There are currently around 150 Swedish or Swedish-linked companies in Hong Kong. Some are big and some small and they are active in a variety of business sectors. Many of them have been present in Hong Kong for many years and contributed greatly to the city’s development.
The companies are just like last year’s survey struggling with the impacts of the pandemic and related restrictions, such as limited or cancelled flights, closed borders, and mandatory testing and quarantines. 62 per cent of the companies use Hong Kong as a APAC hub and thus being able to pursue international travels is crucial and have been main challenge during the pandemic. Also, the high cost of rent and property and the ongoing political changes in the city affect the business climate in Hong Kong.
The view of the government’s handling of the pandemic is significantly more negative in this year’s survey compared to last year’s. 74 per cent of the responding companies consider the government response inadequate.
Moreover, half of the responding companies consider political developments in the city to have a continued negative impact on the business climate. Top concerns are worries about Hong Kong’s future status as an international business center, the impact on freedom of speech in the city and on the independence of Hong Kong’s judicial system.
There are nevertheless important advantages in doing business in Hong Kong. The taxation system remains an advantage and the market’s function as a gateway to the mainland is also viewed as important. In addition, Hong Kong is still perceived as a highly competitive business environment compared to other international cities. However, uncertainties regarding the government’s handling of the pandemic as well as Hong Kong’s changing political landscape - in particular the implications of the National Security Law - make some companies consider relocation.
Please download the report to fully overview the results and get a detailed analysis.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The Business Climate Survey is a study authored by Team Sweden for Swedish companies to understand the opportunities and challenges that they face when doing business in Hong Kong.
This year, the survey was sent out to 134 local executives representing Swedish companies in Hong Kong, 73 of which provided answers. The answers were collected between March and April 2022.