Unlocking Business Opportunities: Leverage the 1M BUD Fund for the UK Expansion

ACH Worldwide Ltd
5 min readMar 26, 2024

Written by Dominykas Gaidys and Dr Amanda Lim

For Hong Kong companies eyeing expansion opportunities abroad, the United Kingdom stands out as an attractive destination. With a robust economy, access to global markets, and supportive government policies, the UK offers fertile ground for business growth. To facilitate this journey, the Hong Kong government has introduced the “Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales” (“the BUD Fund“) providing financial assistance up to HKD 1M to a company venturing into the UK market.

The BUD Fund is a game-changer for Hong Kong companies seeking to establish a foothold in the UK. Through subsidies covering expenses such as company registration, certifications, machinery, and marketing activities, the BUD fund significantly reduces the financial barriers associated with international expansion. By leveraging this scheme, Hong Kong businesses can streamline their entry into the UK market and expedite their growth trajectory.

But why should Hong Kong companies choose the UK for their global expansion efforts? One compelling reason can be the UK government’s recent proactive stance on attracting foreign investment, complemented by the establishment of investment zones across the country. With 12 confirmed investment zones spread across England, Scotland, and Wales, Hong Kong companies have a plethora of options to choose from based on their industry focus and growth objectives.

Let’s delve into the benefits and opportunities offered by the UK investment zones:

1. Defined Economic Areas: Each investment zone is strategically designed to facilitate business co-location and foster collaboration between industry players and research institutions. By fostering synergies between businesses and academia, these zones create fertile ground for innovation and growth.

2. Industry and Research Institution Collaboration: Priority sectors in each investment zone benefit from collaboration with leading research institutions, providing companies with access to cutting-edge technologies and expertise.

3. Business and Local Community Connection: Investment zone initiatives prioritise strengthening the local labour market to meet the skill requirements of businesses operating within the region. This ensures a talented workforce tailored to the needs of Hong Kong companies.

4. Local Leadership Support: Mayors and local leaders actively collaborate with businesses and innovation stakeholders, contributing resources and expertise to drive economic growth and prosperity.

Beyond these overarching benefits, each investment zone in England offers region-specific advantages tailored to different industries:

  • Greater Manchester: Focuses on advanced materials and manufacturing sectors, with substantial private sector investment forecasted.
  • East Midlands: Emphasises advanced manufacturing and green industries, expected to create thousands of jobs and attract significant private investment.
  • Liverpool City: Targets the thriving life sciences sector, aiming to attract substantial private investment.
  • North-East Region: Specialises in advanced manufacturing and green industries, leveraging the region’s strengths in clean energy and automotive sectors.
  • South Yorkshire: Concentrates on advanced manufacturing, poised to create thousands of new jobs and attract significant private funding.
  • Tees Valley: Centers on digital and creative technology sectors, capitalising on the region’s strengths in innovation.
  • West Midlands: Focuses on advanced manufacturing, green industries, health-tech and underlying digital technologies.
  • West Yorkshire: Highlights life sciences and digital technologies, offering opportunities for companies in these sectors to thrive.

Moreover, the UK government’s timeline for investment zone development underscores its commitment to facilitating foreign investment. With proposals expected to be agreed upon by the end of Fiscal Year 23/24 and funding set to commence in Fiscal Year 24/25, now is the opportune moment for Hong Kong companies to seize the advantages offered by these investment zones.

In conclusion, Hong Kong companies looking to expand their business to the UK should seize the opportunities offered by the BUD fund and newly established investment zones. By leveraging financial assistance, strategic support, and collaborative ecosystems, they can establish a strong presence in the UK market and embark on a path of sustainable growth and success.

Sources:

“Autumn Statement Sees Power Shift to Region and Investment Zone Unveiled.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/autumn-statement-sees-power-shift-to-region-and-investment-zone-unveiled/.

Council, Northumberland County. “Northumberland County Council — Investment Zone Announced for the North East.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/News/2023/Nov/Investment-Zone-announced-for-the-North-East.aspx.

GOV.UK. “Investment Zones.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/investment-zones-update/investment-zones.

GOV.UK. “South Yorkshire Named as First UK Investment Zone.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/south-yorkshire-named-as-first-uk-investment-zone.

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ianmcneal. “Game-Changing £160Million Investment Zone To Supercharge Region’s Digital And Creative Strengths.” Tees Valley, March 6, 2024. https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/news/game-changing-160million-investment-zone-to-supercharge-regions-digital-and-creative-strengths/.

Levelling Up. “Yorkshire Is in the Zone — 2x Investment Zones (West & South Yorkshire).” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://levellingup.campaign.gov.uk/yorkshire-investment-zones/.

“Liverpool City Region Investment Zone Funding to Be Doubled to £160m.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/news/liverpool-city-region-investment-zone-funding-to-be-doubled-to-160m.

Pails, David. “West Midlands Investment Zone Funding.” Coventry City Council. Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/4905/west-midlands-investment-zone-funding.

“Special Feature: Levelling Up Investment Zones.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.wmca.org.uk/documents/levelling-up/west-midlands-levelling-up-prospectus/west-midlands-levelling-up-growth-prospectus/section-a-going-further-faster/special-feature-levelling-up-investment-zones/.

Swaney, Nicola. “D2N2 LEP Welcomes the Announcement of an East Midlands Investment Zone in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.” D2N2 (blog), November 22, 2023. https://d2n2lep.org/d2n2-lep-welcomes-the-announcement-of-an-east-midlands-investment-zone-in-the-chancellors-autumn-statement/.

SY Inward Investment. “SY Inward Investment.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://scrinvest.com/.

“UK Investment Zones — Great.Gov.Uk International.” Accessed March 22, 2024. https://www.great.gov.uk/international/content/investment/why-invest-in-the-uk/uk-investment-zones/.

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