Hong Kong is committed to maintaining its enduring business advantages to provide a familiar and secure base for companies, the Chief Executive Donald Tsang said on Thursday.

Speaking at InvestHK's reception for top executives of foreign, Mainland and Taiwanese enterprises, Tsang said there are reasons why Hong Kong continues to attract investment.

One of the reasons companies are continuing to invest in Hong Kong when credit flows are squeezed and world markets are depressed is because of our enduring business advantages, he said.

These include our common law legal system underpinned by an independent judiciary, zero tolerance of corruption, freely convertible currency, low tax regime, free flow of information and liberal immigration policies.

Tsang emphasized Hong Kong is committed to maintaining the advantages, which together with its international business environment, provide a familiar and secure base for businesses.

In the face of the current global challenges we are working hard to return to the path of economic growth. We are also taking every opportunity to enhance our overall competitiveness. So far we have committed over $87 billion in economic stimuli to lessen the impact of the economic downturn on Hong Kong, he said.

In the first half of the year InvestHK helped 174 foreign, Mainland and Taiwanese enterprises form or expand their operations in Hong Kong. This figure has already exceeded the department's mid-year goal that leads to an annual target of assisting 250 investment projects, and represents a 17.6% increase on the same period last year.

According to the information provided by the enterprises, their total investments will create more than 4,172 jobs for Hong Kong. Among them, 1,600 job opportunities were created immediately upon the enterprises' establishment or expansion, while 2,572 are anticipated additional employment opportunities in the next two years.

Geographically, Europe and North America have been the traditional source markets of investment projects for Hong Kong, accounting for 36.8% and 25.9% of Invest HK's completed investment projects.

Director-General of Investment Promotion Simon Galpin said more Mainland enterprises are starting to use Hong Kong as a springboard to go global.

Mainland China has become an increasingly important market for our department. Our On Your Marks, Get-Set, Go nationwide marketing campaign continues to promote the unique advantages of Hong Kong as a platform for Mainland enterprises to expand internationally. Through this campaign we are also able to introduce all the support and services Invest Hong Kong can provide to them, he said.