The CommerceSecretaryEdward 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 UK firms with Hong Kong offices fell to 665 this year, a decrease of 6.7 percent compared to 2019. American companies dropped by 4.5 percent to 1,283.
The overall number of foreign companies in Hong Kong in 2020 fell by 0.1 percent, to 9,025.
When 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, 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 interest of foreign companies would be affected.
"They should think about their own countries, whether they also have a national security legislation," he told 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.