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. In the light of the trend concerning the rule of law in Hong Kong, Germany suspended the bilateral extradition agreement with the Hong Kong Special Administration Region in August 2020. In response, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region suspended the bilateral legal assistance agreement with Germany in November 2020 following instructions from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
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 3000 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 EU with trade totalling approximately 13.97 billion euro (2019) and is thus also higher than Hong Kong’s trade with the UK. 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.