Economy of Hong Kong
|Economy of Hong Kong|
Central and Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong
|Currency||Hong Kong dollar (HKD)|
|Fiscal year||1 April – 31 March|
|Trade organisations||APEC and WTO|
|GDP||PPP: $325.755 billion (2011 est.)
PPP per capita rank: 8th
Nominal per capita rank: 25th (2010[update])
|GDP growth||7.2% (2011 Q1)|
|GDP per capita||HK$246,733 (US$31,757; 2010)|
|GDP by sector||agriculture: (0.1%) industry: (9%) services: (90.9%) (2008 est.)|
|Inflation (CPI)||2.4% (2010)|
below poverty line
|Gini coefficient||53.3 (2007)|
|Labour force||3.2343 million (end-2010)|
|manufacturing (6.5%), construction (2.1%), wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels (43.3%), financing, insurance, and real estate (20.7%), transport and communications (7.8%), community and social services (19.5%)|
|Unemployment||3.4% (1/2011 – 3/2011)|
|Main industries||textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks|
|Ease of doing business rank||2nd|
|Exports||$390.4 billion (2010)|
|Main export partners|| China 54.1%
United States 9.9%
Japan 4.2% (2012 est.)
|Imports||$433.5 billion (2010)|
|Main import partners|| China 46.9%
South Korea 5.0%
United States 4.7% (2012 est.)
|Public debt||30% of GDP (2012 est.)|
|Revenues||$36.62 billion (2008 est)|
|Expenses||$38.89 billion (2008 est.)|
|Credit rating||Standard & Poor's:
AAA (T&C Assessment)
|Foreign reserves||US$272.617 billion (March 2011)|
As one of the world's leading international financial centers, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterised by low taxation, near free port trade and well established international financial market. The currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is legally issued by three major international commercial banks, and pegged to the US Dollar. Interest rates are determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure it is market-driven only  and in Hong Kong there is no Central Bank nor any financial system similar to the Federal Reserve System in the US.  (for more, see Exchange Bank Association) When destabilizing factors attempt to hit the financial market of this Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China it will be supervised and inspected by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Electronic finance trading  is evolutionarily impacting the financial market of Hong Kong.
According to Index of Economic Freedom since the inception of the index in 1995, Hong Kong has remained as the world's freest economy, The economy is governed under positive non-interventionism, and is highly dependent on international trade and finance. In 2009 the real economic growth fell by 2.8% as a result of the global financial turmoil. Hong Kong’s economic strengths include a sound banking system, virtually no public debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves, rigorous anti-corruption measures and close ties with the mainland China. Despite the downturn, these strengths enable it to quickly respond to changing circumstances. In terms of international comparison, with the most efficient and corruption-free application procedure, lowest income tax and lowest corporate tax as well as abundant and sustainable government finance that the government of Hong Kong consistently upheld the policy of encouraging (and supporting such as Cyberport and Hong Kong Disneyland (by Hong Kong International Theme Parks)) activities of private businesses. This is having a sound impact on the overall economic performance by removing unnecessary barriers for the private enterprises in the Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong is a favorable destination especially for international firms and firms from Mainland China to be listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange due to Hong Kong's highly internationalized and modernized financial industry along with its capital market in Asia, its size, regulations and available financial tools, which are comparable to London and New York.
Hong Kong's gross domestic product, between 1961 and 1997, has grown 180 times. Also, the GDP rose by 87 times per capita. Its economy size is slightly bigger than Israel and Ireland and its GDP per capita at purchasing power parity is the 6th highest globally in 2011, more than the United States and the Netherlands and slightly lower than the Brunei.
By the late 20th century, Hong Kong was the seventh largest port in the world and second only to New York and Rotterdam in terms of container throughput. Hong Kong is a full Member of World Trade Organization. The Kwai Chung container complex was the largest in Asia; while Hong Kong shipping owners were second only to those of Greece in terms of total tonnage holdings in the world. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the 5th largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$2.63 trillion.
Hong Kong has also had an abundant supply of labour from the region nearby. A skilled labour force coupled with the adoption of modern British/Western business methods and technology ensured that opportunities for external trade, investment, and recruitment were maximised. Prices and wages in Hong Kong are (relatively) flexible depending on the performance and stability of the economy of Hong Kong.
Taxation in Hong Kong raises revenues from the sale and taxation of land and through attracting international business to provide capital for its public finance, due to its low tax policy. According to Healy Consultants, Hong Kong is East Asia's most attractive business environment, in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). This has led to Hong Kong being the 3rd largest recipient of FDI in the world. From its revenues, the government has built roads, schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure facilities and services. Low levels of spending relative to GDP (for example, no spending on armed forces, minimal outlays for foreign affairs and modest recurrent social welfare spending) have allowed the accumulation of very large fiscal reserves with minimal foreign debt.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the 6th largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$2.97 trillion. In 2006, the value of initial public offerings conducted in Hong Kong was second highest in the world after London. In 2009, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of worldwide initial public offering (IPO) capital, becoming the largest centre of IPOs in the world. The rival stock exchange of the future is expected to be the Shanghai Stock Exchange. As of 2006, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has an average daily turnover of 33.4 billion dollars, which is 12 times that of Shanghai.
Since the 1997 handover Hong Kong's economic future became far more exposed to the challenges of economic globalisation and direct competition from mainland China. Shanghai claimed in particular to have a geographical advantage, and a municipal government that dreamt of turning the city into China's main economic centre by as early as 2010. The target is to allow Shanghai to catch up to New York by 2040–2050. Hong Kong, on the other hand, continues to have a more positive and realistic approach, and remains the principal international financial centre in China. Until then, Hong Kong is expected to have higher overall economic figures yearly. Hong Kong's main trading partners are China, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Singapore, and South Korea.
This policy has often been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism. However others have argued that the economic strategy was inadequately characterised by the term laissez-faire. They point out that there are still many ways in which the government is involved in the economy. The government has intervened to create economic institutions such as the Hong Kong Stock Market and has been involved in public works projects and social welfare spending. All land in Hong Kong is owned by the government and leased to private users. By restricting the sale of land leases, the Hong Kong government keeps the price of land at what some would say are artificially high prices and this allows the government to support public spending with a low tax rate.
Hong Kong has ranked as the world's freest economy in The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom for 17 consecutive years, since the inception of the index in 1995. The Index measures restrictions on business, trade, investment, finance, property rights and labour and considers the impact of corruption, government size and monetary controls in 183 economies. Hong Kong is the only one to have ever scored 90 points or above on the 100 point scale.
- GDP (nominal, 2009) – HK$1,633.5 billion (US$210.7 billion)
- GDP – real growth rate: -2.7% (2009)
- GDP – per capita: US$30,087 (2009)
- GDP – composition by sector: (2008)
- Manufacturing: 2.3%
- Finance: 25.0%
- Trade: 26.4%
- Other Services: 34.7%
- Other Sectors: 11.6%
|Economy of Hong Kong|
Geography - History - Politics
Hong Kong Portal
- Population: – 7.03 million (end-2009), +0.6% p.a. (2000–09)
- Unemployment rate: 5.2% (2009)
- Labour Force Participation Rate(2009)
- Overall: 60.3%
- Male: 68.9%
- Female: 52.9%
- Age 15–24: 8.5%
- Age 25–39: 36.8%
- Age 39+: 43.7%
- Labour force: 3.7 million (end-2010)
- Employed: 3.56 million (96.2%, end-2010)
- Public administration, social and personal services 24.8%
- Finance, insurance and real estate 18.3%
- Retail, accommodation and food services 15.7%
- Import/export trade 14.9%
- Transport, communications and logistics 12.6%
- Other services 10.6%
- Other sectors 3.1%
- Average Work Week: 45 hours
- Unemployed: 136,000 (4%, end-2010)
- Underemployed: 67,000 (1.8%, end-2010)
FY 2010–11 budget
- Operating Revenues: HK$247.6 billion
- Operating Expenditures: $251.4 billion
- Balance: -$3.8 billion
- Government debt HK$11,227.5 million (US$1.44 billion; June 30, 2011)
- Two-way Trade: US$823.9 billion, +23.6% (2010), +11.1% p.a. (1986–2010)
- With China:' $402.6 billion, +24.2% (2010), 48.9% share
- Exports: $390.4 billion, +22.7% (2010), +10.8% p.a. (1986–2010)
- To China:' $205.7 billion, +26.5% (2010), 52.7% share
- Re-exports: $381.2 billion, +22.8% (2010), +14.3% p.a. (1986–2010)
- To China:' $201.7 billion, +26.7% (2010), 52.9% share
- Imports: $433.5 billion, +25.0% (2010), +11.3% p.a. (1986–2010)
- From China:' $196.9 billion, +22.4% (2010), 45.4% share
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