Commerzbank is a leading corporate bank with a wide international network and a very strong focus on Asian growth markets. We have been active in the Asia Pacific region for more than 50 years and our offices in Hong Kong were opened in 1979. Our focus both in Hong Kong and Asia is on European companies seeking to do business in Asia and on Asian companies seeking to do business in Europe. In both of these fields, we have seen double-digit growth across the more recent years.
In Hong Kong we employ about 100 people from 14 nationalities speaking an approximately equally large number of languages. With about 150 banks’ presence in Hong Kong, the financial centre definitely has a very deep and broad talent pool. At the same time, there’s large competition for good talent that you find in the Hong Kong market. So, we strive to be a sustainable employer as much as we are sustainable with our client relationships. So we called that “the bank at your side”. And yes, we have been able to recruit and retain people with this approach.
Across all of Asia, we employ about 700 people catering to about two and a half thousand customers.
Across the Asia-Pacific region, we have a total of six branches, adding Singapore and Tokyo to the four branches that we have in China including Hong Kong.
We continue to seek opportunities across all of Asia. We have been able to grow our business at double digit rates.
My family and I have now lived for eight years in Hong Kong… a little more than eight years actually. We really love this place. It’s very open. It’s cosmopolitan. From a business perspective, centrally located with good connections to everywhere else in Asia. What we like most and this is perhaps untypical for a German is a can-do attitude, a very dynamic can-do attitude. Hong Kong thrives on opportunities whereas Germans typically are very concerned about risk.
There’s one piece of advice that I’d like to give everybody that first arrives in Hong Kong, and that is speak to the professionals first before you sign on a client. Speak to your chamber of commerce, speak to your banks, speak to your Consul-General, or professional advisers, and speak to your bank. We have been in Hong Kong for almost four decades and we have the professional experience. We’re happy to share with our prospective clients, and it simply helps to avoid the mistakes. You’d better learn from the mistakes than pay for them yourself. That dimension again, Hong Kong is a very open place, everybody will welcome you and look upon you as a business opportunity.
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