About our business

Our business was founded in 1816 with one key priority - to deliver excellence in everything we do. That’s why we chose ‘Esse Quam Videri’ as our motto which means 'To be, rather than to seem to be'. Over 200 years later, operating across a multitude of industries around the globe, our motto remains constant.

Our values help us understand how we can bring our motto to life, no matter where we work:


Maintaining integrity in everything we do is central to Swire’s success. Taking the most ethical and honest path, honouring our commitments and delivering on our promises, creates a bond of trust that sustains relationships with our staff, customers, shareholders, business partners and the communities in which we do business.


We believe in the need to respect and to learn from others. To do this we must be aware of our own limitations, listen to others with an open mind and seek to understand other perspectives. Humility guides our approach to colleagues, customers and partners.


We aspire to the spirit of endeavor and enterprise that has distinguished Swire’s history since its early pioneering days. We relish a challenge and have the resilience to deliver results even when the going is tough. And we remain always aware that lasting success is hard won and must be nurtured with responsible hard work.


Swire today is an increasingly large and diversified group but the common thread that runs through our businesses is a dedication to excellence and maintaining high standards. Our customers expect us to deliver quality goods and services. If something is to be done, we believe it should be done in the best possible way.


One of the great strengths of Swire as a family-controlled business is that it can take a long-term view. There is a fundamental concern with people and the communities in which our businesses operate. We thus have the privilege and responsibility of growing our investments along sustainable lines. By this means we believe we can create enduring value for our shareholders and engender the respect and loyalty of our staff and the public.


Watch the latest corporate video from the Swire Group:

“The Swire Group has grown considerably since we first started out in 1816 but what hasn’t changed is our approach to people and how we do business. As a family we’ve always placed great importance on the way we look after people who work in the Group. We hope that our people not only feel proud to work for Swire but that we provide an environment in which they can have enjoyable and fulfilling professional lives.”

Merlin Swire
Chairman of John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Limited

Our businesses


Swire has substantial property interests in Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, the USA and Papua New Guinea. These include property development, investment, management and trading interests as well as hotels. The principal businesses are grouped under Swire Properties Ltd and Steamships Trading Company Ltd.


Swire is a major player in the global aviation industry with interests including airlines and aircraft engineering. The division comprises significant investments in the Cathay Pacific Group and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) Group.

Beverages & Food Chain

Swire plays an important role in numerous links in the food chain. The group is one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, a leading international supplier of tea, coffee and natural ingredients for the global beverage industry, and one of the largest operators of cold storage facilities in the USA. Swire is also involved in the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of food and beverage products.

Marine Services

Swire’s marine interests cover a wide range of activities, from liner shipping to the provision of offshore support services to the international oil and gas industry, and from harbour and ocean towage and salvage to ship repair and shipping agency services. The group’s involvement in this industry dates to 1872.

Trading and Industrial

Swire’s Trading & Industrial activities encompass a wide spectrum of business interests, ranging from apparel and automotive trading to manufacturing and materials handling. The group has major bulk transport operations in Australia and has strategic investments in various sustainable businesses.

How we work


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