About Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) is firmly committed to an open market policy. This policy applies to all trade, as well as to all investments in the HKSAR.

Hong Kong has become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since July 1, 1997. The "One Country, Two Systems" principle provides the HKSAR with a high degree of autonomy in economic, trade, financial and monetary matters. This is guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and the Basic Law, the mini-constitution of the HKSAR, which ensure that the importance of Hong Kong's capitalist economic and trade systems, free movement of goods and capital, and its status as a free port and separate customs territory, with its own customs boundary. Tariff preferences and other similar arrangements obtained by the HKSAR will be enjoyed exclusively by the HKSAR. They also provide that the HKSAR may participate in relevant international organizations and international trade agreements under the name of Hong Kong, China.

In 1986, Hong Kong became a separate contracting party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Upon the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on January 1, 1995, Hong Kong became one of its original members. Hong Kong also became a member of the Customs Cooperation Council (subsequently renamed the World Customs Organization) in 1987 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1991. After July 1, 1997, the status of the HKSAR in these and other international organizations remains unchanged except that our participation is now under the name of Hong Kong, China.

Despite its small population and area, Hong Kong is the world's 13th largest trading economy. With more than 90% of GDP coming from the services sector, Hong Kong is the world's most services-oriented economy and is one of the world's top exporters of garments, watches and clocks, toys, games and electronic products.

Internationally, Hong Kong is increasingly recognized as one of the world's leading financial centres. TIME magazine in 2008 hailed Hong Kong, along with New York and London, as one of the three cities that "drive the global economy".

While Hong Kong remains "Asia World City", it has also assumed a high profile role as China's international financial window. Under the terms of China's 11th Five Year programme, Hong Kong is designated the country's international finance, trade and logistics centre.

For global-minded companies, Hong Kong is the preferred location for regional headquarters, particularly for those keen to reach consumer markets in the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong is the choice for regional headquarters and offices for approximately 4,000 overseas and mainland corporations. Its airport is the world's busiest in terms of air cargo and has flights to some 150 overseas destinations and more than 40 cities in the Chinese mainland. Its seaport remains among the world's busiest cargo centres.

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Above data provided by the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office (HKETO) in Canada, and prepared by the Trade and Industry Development of the Government of the HKSAR.