Asia has a very rich cultural heritage that has been carefully carried out throughout the centuries of history. Today, Asia is very attractive to international investors as it has several major economies as well as several special areas with thriving economies and favorable tax regimes.
Below is our top list of international investment jurisdictions in Asia.
Modern Hong Kong can boast a free market economy that relies heavily on international trade, the financial sector, the volume of exports/imports including a fairly large proportion of re-exports. Hong Kong imposes zero tariffs on imported items. In addition, only four categories of goods are subject to excise duty: strong liquor, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl-based alcohol. Currently, Hong Kong has no quotas on import/export of anything. The Hong Kong government continues to peg the local currency (Hong Kong dollar) closely to the US dollar, supporting an agreement dating back to 1983.
The local government is actively developing the Special Administrative Region (SAR) to make it a desirable target for the mainland Chinese renminbi to achieve its internationalization in the business world. Local residents are allowed to open savings accounts in RMB currency; In addition, corporate and Chinese government bonds were publicly issued in RMB currency in Hong Kong; and currently in the private and public sectors, settlement of RMB agreements is permitted. The Hong Kong government is currently trying hard to increase the additional RMB investment in Hong Kong’s financial markets and is looking for a way to greatly increase the RMB quota.
Since establishing its local casino industry hotspot in 2001, Macau has managed to attract tens of billions of dollars in international investment and fully transform the area into one of the largest global gambling hotspots. Macau’s gambling and tourism industries have been heavily impacted by China’s decision to ease travel restrictions on Chinese nationals looking for an opportunity to visit Macau. In 2016, Macau’s gambling taxes were estimated to account for over 76% of total budget revenue.
Macau’s economy suffered quite a bit in 2009. It was the result of a global economic crisis, but rapid economic growth continued somewhere into 2013. In 2015, Macau hosted about 31 million tourists with a city population of 646,800 people. About 68% came from mainland China. Services rendered, mainly gambling, have boosted Macau’s economic output several times. Recently, however, the anti-corruption campaign carried out by the Chinese mainland government has slightly affected Macau’s gaming industry.
Singapore currently has a prosperous, well-developed, free-market oriented economy. The Singapore government has done very little to achieve an open and almost 100% corruption-free governmental and business environment, as well as a strong economy and a fairly competitive (even by Western standards) per capita GDP. Employment rates are extremely high, while Singapore’s budget mainly relies on exports, particularly consumer goods and electronics, IT software, medical technology and devices, pharmaceuticals, as well as a buoyant business, banking and finance industry.
Singapore is a popular destination for many international investors and entrepreneurs, especially in certain industries. According to financial analysis data, it will continue to develop and become the most important business and high-tech hotspot in the Pacific Rim. Singapore is a proud member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. It is also part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Singapore founded the ASEAN Economic Community together with the other ASEAN participants in 2015.
Starting back in the late 70s, China has been working on it’s economy and market, rapidly going from internal government controlled closed market, to more liberal, open government planned system with profoundly internal market-oriented economy, leading to an increase of China’s impact on the global market. By year 2010, China has turned into the largest global exporter. Changes and reforms have started with slowly abandoning collectively planned agriculture, developing to introduce free-market pricing, decentralizing taxation, granting more autonomy for government-owned companies, expansions of the private sector, fast development of stock markets and introduction of a modern banking system as well as China’s access to international trade and investment.
China did undergo a number of reforms lately. During last few decades, Chinese government has renewed its support for government-owned companies in industries, which are strategic for country’s security and development. Such decision was made specifically to boost certain industries and make them more competitive on a global market. Such change of economy and the following benefits have dramatically impacted to a China’s GDP making more than ten times increase since year 1978.
Modern Taiwan has a prosperous free-market economy with overall decreasing government control over international investment and trade industries. Strategic production industries, such as production of electronics, machinery and petrochemicals, have given the major boost and factors necessary for rapid growth of economy. However, such factors as Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation, extremely low birth rate, and quickly aging population are several major long-term challenges that Taiwan’s government needs to face and solve.