities for UK food and drink producers include innovative meat-free protein products, free-from, natural and organic products as well as meat and poultry.
Growing e-commerce market
The e-commerce market of post-pandemic Hong Kong has been growing rapidly. Consumers enjoy greater flexibility and variety when shopping and many have become more confident in the quality and authenticity of products available online. Online retailers are also open to partnerships with international or country brands to meet the demands of local consumers.
Government’s continuous commitment
Hong Kong's government has allocated HK$10 billion from the 'InnoHK budget' for global research collaboration in health and artificial intelligence robotics clusters. Over HK$150 billion has been invested for grants, venture funds, tax incentives, and R&D cash rebates in the last 5 years.
Huge healthcare service demand
Ageing population and long hospital waiting time, together with prevalence of chronic illness and mental health problems, has impacted hospital operation. The government published the Primary Healthcare Blueprint in 2022 to allow more resources into the private sector and provide more holistic care. This offers opportunities for the UK businesses.
Opportunities in the Greater Bay Area
The Greater Bay Area (GBA) presents enormous opportunities for healthcare businesses. Hong Kong-registered drugs and medical devices used in Hong Kong public hospitals can be used in designated healthcare institutions operating in the GBA with certain approvals. Up to January 2023, 23 drugs and 13 medical devices have been approved through the measure.
Access to a thriving tech ecosystem
Hong Kong has a rapidly growing and dynamic tech sector, with a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. By exporting to Hong Kong, UK companies can tap into this ecosystem and gain access to a range of resources, including funding, talent, and expertise. Hong Kong is home to a number of leading tech companies, industry associations, and research institutions, making it an ideal destination for UK companies looking to expand their reach in the innovation and technology (I&T) industry.
Demand for international collaboration in I&T development
The government’s Innovation and Technology Development Blueprint set out a clear vision for Hong Kong’s I&T development over the next 5 to 10 years. The focus is on new industrialisation, I&T talent, digital economy and smart city. It emphasises the importance of international collaboration and exchange. This creates opportunities for UK companies to partner with local firms and access the GBA and APAC market through Hong Kong's well-established business networks and infrastructure.
Opportunities in smart city development and I&T funding support
The government has recently invested over HKD$10 billion in I&T initiatives including R&D centres, AI, digital transformation and smart living technology. It provides various R&D and I&T funding support schemes, as well as numerous smart city projects to improve quality of life in areas such as smart mobility, smart living and smart environment. UK companies with expertise in internet of things (IoT), data analytics, AI and urban planning may find opportunities to participate in these initiatives.
Commitment to renewables
The government has committed to phasing down the use of coal and to realising the potential for 3 to 4% renewable energy in 2030. This is leading to series of new initiatives including offshore wind farms, waste-to-energy facilities (for example O-Park and T-Park) and a feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme encouraging installation of renewable energy systems notably photovoltaic cells.
There is a strong urge for commercial buildings to opt for energy saving solutions, as the segment accounts for 64% of electricity consumption. The requirement since 2012 for an energy audit of buildings every 10 years offers commercial opportunities resulting from the need to retrofit.
Hong Kong is well placed to produce grey hydrogen where hydrogen has already taken 49% of the gas mix. In the future, the city will see a surged need for greener source through electrolysis at home or import, providing opportunities in hydrogen production, storage and optimisation.