Firms from mainland China top list of new foreign startups in H.K.

Companies from mainland China accounted for the largest share of new foreign startups in Hong Kong in the first half of this year, the government's investment promotion arm said Thursday.

Of the record 213 new companies setting up here through Invest Hong Kong from January to June, 51 were from mainland China, followed by 26 from Japan, 24 from each of the United States and Britain, and 13 from France, according to the mid-year results.

Simon Galpin, director general of Invest Hong Kong, said the devaluation of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar may have an impact on future investment projects from Japan in the second half of the year.

But he said Japanese companies' interests in Hong Kong remain strong, particularly companies in the food sector.

"Asia is the strongest region for us, particularly because we've seen such a strong increase in the number of projects from mainland China and Japan," Galpin said.

The projects were mainly from asset management and financial services, digital marketing, wine-related businesses, restaurants and medical and health care.

"Although the second half of the year is usually not as busy as the first half, we are still confident that we'll be able to hit our target of 330 (projects for the whole year)," he said.