More than 25 top businesses have pledged to invest over HK$17 billion (US$2.2 billion) in Hong Kong and create at least 4,000 jobs, the city’s finance minister has said.
Writing in his weekly blog on Sunday, Paul Chan Mo-po said he expected more companies to expand their operations in the city this year and that the government was in “deep discussions” with mainland Chinese and overseas firms.
“By bringing together companies that are leading and have high potential, it can drive the development of relevant industry chains and attract more companies and talent to Hong Kong, creating a benign cycle for the innovation and technology ecosystem,” the financial secretary explained.
The minister said that many of the 25 were in the innovation and technology sector, with a market or estimated value of more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) each.
Most of the new posts would be in research and development, as well as senior management, Chan said.
He added that companies with plans to expand, or that had already increased their operations in the city, included Biren Technology, Horizon Robotics, Dmall and Yuan Hua Tech.
The finance chief said tech giants such as Huawei, Meituan and JD.com were also expanding their operations and developing new businesses in the city – and predicted more firms would follow suit.
Chan also noted that more than 200 enterprises had been contacted by the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises (OASES), set up to lure high potential and representative companies to the city by offering special incentives.
The government earlier launched a string of policies to lure global talent and businesses to the city in a bid to revitalise the economy in the wake of three years of Covid-19 disruption and the 2019 anti-government protests.
These included the Top Talent Pass Scheme, which offers a two-year visa for successful candidates who have earned at least HK$2.5 million over the past 12 months or graduated from one of the world’s top 100 universities and have worked for three of the past five years.
Graduates of the top 100 in the past five years with less than three years of experience can also apply, but the number of accepted candidates is capped at 10,000 a year.
The Immigration Department said that by June there had been 25,961 successful applicants under the top talent scheme, which launched last December.