For Invest Hong Kong’s Dixon Wong, the city where he was born and educated, possesses all the attributes of an ideal global hub for insurance industry investment.
‘Hong Kong is home to a diverse talent pool, equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive business in the region and beyond,’ says Wong, who has long held the desire to contribute to financial services industry.
‘We enjoy an ideal location in Asia that enables businesses to tap into the multitude of opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.’
As a department of the Hong Kong government, InvestHK was specifically created to attract and retain foreign direct investment of strategic importance to the special administrative region’s economic development.
With more than 30 offices around the world, InvestHK provides free advice and services to support companies from the planning stage right through to the launch and expansion of their business.
‘We work with overseas and mainland entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinationals that wish to set up an office – or expand their existing business – in Hong Kong,’ confirms Wong.
A SUPPORTING ROLE
Appointed Head of Financial Services at the organisation in 2019, Dixon Wong took on the additional role of Global Head of Family Office in April this year, with the mandate to attract financial services firms and family offices to set up and expand in Hong Kong.
‘We partner with clients on a long-term basis and are available to help at any stage of their business development in Hong Kong,’ Wong says.
‘For overseas and mainland insurers who are interested in establishing a presence or expanding their operation in Hong Kong, we offer a one-stop service to ensure that the companies have a smooth set up and or business expansion in the city.’
LEADING FAMILY OFFICE HUB
Wong is keen to highlight Hong Kong to the Australian market as a popular investment platform for ultra-high net worth individuals and organisations.
His vision is to collaborate with other Hong Kong government departments including Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau as well as industry stakeholders to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a leading family office hub in Asia.
‘Hong Kong offers a sound platform for the basic needs of a family office, which is the focal point of all the resources that investors need, from the logistics of moving to a new city to the financial and business contacts required to launch, grow and expand,’ he says.
‘I am confident that a significant presence for family offices can be built in Hong Kong in the next 3-5 years.’
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
InvestHK’s wide range of free and customised services include providing information on relevant laws and regulations, lining up meetings with regulators and making introductions to government bodies, business services and stakeholders.
‘We also support clients with marketing, publicity and networking opportunities and even finding schools for the children of clients who have moved to Hong Kong,’ Wong says.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies across the world for over a year, Wong says Hong Kong has returned to economic growth and normal life.
‘Hong Kong’s economy grew more strongly than expected, by 7.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, posting an 11-year high after a historic low a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic,’ he says.
Also in Q1, Hong Kong ranked first in Asia and third in the world in terms of IPO funds raised on the stock market.
Wong is quick to point out the effort the Hong Kong government has put into incentives for investment, such as the recently launched Wealth Management Connect scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
‘This will allow wealth managers and insurance companies to benefit from the increasing demand for wealth management products and services,’ he asserts.
Other incentives include the implementation of the Unified Tax Exemption regime and Open-ended Fund Companies regime.
‘Hong Kong continues to enhance its competitiveness with the introduction of the Pilot Insurance-linked Securities Grant Scheme and new Limited Partnership Fund (LPF) regime,’ Wong adds.
OPEN AND DYNAMIC
Wong says Hong Kong has remained an open and dynamic financial and insurance hub.
‘An important component of the Hong Kong proposition that we pitch to investors is our status and reputation as an international financial centre, underpinned by free flow of capital, our solid financial infrastructure backed by mature regulations as well as our internationally-minded and professional financial community,’ he says.
‘InvestHK will continue to work closely with the other government departments as well as industry stakeholders like ANZIIF to promote Hong Kong as an ideal insurance hub in the region.’