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How Hong Kong "pushes" European start-ups

While Hong Kong avoided the worst of Covid's pandemic thanks to a proactive approach, for many companies including European start-ups, this has been synonymous with opportunity.

Rooftop Republic is one of those who have benefited from this environment.It has already established more than 70 farms on terraces across the city.

Its Co -founder Pol Fabrega explains to us why he did not choose the simplest option, namely to launch his activity in his city of Barcelona, but to do it in Hong Kong.""""Hong Kong is the ideal place for urban farms,"""" he said.""""We live in a futuristic city where there is a lot of room on the roofs and for us, it is a fertile land to set up green spaces where we can also grow fruits and vegetables and build a different food system tothe future, """"he believes.

He tells us that his farm which is the highest in Hong Kong culminates on the 67th floor.""""The panorama is incredible, all these views on Hong Kong are impressive,"""" he enthuses.

""""This city has an operation that is based on business""""

PO FABREGA describes the farm that its businesses installed on the roof of Metroplaza, a shopping center of the city, where false fruits and vegetables.""""Center managers wanted to create a welcoming place that encourages visitors to take an interest in the farm and what they eat,"""" he said.""""The public also has accessories to make selfies,"""" he laughs.

We ask him for the interest that there may be from an entrepreneurial point of view, to set up in Hong Kong.""""It is a very dynamic place, this city has an operation that is based on the business and it is something that anyone who comes from the outside perceives immediately when arriving,"""" says Pol Fabrega.

60% of foreign start-ups are European

Global financial locomotive, but also very connected air hub with the rest of Asia, Hong Kong is a destination favored by many European start-ups.30% of the city start-ups are foreign, 60% of them from Europe according to the European Hong Kong Trade Chamber.

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""""The majority of the Asian population is a maximum of five hours of flight,"""" notes Frederik Gollob, president of this institution.""""It is an excellent access point to continental China, in particular the region of the Grande Baie,"""" he adds.

""""Hong Kong has done a lot to be able to help the development of young companies, small businesses and start-ups by providing them with strong support through efficient incubators, good universities and many public financing programs,"""" underline-he also.

New development horizons

Start-ups and SMEs present on site come from all Europe.The Slovak company specializing in Fintech Vacuumlabs benefited from the pandemic in a certain way.

""""The Covid has accelerated our development,"""" explains Michael Bruck, its managing director, """"but he pushed the financial sector to digitize even more as people no longer wanted to have cash in their hands.And we see that concerning our services, the demand has exploded, """"he said.

For Michael Bruck, Hong Kong also allows companies to expand their horizon in the region.""""Today, only a third of the inhabitants of countries like the Philippines have a bank account, but two thirds of them have a mobile phone and they want to participate in this digital economy,"""" he said before adding: """"This means immense growth opportunities for us.""""

A favorable ecosystem

According to the business manager, start-ups and SMEs benefit from the local government, but also from an ecosystem allowing them to support each other, his playing a role of facilitator.

""""Quand des start-up de la FinTech sont en phase de démarrage,"""" déclare Michael Bruck, """"l'une des choses les plus importantes pour elles, c'est d'arriver très rapidement sur le marché et nous pouvons leur donner ce coup de pouce pour accélérer leur processus de développement.""""

Work balance - Privacy

What do all these Talents of Fintech do during their free time?In Hong Kong, they are spoiled for choice to find out how to reconcile work and privacy.

""""J'aime courir le matin, je pars aussi en randonnée de temps en temps,"""" nous confie Frederik Gollob. """"Et puis, si j'ai le temps, je vais faire de la voile, j'aime beaucoup cela,"""" renchérit-il.

This is what our team had done during his last visit to Hong Kong before the pandemic.We had benefited alongside a family of expatriates, joys of the sea in the heart of Hong Kong.

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