Germany is a valued partner against the backdrop of the Hong Kong Government’s efforts to diversify its external relations, thereby underscoring its ambition to be a cosmopolitan city and international financial services centre in Asia. Since the spring of 2009, Hong Kong has had its own mission in Berlin, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO). The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has a regional office for Europe based in Frankfurt.
There are some 600 German companies, branches and regional offices in Hong Kong. Hong Kong remains an important gateway to the Chinese market for German firms. Hong Kong is used as a base for doing business not only with mainland China but also with Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand. Most of the approximately 4000 Germans living in Hong Kong are businesspeople.
Institutionally, German business can rely on the support of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce, the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad (AHK), a Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) correspondent, a German National Tourist Board (GNTP) office, several trade fair associations and the German Consulate General.
Germany is Hong Kong’s most important trading partner in the European Union (ahead of the UK), with bilateral trade worth a total of approximately 7.5 billion euros in 2018. Germany’s main exports to Hong Kong are automobiles, machinery, electrical and electronic goods, as well as luxury goods and foodstuffs.
There is a growing demand for German products and luxury brands in Hong Kong. Germany is also viewed as an experienced partner in the environmental sector. The application of innovative environmental technologies focuses on air pollution control, waste disposal and energy efficiency in buildings.
The first Invention Center outside Germany opened by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) and the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) on 11 October 2018 uses the German model of applied science to offer local firms direct contact to scientists with a view to optimising production processes.