Renowned for its pro-business environment, Hong Kong is a city of superlatives.
July 12, 2019
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
In 2018, the world’s longest bridge-and-tunnel sea crossing officially opened. The 55-kilometer passage that now links Hong Kong to Macao and Zhuhai in China’s Pearl River Delta not only is an awe-inspiring feat of architecture, it is also symbolic of the increasing synergy between these vital business districts. Yet, while Hong Kong is set to capitalize on its unique location as the greater bay area grows into a center of commerce and industry, it itself remains a key hub in the heart of Asia.
Opportunity is everywhere. Global in outlook, in experience and in standards, Hong Kong is an ideal base for businesses wanting to stretch far. An extremely pro-business environment makes it easy to register a company, while Hong Kong’s simple tax system—with low rates and favorable deductions—is the most business-friendly in the world, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank.
Financial institutions, chambers of commerce, venture capitalists and trade organizations connect businesses with people, networks and resources across the region. With an unparalleled appetite for entrepreneurialism, Hong Kong is constantly keen to welcome new business and access is exceedingly simple. It’s no wonder that an increasing number have flocked to the city to set up businesses in recent years; close to 9,000 overseas companies are currently registered.
Hong Kong knows how to make things happen. World renowned for its infrastructure, its experience and its efficiency in shipping, logistics and freight forwarding, it is home to one of the world’s busiest container ports and Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), the world’s busiest international cargo hub. Responding to rapid growth from e-commerce, the airport’s new plans include a state-of-the-art logistics center, which is designed to handle high-value cargo such as pharmaceuticals and electronics. If the goal is to get things moving to get things done, there is no better destination than Hong Kong.
World-class living coexists alongside industry and entrepreneurialism. Vibrant arts and culture sit alongside a diverse choice of sports and recreational activities, and the bustling streets are a colorful display of language and livelihood. Hong Kong’s universities feature high in global listings, with the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program ranked among the best. Team this with the city’s high-achieving local and international schools and it is easy to see from where Hong Kong gets its famous drive and ambition.
Commerce races ahead in this bright, cosmopolitan city, often within view of an expansive shoreline and the South China Sea. And, of course, for business or pleasure, most people find themselves frequently coasting across those waters. Whether commuting on the reliable rail network up to Shanghai, traversing the extraordinary bridge to Zhuhai, or jetting out of HKIA, Hong Kong is a buoyant jumping-off point to the rest of the world.
Hong Kong Connect and Excel
Bright Skies Ahead: Hong Kong International Airport's Soaring Expansion Puts Passengers First
The frenzied rush through the airport will be a thing of the past as epic plans for Hong Kong International Airport ready for takeoff.
We have all been there: coffee in one hand, your shopping in another. While you rummage through your bag for your passport, you almost spill your drink before you fish the eluding little book out.
This scenario will be a thing of the past as new plans for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are launched. Already a world-leading aviation hub handling close to 75 million passengers a year, the visionary changes will see the airport evolve well beyond the traditional concept and puts the passenger experience first. An expansion into a three-runway system will add about half the size of the current airport, while a sweeping modernization of the existing two terminals will provide passengers with endless fascinations to see and do.
“We envision an ongoing transformation that integrates the airport with many functions surrounding it, turning it into a much bigger entity—an Airport City—that drives the economic growth of Hong Kong and the region, while further strengthening HKIA’s status as an international aviation hub. The Airport City vision also echoes the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area promulgated by the Chinese Central Government, which has designated Hong Kong as the region’s international aviation hub.”
– Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong
Technical innovation will ease the passage from the check-in process to boarding gate. Biometric face scanners will validate a passenger’s identity and their face becomes a “single token” that allows them to pass through multiple checkpoints. It means passengers will only need to show their travel document once at the airport. After that, their face becomes their passport for the rest of their airport journey. And in the brief moments when you do take pause? Optimized artificial intelligence, data analysis and the Internet of Things will help provide personalized services right when you need them. Boosted WiFi and bandwidth will mean that you are always connected to the people most important to you. But you can forget about needing to email your assistant: Missed flight? Not on this watch.
Passengers from Guangdong and Macao will continue to enjoy the ease of travelling via HKIA. New and improved transport links—currently there are 16 remote city terminals and the number is set to increase to 29 in the coming years—will speed passengers from across the region to arrivals in Hong Kong.
Part of a Larger Vision
As China’s plans to link nine mainland cities along the Pearl River Delta with Macao and Hong Kong crystallize into a sprawling economic and business hub known as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, HKIA will become an even more vital conduit, bringing the rest of the world to the heart of one of China’s most open and vibrant centers.
In the spirit of this industrious synergy, checkpoints will open and single ticket options will emerge for seamless, personalized travel between air, land and sea. New infrastructure, meanwhile, is already boosting connectivity. After touching down at HKIA, travelers can head to the 16,500-square-meter SkyPier. From there, they will be whisked on one of the 90 daily high-speed ferries to any of the nine piers in the Greater Bay Area, with their checked bags shipped along the way to be picked up at the destination port.
Driving is no problem either. Take a short shuttle from the airport to the nearby Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge, where you can enjoy awe-inspiring views as you travel along it. Three arching, cable-stayed bridges and an undersea tunnel forming the 55-kilometer system make this the longest bridge-tunnel sea-crossing in the world, and a mesmerizing introduction to mainland China. Visitors can reach Zhuhai in just 45 minutes, a fraction of the four-hour trip before the bridge’s opening.
Creating a Parcel Force
HKIA will also boost its capabilities in handling cargo. With e-commerce driving growth in the sector—and demand is only expected to grow—the airport is responding by capitalizing on its unique cross-boundary location. Already ranked the world’s busiest cargo airport for the past nine years, by 2035, it expects to expedite more than 10 million tons of cargo. Construction work on a premium logistics center is expected to be completed by 2023, and will allow for temperature-controlled airfreight and transhipment, resulting in faster and more effective logistics for high-value cargo that includes pharmaceuticals, electronics and fresh and perishable goods. At the same time, HKIA will play a major role in the region’s aviation development, becoming a center for aviation training.
City Airport to Airport City
HKIA isn’t only set on transporting parcels, of course. It will also play a unique role in transporting the Greater Bay Area’s combined population of about 70 million people—and aims to enthrall, entertain and educate them in the process.
The newly envisaged hub aims to transform the airport from a travel facility into its own dazzling destination. A long list of attractions will encourage visitors to include the airport in their itinerary rather than view it as a place to pass through. There will be a mega-shopping and entertainment complex, with new hotels, dining and cultural experiences coming together in ways unlike any other yet seen in the city.
A shining beacon in the Greater Bay Area will be the airport’s SKYCITY. Just a short stroll from the airport itself, the 25-hectare space is positioned as a complete leisure destination. With tourism, retail, food and beverage, entertainment and lifestyle attractions all in the mix, plus 1,000 guest rooms in on-site hotels, the hub will be a center of excitement and discovery, a place to indulge and explore.
The development will sit alongside a clutch of other must-see-and-do activities close to the airport, including the 10-hall AsiaWorld-Expo exhibition space, Hong Kong Disneyland and the Ngong Ping 360 cable car service, which carries visitors over rolling green mountains to the magnetic Big Buddha on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island. This synergy turns the notion of the city airport, so often a distant outlier to central downtown, into an airport city—a place to see, stay and savor.
By 2035, HKIA expects more than 120 million passengers to walk its halls. What hallowed halls they will be.