4 Eternal Industries of Hong Kong (1Jan2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

“Eternal Industries” are industries that are evergreen and have prospered in different stages of economic development in Hong Kong. From my observation, there are four industries that are evergreen and will continue to be evergreen in Hong Kong.

Major Characteristics of “Eternal Industries”

• Information Asymmetric
• Dominated by small players
• Require little or no premises
• Human and labor intensive
• High margin

Foreign Domestic Helper Agencies



As of 2014, Foreign Domestic Helpers accounted for 3% of the population of Hong Kong. Foreign Domestic Helpers form a centerpiece of middle class white collar Hong Kong Families. As a result, agencies that match FDHs with their employers have prospered over the last few decades.

Unique Advantage in Hong Kong

  • Long working hours
  • High proportion of women working
  • Relative low social cost in hiring FDHs

Reason they will be growing in the next decade: 

  • Higher turnover rate – Compared with a few decades ago, the living standards of Indonesia and the Philippines have improved significantly. New generations of Foreign Domestic Helpers are less likely to work as hard as their senior counterparts. As a result, it will be harder for the employer to find new helpers and there will be fewer Indonesians and Filipinos who are willing to work in Hong Kong over the next few decades. As a result, the reliance on Maid Agencies is going to be stronger and higher in future.

Glasses/ Eye Wear


The glasses wearing population in Hong Kong is over 75% of the overall population. Myopia is more common in Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most evergreen industries in Hong Kong.

Unique Advantage in Hong Kong

  • Long study hours
  • Genetic deficiencies of Asians

Reason they will be growing in the next decade: 

• Increased electronics usage- Since there is a wide spectrum surge in the use of electronics across all age groups, more visual impairment issues can be expected. As a result, it is very likely that the demand for glasses will rise in direct proportion to the surge of electronics.

• Higher life expectancy- Glasses have to be replaced every few years. With higher life expectancy comes higher demand for glasses, period.

Tutoring Services/ Exam Preparation


Decoration & Construction Companies


Conrad Ko

Conrad Ko

Conrad Ko is an exam consultant, grassroot entrepreneur and growth hacker.

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