Hong Kong: The Ultimate Hub for Biomedical Companies
Hong Kong is known as one of the best financial hubs in the world. Now, this Special Administrative Region of China has also emerged as one of the new centres for biomedical companies in Asia. From supportive administration to its strategic location at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong has all that you need to launch your medical company into the next multinational giant. Here is a closer look at this jurisdiction to help you answer the question, ‘Should you register your biomedical business in Hong Kong?’
Hong Kong Market Overview
Year after year, Hong Kong is becoming a more attractive place for biomedical research & development activities. Indeed, most of the large biotech firms we know of today already have some presence in Hong Kong or are working towards moving there. Here is a closer look at the Hong Kong biotech market.
- Hong Kong has about 250-300 biotechnology-related companies, including those in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics.
- The household consumer market is the most targeted niche by medical and healthcare equipment firms in Hong Kong.
- The Hong Kong government has been aggressively promoting the development of the biotechnology industry in Hong Kong. The niche is considered part of Hong Kong’s long-term strategy for supporting innovation and technology as crucial pillars of economic growth.
- Once you incorporate a medical company in Hong Kong, there are multiple sales channels that you can exploit. Different types of medical equipment are sold mainly to hospitals and other institutions offering healthcare-related services, while others are exported abroad.
- Healthcare-related expenditure across the globe has been increasing. This presents an excellent opportunity to produce healthcare-related products for the Hong Kong market, the neighbouring mainland Chinese, and Asian markets, as well as for export to other countries.
The above overview demonstrates the overflowing potential that Hong Kong presents for investors in the biotech niche. Simply put – you cannot go wrong with Hong Kong when targeting entry into the biomedical industry.
Special Advantages of Setting Up a Medical Company in Hong Kong
For years, the Hong Kong administration has been strategising and introducing pro-business policies to attract investments and helping those investments succeed. These efforts have been credited first with helping Hong Kong to become a financial hub, and now, a biotech hub too.
Here are some of the main advantages that come with opening a biomedical company in Hong Kong.
- Support through the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF)
During his 2018-19 Budget speech, the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan Mo-po, emphasised the Hong Kong administration’s support for innovation and technology, especially biotechnology. The Financial Services Secretary went a step further and indicated that an additional HK$50 billion would be reserved to provide financial support for I&T research, including biotech-related projects.
Already, over 540 projects in biotechnology had been granted more than HK$1.08 billion by the close of 2018. You too can get financial support for your biotech firm through the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF).
Furthermore, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is also using a relaxed regime that allows the listing of biotech firms.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP)
The Hong Kong administration also supports biotech firms through its Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP), one of the five core technology clusters designed to assist biotech firms to nurture innovative concepts into applicable technologies.
HKSTP offers companies a four-year ‘Incu-Bio’ programme, which includes financial support, operational equipment, and a suitable working environment. You can rely on the HKSTP to hatch your idea from a lab research project to market-ready solutions. By early 2019, over 111 companies and research entities with a focus on biomedical technology were listed in the Science Park’s directory.
So, at what stage is your biomedical idea? No matter the stage, Hong Kong has a place for you to accelerate the idea via research & development, turning it into a finished product, and propel your company to glory.
- Hong Kong is in a Biotech Boom
The Hong Kong market is booming for biotech firms. The ageing and increasingly health-conscious population has created a huge demand for the biotech industry. Simply put – this boom is just getting started and will grow enormously in the coming decades. Therefore you cannot be left behind in taking advantage of this high-potential niche.
- Research Support through the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF)
Developing biomedical products requires a lot of research. By opening a company in Hong Kong, you will be a step ahead with your research because the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF), created under the Food and Health Bureau (FHB) is waiting to lend a helping hand.
The HMRF provides funding and support for health-related scientific research. This implies that you are able to easily expand the project’s scope and accelerate your firm. Since 1995, over 1,800 medical projects have been supported through these means, and they have given positive feedback. This is your turn to use HMRF as a stepping-stone to success.
Company Setup for Medical Companies
Now that you know the benefits of setting up a biomedical company in Hong Kong, the next question might be, ‘How do you set up the company?’
The process of incorporating a company in Hong Kong is guided by the Companies Ordinance, which lists the required documents and the process you need to follow.
According to the Companies Ordinance, you can incorporate a biomedical company as a public limited liability company or as a private limited liability company.
Before you can start the process of registering a company in Hong Kong, it is paramount to establish the targeted niche. So, here are some of the common areas to consider:
- Medical devices and equipment.
- Pharmaceutical companies.
- Medical services.
- Traditional medicine.
Once you have decided on the target niche, you need to prepare the required documents, such as the Articles of association and the Memorandum of Understanding. You will also need to provide the details of the company directors, resident company secretary, and address of the business. Finally, you need to present these documents to the companies’ registry in Hong Kong for company incorporation.
Using a corporate service provider
Does the process look complicated? Well, there is a simpler and more straightforward way that does not involve booking a flight to Hong Kong – using an agency. The agency will help you to prepare the required documents fast and professionally. It can also serve as your company secretary and address.
With a Hong Kong company incorporation agency, you can focus on putting up structures for your biomedical company and boosting your capital base as experts deal with registration. In addition to helping you with business incorporation, the agency can also assist you with the following:
- Applying for a Business Registration Certificate.
- Preparing the Significant Controllers Registers.
- Opening a bank account and many others.
If you are looking for an opportunity to grow or start a biomedical company, Hong Kong is overflowing with potential. It not only makes it easy for you to open your company but further holds every investor’s hand until they attain their full potential.