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Hong Kong still the door to China


Hong Kong would continue to be an important strategic centre for firms wanting to expand into the China market, an Austrade representative has told an LIV seminar.

Many international firms saw Hong Kong as the starting point of their Asia strategy, Austrade senior export adviser Green Yang told the seminar on 16 July.

“Even if they have offices in China, many will open an office in Hong Kong,” she said.

Ms Yang said Hong Kong was viewed as an entry point to the region and, along with other areas such as Shanghai and Beijing, would continue to be a centre of strategic importance.

She said Hong Kong had a high concentration of law firms, and there were opportunities for law businesses.

But she warned it was not an easy market and prospective law firms wanting to establish themselves in Hong Kong needed to be well prepared and aware of the challenges.

Law firms would face strong competition from firms that could lure away both staff and clients.

Her business tips for firms were: provide instant responses; choose local business partners wisely; and remember that even though Hong Kong was a western city its Chinese traditions and culture were strong.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques partner Louis Chiam, who has advised a number of high-profile Hong Kong-based corporations, said Australian lawyers could build a career in Hong Kong without being able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin.

However, he warned the cost of living, including rent, was high and the long work hours could affect work/life balance.

But he said Australian lawyers had a strong reputation generally in Hong Kong and there were opportunities for them to make a name for themselves.

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) Melbourne manager Cameron Boardman also addressed the seminar, explaining how his organisation could help businesses get established in Hong Kong.

InvestHK is a Hong Kong government department that promotes the advantages of Hong Kong as a base to locate a business and assists overseas enterprises establish and develop their presence in the city.

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