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Austrian business chief affirms Hong Kong's business resilience and future prospects amid global challenges

By Zhu Dan, Cao Jiaxuan

 , Updated 13:45, 09-Apr-2024

In an interview with CGTN, Wilhelm Brauner, chairman of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macao, shared his extensive experience and insights on conducting business in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

Brauner, who arrived in Hong Kong in 1996, reminisced about his journey starting as an assistant trade commissioner and later moving into the private sector. He emphasized his belief in Hong Kong as an ideal business hub, citing its simplicity and efficiency in setting up businesses and adherence to the rule of law.

The chairman highlighted Hong Kong's simple tax system and the low bureaucratic burden for entrepreneurs, contrasting it favorably with European systems. He also praised the city's customer-oriented public services.

He also pointed out that perceptions of Hong Kong in Europe are often shaped by media portrayals, which do not always match the reality on the ground. According to his experience, some visitors to Hong Kong post-pandemic have found this city unchanged and countered their negative expectations.

Reflecting on security, he considers Hong Kong to be one of the safest cities globally, with a strong legal framework backed by the Basic Law. He noted that, despite past unrest, the city has returned to its customary law and order.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of both the Hong Kong and Austrian economies, he stressed the importance of safety and predictability for conducting business.

Looking ahead, he acknowledged the global economic challenges post-COVID-19 but expressed confidence in Hong Kong's resilience and potential, especially with the Greater Bay Area's development plans, positioning Hong Kong for a strong future.

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