Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Finance & Fintech

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-03-04

Overview

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (estimated)

Total Exports

20,200

21,614

27,294

30,269

Total Imports

5,068

5,423

6,403

7,363

Imports from the U.S.

974

1,042

683

717

Exports to the U.S.

3,928

3,989

3,599

3,696

Exchange Rate: 1 USD

7.75

7.75

7.845 (as of April 2019)

7.749 (as of June 2020)

Units: USD million

Data Sources:

Total Exports: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Total Imports: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Imports from U.S.: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Exports from U.S.: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Hong Kong is a leading international finance center and has highly active and liquid securities markets. There are no controls over capital movement, and no capital gains or dividend income taxes. The financial services sector remains one of the most important economic pillars, and accounts for 18.9 percent of the city’s GDP.

In part owing to its strong financial infrastructure, geographical location, and historical ties, Hong Kong has traditionally served as a springboard for foreign firms seeking access to Mainland China and vice versa. Hong Kong hosts the largest pool of RMB liquidity outside Mainland China.  Hong Kong also has high penetration of mobile phone usage and internet accessibility.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Hong Kong has a vibrant financial technology, or fintech, community. According to the latest fintech study conducted by InvestHK„ there are over 600 fintech companies and startups operating in Hong Kong. These fintech companies and startups cover various sectors, including mobile payment, cross-border remittance, robo-advisory services, wealth management, and blockchain technologies, etc.  In the first half of 2019, the Hong Kong government granted licenses to eight virtual banks in the region. Some of the best fintech prospects in Hong Kong for U.S. companies include payments, securities settlement, digital ID and Know-Your-Client (KYC) utilities, WealthTech, InsurTech, Data Analytics, Automation, AI, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and RegTech.

In light of the recent pandemic situation, electronic platforms and automation technologies in the financial services sector present burgeoning opportunities. These sub-sectors are market opportunities for U.S. fintech solution providers.

Opportunities

According to the 2018 Policy Address, the HKSAR government aims to push Hong Kong’s status as a financial center, and fintech will be targeted as a key sector in which to invest. This is especially visible with the implementation of the seven smart banking initiatives outlined by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA):

​  Hong Kong Seven Smart Banking Initiatives  ​
​ Hong Kong Seven Smart Banking Initiatives ​

The Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS) launched by the HKMA in September 2016 allows banks and their partnering technology firms to conduct pilot trials of fintech initiatives involving a limited number of participating customers. This can be done without the need to achieve full compliance with the HKMA’s supervisory requirements. This arrangement enables banks and technology firms to gather data and user feedback so that they can make refinements to their new initiatives, thereby expediting the launch of new technology products and reducing development costs. In February 2019, the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), a group of 29 international organizations including the HKMA, invited applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products, services, or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

In July 2019, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also published the Open Application Programming Interface (API) Framework for the Hong Kong banking sector. At the same time, the HKMA announced the launch of Open API on its official website to provide convenient access by the public. Open API can help to ensure the competitiveness of the banking sector, encourage more parties to provide innovative and integrated services that improve the customer experience, and keep up with worldwide development on the delivery of banking services.

During the pandemic, the U.S. Commercial Service in Hong Kong has provided virtual introductions for U.S. fintech companies to present their solutions and meet one-on-one virtually with financial institutions or other requested targeted companies in Hong Kong. The U.S. Commercial Service also partners with Hong Kong Government and private sector entities to recruit U.S. fintech companies to join annual flagship finance and fintech events in Hong Kong and the region. These include Hong Kong Fintech Week and the Asian Financial Forum. These events are an excellent opportunity for U.S. fintech companies to network with renowned experts in technology innovation, top policy makers, tech investors, representatives of international fintech companies, and global leaders in the financial service industry.

Resources

Trade Shows

Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020

Dates: November 2 – November 6, 2020

Venues: Hong Kong Asia World Expo and Shenzhen

 

Hong Kong Asian Financial Forum

Dates: January 18-19, 2021

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center

 

Government Departments:

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Securities and Futures Commission

Insurance Authority

Invest Hong Kong

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau

Financial Services Development Council

 

Trade Associations:

Hong Kong Venture Capital & Private Equity Association

Hong Kong Institute of Bankers

Alternative Investment Management Association

Fintech Association of Hong Kong

 

For more information about this industry sector, please contact:

U.S. Commercial Service, Hong Kong

Joanna Lam, Commercial Specialist

Email: joanna.lam@trade.gov