|Special Administrative Region of China|
March of the Volunteers
|Status||Special Administrative Region|
|- From 2005||Donald Tsang|
|- July 1, 1997||Handover to China|
|- Total||US$ 319.4 billion|
|- Per capita||US$ 45,277|
|Currency||Hong Kong dollar|
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system would not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Hong Kong has a free market economy highly dependent on international trade and finance - the value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of re-exports, is about four times GDP. Hong Kong's open economy left it exposed to the global economic slowdown, but its increasing integration with China, through trade, tourism, and financial links, helped it recover more quickly than many observers anticipated. The Hong Kong government is promoting the Special Administrative Region (SAR) as the site for Chinese renminbi (RMB) internationalization. Hong Kong residents are allowed to establish RMB-denominated savings accounts; RMB-denominated corporate and Chinese government bonds have been issued in Hong Kong; and RMB trade settlement is allowed. The territory far exceeded the RMB conversion quota set by Beijing for trade settlements in 2010 due to the growth of earnings from exports to the mainland. RMB deposits grew to roughly 3.6% of total system deposits in Hong Kong by October 2010, an increase of over 250% since the beginning of the year. The government is pursuing efforts to introduce additional use of RMB in Hong Kong financial markets and is seeking to expand the RMB quota for 2011. The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for about half of Hong Kong's exports by value. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. As a result of China's easing of travel restrictions, the number of mainland tourists to the territory has surged from 4.5 million in 2001 to 17.7 million in 2009, outnumbering visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad. In 2009 mainland Chinese companies constituted about 40% of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and accounted for 60% of the Exchange's market capitalization. During the past decade, as Hong Kong's manufacturing industry moved to the mainland, its service industry has grown rapidly and in 2009 accounted for more than 90% of the territory's GDP. GDP growth averaged a strong 4% from 1989 to 2008. Hong Kong's GDP fell in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but a recovery began in third quarter 2009, and the economy grew nearly 6% in 2010. The Hong Kong government adopted several temporary fiscal policy support measures in response to the crisis that it may discontinue if strong growth is sustained. Credit expansion and tight housing supply conditions caused Hong Kong property prices to rise rapidly in 2010, and some lower income segments of the population are increasingly unable to afford adequate housing. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983.
- Donald Tsang (₩) (June 24, 2005 - )
- China (SAR)
Special Administrative Regions
- Hong Kong: Guide to Law Online (Library of Congress)
- The World Factbook (CIA)
- Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments (CIA)
- U.S. Department of State
- Australian Government
- BBC News Country Profile
- BBC News Time Line
- World Statesmen.org
- International Constitutional Law Project
- Psephos Election Archive