I have been fortunate to spend some time in Hong Kong over the last few years and it is a city of enormous energy.  It is a global centre of business and trade and has a stunning skyline.  With a strong business district, international status and even beaches, it has a lot to offer its loyal residents.  We have much to learn from the simple tax code, which is highly respected around the world and is tiny compared to that of UK with its ridiculous 17,000+ pages.

Andrew Stuart saddened by the events in one of the most energetic cities in the world: Hong Kong

The handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 was with a condition that Hong Kong’s “capitalist” system would remain until 2047.  China has changed in recent years.  It is still effectively a dictatorship without a democratic vote, but nobody could really accuse China of not having a capitalist economy.

The signs are that China will not respect the agreement until 2047 and have already indicated that they do not consider it legally binding.  Jeremy Hunt has said that China could face serious consequences.  Everyone is wondering what they might be?  It might be imprudent to send a gunboat to Beijing, Churchill style, and any kind of sanctions against China would hardly benefit UK with the prospect of Brexit.   China has much respect for UK and what it can offer so perhaps those serious consequences should be a fantastic trade deal with China post Brexit.  Offer the Chinese something too lucrative for them to turn down, in exchange for what UK wants to see in Hong Kong, to the benefit of all concerned.

The options are too broad to begin to explore here but one thing is certain; there will be many Hong Kong residents who do not have British or other overseas passports, seeking to at least shift money out of Hong Kong and perhaps emigrate.  Three years ago, China put a restriction of $50,000 per year on the amount Chinese nationals are allowed to take out of China.  This policy may extend to Hong Kong at some point in the future, so now is a good time to plan.

GSI works closely with a UK immigration specialist which is a firm of lawyers with a presence across the UK.  For anyone in Hong Kong wishing to explore the possibility of investing in UK we can help set up businesses in UK along with banking and all related activities.  We are business people and can deal with most aspects of business establishment.

Let us hope that Hong Kong retains its relative autonomy and our government starts to negotiate positively with China.