Hong Kong’s Competitiveness in Tapping the Mainland Market

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In tandem with the shift of the global economic power, the pendulum of shipping industry tilted from the West to the East. China has become a major contributor to the world’s shipowning, shipbuilding and ship financing activities. China, Korea and Japan together accounted for over 90% of global ship building business, with Mainland China alone owning over 10% of the world’s merchant fleet. 

Ship finance has also undergone some major changes over the last decade – the once dominant European banks and traditional mortgage lending has increasingly been replaced by leasing. According to Forest & Sullivan, the global ship leasing market is expected to reach US$7.6 billion in terms of revenue in 2022, at an average annual growth rate of 11.4% from 2019. At present, some of the world’s largest ship financiers are banks and leasing houses from Mainland China, supporting both shipowners and the nation’s shipbuilding industry. 

Hong Kong’s appeal to international maritime principals draws on unwavering policy support and its strength being one of the world’s biggest IPO markets, the largest off-shore RMB centre, home of major maritime financiers as well as a regional maritime legal and arbitration centre. Hong Kong therefore offers an unparalleled two-way financial and service platform for maritime principals to access the growing Mainland market and for the Mainland players to reach out to the world.