The commerce secretary Edward Yau on Saturday brushed aside concerns that overseas companies are leaving Hong Kong, as the total number of foreign firms with offices in the SAR dipped for the first time in a decade.
Latest government figures show that the number of UK firms with Hong Kong offices fell to 665 this year, a decrease of 6.7 percent compared to 2019. The number of American companies dropped by 4.5 percent to 1,283.
The overall number of foreign companies in Hong Kong in 2020 fell by a tenth of a percent, to 9,025.
Asked whether this was due to a loss of confidence, Yau said firms make their own decisions and that the figures for this year and last are similar.
He said that while different countries have expressed concern about the national security law, it was actually needed for constitutional stability and the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Without these, Yau said, the interests of foreign companies would be affected.
"They should think about their own countries, whether they also have a national security legislation," he said on a Commercial Radio programme.
The minister noted that most overseas firms had also decided to stay, after saying they were worried about the social unrest last year.
Foreign firm numbers still similar despite drop: Yau
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