The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers presented a study report on How to Position Hong Kong as a Maritime Centre for the Asia-Pacific Region to the Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council on 29 April 2013 (Report).
The Report provides a detailed analysis of the current position and challenges of Hong Kong's maritime services and makes reference to the experience of London, Singapore and Shanghai. A number of suggestions are made in the Report for enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of Hong Kong as an international maritime centre (IMC).
These suggestions include:
- to provide tax incentives and tax exemption schemes to encourage the development of Hong Kong as an IMC by attracting companies to set up their offices in Hong Kong;
- to join the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area agreement and speed up ratification of dual tax agreements (DTA) with ASEAN countries and other major trading partners;
- to focus beyond port infrastructure and related logistics business to maritime services generally and in particular ship finance and maritime insurance;
- to establish an admiralty court in Hong Kong and encourage more mainland companies to arbitrate domestic disputes in Hong Kong;
- to attract and attain talent through training programmes and preferential immigration policies.
Hong Kong's maritime industry hopes that the Government will negotiate with the mainland Government to designate Hong Kong as a "Tier 2" reinsurance region with higher priority for maritime reinsurance cession in China and introduce double tax deduction to encourage local placement of insurance by Hong Kong shippers/exporters.
A copy of the full Report can be found here.