About Hong Kong

Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade.

Hong Kong’s sovereignty was transfered from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China on July 1, 1997 under a “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. Under this agreement, Hong Kong will retain a high level of economic autonomy in all matters except defense affairs for the next 50 years.

Hong Kong Flag

Quick Facts

Population | 7.3 million (’13)
GDP | US$273 billion (’13)
GDP per Capita | US$38,000 (’13)
Currency | Hong Kong Dollar
Languages | Chinese, English
Land Area | 6x the size of Washington DC
Legal System | Based upon English Common Law

Hong Kong is known as the place where the East meets the West. The confluence of cultures is reflected in the customs, culture, and education of Hong Kong. A famous cultural export of Hong Kong is its entertainment industry, especially in movies. Famous actors such as Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, and Jackie Chan contributed greatly to the martial arts genre of film. Cantopop (Cantonese Popular Music) is a form of popular music from Hong Kong. True to its cosmopolitan population, Cantopop draws influence from Chinese music, jazz, rock & roll, r&b, and western pop music.

Hong Kong was the world’s 9th largest trading entity in merchandise trade in 2012. The economy is dominated by service-related industries for an astonishing 93% of the GDP in 2012 and accounts for 88% of the total employment in 2013. Low in natural resources, Hong Kong has established itself as a center for international trade and finance. It has topped the Economic Freedom of the World Report as the freest economy for 20 straight years. The Hong Kong stock exchange is the 6th largest in the world with a market capitialization of nearly US$3 Trillion.

Hong Kong has a capitalist economy with strong cornerstones of free markets, low taxation, and fiscal responsibility. Hong Kong has the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. The largest trading partner is China with the United States and Japan being the other major partners.

The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar which has been pegged to the US$ since 1983. The 2013 GDP growth rate was 2.9%. The 2014 GDP is forecast to grow in the range of 3% to 4%. The average inflation in 2013 was 4.3%. Hong Kong is known for low corporate and personal taxes. Standard & Poor (S&P) made a December 16, 2010 decision to upgrade Hong Kong’s long-term foreign-currency and local-currency ratings to “AAA” from “AA+,” with a “stable” outlook.

Hong Kong has come in at #1 in a global rankings list of the world’s 60 largest economies. Hong Kong was only one of two Asian economies to place in the study’s top 10 countries. Hong Kong was cited as the most globalized economy for doing business.

The local Hong Kong Government retains sovereignty over all aspects within the territory with the exception of national defense and foreign relations. Hong Kong has a constitution called the Basic Law that was approved by the China National People’s Congress in March of 1990. Hong Kong’s Legal system is based on English common law. The chief of state is President of China Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s head of government is Chief Executive C. Y. Leung. The chief executive is elected for a 5-year term.

Hong Kong’s government is known as transparent, small and efficient. It has a stated philosophy of “maximum help and minimum interference” for business.

Under the Special Administrative Region agreement between Hong Kong and mainland China, Hong Kong maintains a high level of autonomy and retains its own laws. The “One Country, Two Systems” agreement will be in effect until at least 2047.

Recent Updates

  • Hong Kong’s Constitutional Development

    Dear Friends, As you may know, Hong Kong society has been involved in debates and discussions about our constitutional development for almost two years. After two rounds of public consultation and numerous meetings and briefings involving all sectors of the community, the Hong Kong Special......

  • Democratic Reform Proposals

    Dear friends of Hong Kong, Yesterday (April 22), the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government released its proposals for the election of the Chief Executive (CE) in 2017 by universal suffrage. As I wrote earlier on January 8, the Government has sought to make......

  • Think Asia, Think Hong Kong Conference Details

    Click here for the Think Asia, Think Hong Kong conference brochure....

  • 2013 & 2014 Hong Kong Statistics

    Hong Kong’s trade in services statistics for 2013 LegCo Secretariat releases Research Brief on “Four Pillars and Six Industries in Hong Kong: review and outlook” SCED’s speech at opening of TusPark (Hong Kong)’s innovation hub Hong Kong Summary 2014 Hong Kong State by State Export......

  • Hong Kong Democratic Reforms: Moving Forward, or Status Quo

    by Steve Barclay Dear friends of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has just launched the second stage of consultation to consult Hong Kong citizens about the electoral arrangements to implement “one-person, one vote” for the Chief Executive (CE) election in......

  • Steve Barclay’s Hong Kong Update

    Dear friends of Hong Kong, I have just returned from Hong Kong after attending our annual heads of Economic and Trade Offices meeting and would like to share my observations with you. I met the Chief Executive, Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary and Secretary for Justice,......