Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 5:
Commerce and Industry
Merchandise Trade Performance
The Manufacturing Sector
The Services Sector
External Investment
The Institutional Framework
External Commercial Relations
Small and Medium Enterprises
Promotion of Innovation and Technology
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme
Business Facilitation
Trade Documentation
Hong Kong Awards for Industries
Trade and Industrial Support Organisations
Standards and Conformance Services
Human Resources, Technical Education and Industrial Training
Consumer Protection
Trade in Endangered Species
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The Institutional Framework

Commerce and Industry Branch

The Commerce and Industry Branch of the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau (CITB) is responsible for the formulation and coordination of policies and strategies in relation to Hong Kong's external commercial relations, inward investment promotion and intellectual property protection. It also oversees the development of policies and programmes for the industrial and trade sectors, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as the promotion of services industries. The branch is assisted by a number of departments, namely the Trade and Industry Department, Invest Hong Kong, the Customs and Excise Department and the Intellectual Property Department. It is also supported by a network of Economic and Trade Offices outside Hong Kong.

Trade and Industry Department

The Trade and Industry Department is responsible for handling the commercial relations of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) with its trading partners. The department implements trade policies and agreements, including issuing certificates of origin, export and import licences and certificates of Hong Kong service suppliers. It also provides general support services for the industrial sector and SMEs.

Invest Hong Kong

Invest Hong Kong is responsible for spearheading the Government's efforts to attract inward investment. Its head office in Hong Kong works closely with the Economic and Trade Offices and consultants engaged overseas to offer solution-oriented investment promotion, facilitation and after-care services to ensure that foreign companies have the support required to establish or expand their operations in the HKSAR, and on the Mainland and in the Asia-Pacific region through Hong Kong. Invest Hong Kong also provides information to help companies make informed investment decisions on setting up regional headquarters and regional offices in Hong Kong.

During the year, Invest Hong Kong assisted a record 246 foreign, Mainland and Taiwan companies to set up or expand operations in Hong Kong — a healthy increase of 6 per cent over 2005. The total amount of investment generated exceeded $10.24 billion. A total of 3 092 new jobs were created in 2006 while these companies expect to create an additional 4 743 jobs in the next two years.

Investment promotion activities included sponsoring and participating in major international conferences or business events to raise Hong Kong's profile among key target markets and to identify new prospective investors in Hong Kong. In 2006, these included Annual Asia Pacific Bond Congress, MIPIM Asia, and the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Annual Convention, CNBC Asia Business Leaders Awards and the 3G World Congress and Mobility Marketplace.

In 2006, Invest Hong Kong organised eight joint investment promotion activities with major Mainland provinces and cities, including Guangdong, Fujian, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Jiangmen and Foshan. These promotions targeted prospective investors in Paris, Philadelphia, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Seoul, Florence, San Diego and Düsseldorf. All of these seminars were well received.

Invest Hong Kong continued to actively promote to Mainland enterprises Hong Kong's unique advantages as a springboard to expand overseas. During the year, it arranged 17 seminars in 13 Mainland cities. The department also allocated additional resources to improve its coverage in the Mainland markets. Investment promotion units were set up in the Beijing Office and the newly established Economic and Trade Offices in Chengdu and Shanghai. The team in the Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong was also expanded.

Customs and Excise Department

The Customs and Excise Department is responsible for enforcing various trade control systems aimed at protecting and facilitating trade. These include the certification of origin system, the textiles import and export control system, the strategic commodities control system, and the import and export declaration system. The department is also responsible for enforcing the criminal laws that protect copyright and trade marks, as well as enforcing consumer protection legislation relating to the safety of various commodities, the integrity of weights and measures and the marking of precious metals. In addition, the department monitors the local stock of rice to ensure that Hong Kong has an adequate supply of this essential foodstuff for the local population at a reasonably stable price. The department enforces the certification scheme for rough diamonds. Its aim is to stop trade in 'conflict diamonds' from fuelling armed conflicts, activities of rebel movements and the illicit proliferation of armaments. Upon the signing of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement in June 2003, the department has also taken up the responsibility of enforcing the relevant control system to ensure that goods exported under the arrangement meet the requisite rules.

Intellectual Property Department

The Intellectual Property Department runs the registries of the trade marks, patents, designs and copyright licensing bodies, advises on policy and legislation related to intellectual property protection, provides civil intellectual property legal advice to the Government, and promotes public awareness of and respect for intellectual property rights.

Overseas Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices

The overseas Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices seek to promote economic and trade interests by enhancing understanding of the HKSAR among opinion-formers; closely monitoring developments that might affect the HKSAR's economic and trading interests, such as proposed legislation; and liaising closely with the business and commercial sectors, politicians, think tanks and the news media. They also organise events to promote Hong Kong's image. In addition, most of these offices seek to attract direct investment into Hong Kong by, for instance, promoting Hong Kong's business advantages under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.

The offices are located in Brussels, Geneva, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington.

The Brussels office and the London office are responsible for the bilateral economic and trade relations with the European countries. The Brussels office represents Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in dealings with the European Union (EU). It also monitors and promotes bilateral relations with the EU and 17 European countries. The London office promotes Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in the United Kingdom and 14 other countries in Europe. Hong Kong's representative to the International Maritime Organisation is also based in the London office.

The Geneva office represents Hong Kong, China, as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and represents Hong Kong as an observer on the Trade Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The offices in Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto are responsible for bilateral economic and trade relations in their host countries. The offices in Sydney and Tokyo are also responsible for promoting Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in New Zealand and the Republic of Korea respectively. The Singapore office is responsible for Hong Kong's commercial relations with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Washington office focuses on monitoring and liaising with the US Administration, Congress and think tanks on legislation and government policies that may have implications for Hong Kong's trade with the United States. The New York office and the San Francisco office are responsible for promoting economic and trade relations between Hong Kong and individual US states and also seek to attract direct investment into Hong Kong.

2005 I 2004 I 2003 I 2002 I 2001 I 2000 I 1999 I 1998 I 1997