Hong Kong

Introduction 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 China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
History

Human settlement in the location now known as Hong Kong dates back to the Paleolithic era. The region was first incorporated into Imperial China in the Qin Dynasty, and served as a trading post and naval base during the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty. The area's earliest recorded European visitor was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese mariner who arrived in 1513.[4][5] Contact with the United Kingdom was established after the British East India Company founded a trading post in the nearby city of Guangzhou.

In 1839, the refusal by Qing Dynasty authorities to import opium resulted in the First Opium War between China and Britain.[6] Hong Kong Island was first occupied by British forces in 1841, and then formally ceded from China under the Treaty of Nanking at the end of the war. The British established a Crown Colony with the founding of Victoria City the following year. In 1860, after China's defeat in the Second Opium War, the Kowloon Peninsula south of Boundary Street and Stonecutter's Island were ceded to Britain under the Convention of Peking. In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island and the adjacent northern lands, which became known as the New Territories.

Hong Kong was declared a free port to serve as an entrepôt of the British Empire. The Kowloon-Canton Railway opened in 1910 with a southern terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui. An education system based on the British model was introduced. The local Chinese population had little contact with the European community of wealthy tai-pans settled near Victoria Peak.[6]

In conjunction with its military campaign in World War II, the Empire of Japan invaded Hong Kong on December 8, 1941. The Battle of Hong Kong ended with British and Canadian defenders surrendering control of the colony to Japan on December 25. During the Japanese occupation, civilians suffered from widespread food shortages caused by imposed rations, and hyper-inflation due to forced exchange of currency for military notes. Hong Kong lost more than half of its population in the period between the invasion and Japan's surrender in 1945,[7] when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony.

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly, as a wave of mainland migrants arrived for refuge from the ongoing Chinese Civil War. With the proclamation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, more migrants fled to Hong Kong from fear of persecution by the Communist Party.[6] Many corporations in Shanghai and Guangzhou also shifted their operations to Hong Kong.[6] The colony became the sole place of contact between mainland China and the Western world, as the communist government increasingly isolated the country from outside influence. Trade with the mainland was interrupted during the Korean War, when the United Nations ordered a trade embargo against the communist government.[8]

The textile and manufacturing industries grew with the help of population growth and low cost of labour. As Hong Kong rapidly industrialised, its economy became driven by exports to international markets. Living standards rose steadily with the industrial growth. The construction of Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate program. Hong Kong was disrupted by chaos during the riots of 1967.[6] Pro-communist leftists, inspired by the Cultural Revolution in the mainland, turned a labour dispute into a violent uprising against the colonial government lasting until the end of the year.

Established in 1974, the Independent Commission Against Corruption dramatically reduced corruption in the government. When the People's Republic of China initiated a set of economic reforms in 1978, Hong Kong became the main source of foreign investments to the mainland. A Special Economic Zone was established the following year in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, located immediately north of the mainland's border with Hong Kong. The economy of Hong Kong gradually displaced textiles and manufacturing with services, as the financial and banking sectors became increasingly dominant. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the Hong Kong government spent 25 years dealing with the entry and repatriation of Vietnamese refugees.

With the lease of the New Territories due to expire within two decades, the governments of the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China discussed the issue of Hong Kong's sovereignty in the 1980s. In 1984, the two countries signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, agreeing to transfer the sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997.[6] The declaration stipulated that Hong Kong would be governed as a special administrative region, retaining its laws and high degree of autonomy for at least fifty years after the transfer. Lacking confidence in the arrangement, some residents chose to emigrate, particularly after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

The Basic Law of Hong Kong, which would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer, was ratified in 1990. Over strong objections from Beijing, Governor Chris Patten introduced democratic reforms to the election process for the Legislative Council. The transfer of the sovereignty occurred at midnight on July 1, 1997, marked by a handover ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.[6] Tung Chee Hwa assumed office as the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's economy was affected by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 that hit many East Asian markets. The H5N1 avian influenza also surfaced that year. Implementation of the Airport Core Programme led to the opening of the new Hong Kong International Airport in 1998, after six years of construction. The project was part of the ambitious Port and Airport Development Strategy that was drafted in the early 1980s.

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome took hold of Hong Kong in the first half of 2003.[9] That year, half a million people participated in a march to voice disapproval of the Tung administration and the proposal to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, which had raised concerns over infringements on civil liberties. The proposal was later abandoned by the administration. In 2005, Tung submitted his resignation as chief executive. Donald Tsang, the Chief Secretary for Administration, was selected as chief executive to complete the term.

Geography Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates: 22 15 N, 114 10 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 1,092 sq km
land: 1,042 sq km
water: 50 sq km
Area - comparative: six times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 30 km
regional border: China 30 km
Coastline: 733 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nm
Climate: subtropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall
Terrain: hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north
Elevation extremes: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Tai Mo Shan 958 m
Natural resources: outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar
Land use: arable land: 5.05%
permanent crops: 1.01%
other: 93.94% (2001)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues: air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
Environment - international agreements: party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)
Geography - note: more than 200 islands
Politics

Pursuant to the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitutional document, the local Hong Kong government retains sovereignty over the territory except in areas of national defense and foreign relations. The Chief Executive, the head of territory and head of government, is selected by the Chief Executive Election Committee composed of 800 members. Members of the Election Committee are evenly composed of four major sectors of Hong Kong society:[18]
The industrial, commercial and financial sectors
The professions
Labour, social services, religious and other sectors
Members of the Legislative Council, representatives of district-based organizations, Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress, and representatives of Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

Other functionaries of the government, including members of the executive and legislative bodies, are either appointed by the Chief Executive or elected by voters.

Laws in Hong Kong are enacted only by approval of the Chief Executive and majority consent from the 60 seat Legislative Council of Hong Kong, or LegCo. Despite the often said undemocratic nature of Hong Kong's government, half of LegCo's seats are elected under universal suffrage with the other half selected by functional constituencies consisting of special interests and trade unions. The Basic Law guarantees that all seats will eventually be elected under universal suffrage.

Donald Tsang currently holds the office of the Chief Executive after his election on 16 June 2005 by the Election Committee.[19] Before the 1997 handover, Tsang had held the post of Financial Secretary under British rule. He was elevated to the post of Chief Secretary for Administration on 1 May 2001 when Anson Chan resigned her post. Donald Tsang assumed his current post on 24 June 2005 and as scheduled, completed the remaining portion of Tung Chee Hwa's last term which ended on 30 June 2007 in accordance to the interpretation of Annex I and Article 46 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. He was re-elected as Chief Executive on 25th March 2007 for another five years - his new term started on 1st July 2007.

The election of the Chief Executive in 2005 was by the 852-member Election Committee was held on 10 July 2005. On 16 June 2005, Donald Tsang was acclaimed the winner as the only candidate securing the required 100 nominations from members of the election committee. Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive, assumed office on 1 July 1997, following his election by a 400-member electoral college. For the second five-year term of the Chief Executive which began in July 2002, Tung was the only nominated candidate and therefore acclaimed.

The PRC set up a Provisional Legislative Council (PLC) in 1996 just before the handover, where it moved to Hong Kong to have its meetings after the handover. It reverted some laws passed by the colonial Legislative Council, which was formed by means of universal suffrage since 1995. The PLC passed new laws, such as the Public Order Ordinance,[20] which required permission from police to hold a demonstration where the number of people who participates exceeds 30. Legislative Council elections were held on 24 May 1998, on 10 September 2000 and again on 12 September 2004, with the next election scheduled for 2008. According to the Basic Law, Hong Kong's "mini-constitution", the present third term of the Legislative Council has 25 seats directly elected from geographical constituencies and 30 seats elected from functional constituencies. The 1998, 2000 and 2004 Legislative Council elections were seen as free, open, and widely contested, despite discontent among mainly 'pro-democratic' politicians, who contended that the functional constituency elections and the Election Committee elections (for 1998 and 2000) were undemocratic, as they consider that the electorate for these seats is too narrow.

The civil service of Hong Kong maintains its quality and neutrality following its tradition in the colonial times, operating without discernible direction from Beijing. Many government and administrative operations are located in Central on Hong Kong Island near the historical location of Victoria City, the site of the original British settlements.

The right of abode issue sparked debates in 1999, while the controversy over Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 was the focus of politics in Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003, culminating in a peaceful mass demonstration (over 500,000 demonstrators) on 1 July 2003, after which the government still tried to pass the law to the Legislative Council. But one of the major pro-government parties could not guarantee members would vote for passing the bill, leading to the resignation of its leader from the cabinet. Thus the government found that the bill could not be passed and it shelved the drafted law brought forth by Article 23.[21][22] The focus of controversies shifted to the issue of universal suffrage towards the end of 2003 and in 2004, which was the slogan of another mass demonstration on 1 July 2004.[23][24]

On 24 September 2005, 25 Hong Kong pro-democracy LegCo members, some of whom were previously labelled as traitors by Beijing after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and barred from entering the mainland, crossed the border into the southern province of Guangdong, following an unprecedented invitation by the central government.[25] The invitation was regarded as a conciliation move,[26] and is purportedly induced by Tsang.[27] Lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung ignited controversy during the visit by wearing a T-shirt with a picture of the lone protestor blocking a column of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protest, and by later attempting to attend a meeting wearing a T-shirt with "Redress June 4" written on it.[28]

On 4 December 2005, a demonstration was organised by the Civil Human Rights Front and pro-democracy lawmakers to demand a timetable for universal suffrage to be included in political reform proposals for the 2007 and 2008 elections for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council respectively. The turnout was reported to be 63,000 by the police, and at least 250,000 by the organisers. The proposals would have doubled the size of the election committee (from 800 members to 1,600) and added ten seats to the Legislative Council (5 geographic and 5 functional seats for district councillors). On 22 December 2005, the reforms, proposed by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, were defeated by the pro-democracy camp after they failed to reach the necessary two-third threshold with 34 votes in favour and 24 opposed. In the wake of the defeat, China and the Chief Executive have indicated that reforms will not be possible until the 2012 elections. The defeat also did little to blunt Tsang's popularity, with his approval ratings only dropping from 82 to 79% in the wake of the vote.

While Hong Kong is not an independent country, it retains its own delegation in international organisations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Olympic Games, although it changed its official name in these functions from "Hong Kong" to "Hong Kong, China" after 1997. Hong Kong also participates in international events by including a delegate with the PRC's representative group.

People Population: 6,980,412 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13% (male 476,089/female 434,326)
15-64 years: 74% (male 2,515,518/female 2,652,660)
65 years and over: 12.9% (male 419,479/female 482,340) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 41.2 years
male: 40.9 years
female: 41.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.561% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 7.34 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 6.45 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 4.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.096 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.948 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 2.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.68 years
male: 78.99 years
female: 84.6 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 0.98 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
Ethnic groups: Chinese 94.9%, Filipino 2.1%, other 3% (2001 census)
Religions: eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Languages: Chinese (Cantonese) 89.2% (official), other Chinese dialects 6.4%, English 3.2% (official), other 1.2% (2001 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
total population: 93.5%
male: 96.9%
female: 89.6% (2002)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Hong Kong
local long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu
local short form: Xianggang
abbreviation: HK
Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Government type: limited democracy
Administrative divisions: none (special administrative region of China)
Independence: none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday: National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 1 July 1997 is celebrated as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Constitution: Basic Law, approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress, is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"
Legal system: based on English common law
Suffrage: direct election - 18 years of age for a number of non-executive positions; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election - limited to about 220,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, central government bodies, and municipal organizations
Executive branch: chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Donald TSANG (since 24 June 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of 15 official members and 16 non-official members
elections: chief executive elected for five-year term by 800-member electoral committee; last held on 25 March 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: Donald TSANG elected chief executive receiving 84.1% of the vote of the election committee; Alan LEONG received 15.9%
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; in 2004, 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 September 2004 (next to be held in September 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - pro-democracy 63%, pro-Beijing 37%; seats by party - (pro-Beijing 34) DAB 12, Liberal Party 10, FTU 1, independents 11; (pro-democracy 25) Democratic Party 9, CTU 2, ADPL 1, Frontier Party 1, NWSC 1, independents 11; non-voting LEGCO president 1
Judicial branch: Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders: Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee]; Citizens Party [Alex CHAN Kai-chung]; Civic Party [KUAN Hsin-chi]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong or DAB [TAM Yiu Cheng]; Democratic Party [Albert HO]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing]; League of Social Democrats [Raymond WONG]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - ADPL, Democratic Party, Frontier Party, League of Social Democrats; pro-Beijing - DAB, Liberal Party, The Alliance (a group of five generally pro-government and pro-business Legco members from functional constituencies); there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies
Political pressure groups and leaders: Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Confederation of Trade Unions or CTU (pro-democracy) [LAU Chin-shek, president; LEE Cheuk-yan, general secretary]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions or FTU (pro-China) [CHENG Yiu-tong, executive councilor]; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]; Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC (pro-democracy); The Alliance [Bernard CHARNWUT, exco member]
International organization participation: ADB, APEC, BIS, ICC, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITUC, UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCL, WCO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (special administrative region of China); Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington and two other cities carries out normal liaison and communication with the US Government and other US entities
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Consul General James B. CUNNINGHAM
consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521-0006
telephone: [852] 2523-9011
FAX: [852] 2845-1598
Flag description: red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center
Culture

Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where East meets West, a meeting reflected in its inhabitants, their customs, economic infrastructure, education and culture. British rule may have ended in 1997 but Western culture is deeply ingrained in Hong Kong and coexists seamlessly with traditional philosophy and practices of the Chinese. On one street corner, there may be traditional Chinese shops selling Chinese herbal medicine, Buddhist paraphernalia or bowls of synthetic shark fin soup, but around the next, one may find theatres showing the latest Hollywood blockbuster, an English-style pub, or a Catholic Church. Hong Kong's official languages are Cantonese and English; signs in both languages are omnipresent throughout Hong Kong. The government, police and most workplaces and stores conduct business bilingually.

While Hong Kong is a global centre of trade, another famous export is its entertainment industry, particularly in the martial arts genre which gained a high level of popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. Several Hollywood performers originate from Hong Kong cinema, notably Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, and Jackie Chan. A number of Hong Kong filmmakers have also achieved widespread fame in Hollywood, such as John Woo, Wong Kar-wai and Tsui Hark. Homegrown films such as Chungking Express, Infernal Affairs, Shaolin Soccer, Rumble in the Bronx, Eros and In the Mood for Love have also gained international recognition. Hong Kong is also the world's main hub for Cantopop music.

The Hong Kong government also supports cultural institutions such as the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Furthermore, the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department also subsidises and sponsors international performers brought to Hong Kong. Many international cultural activities are organised by the government, consulates and privately.

Economy Economy - overview: Hong Kong has a free market economy highly dependent on international trade. In 2006, the total value of goods and services trade, including the sizable share of reexports, was equivalent to 400% of GDP. The territory has become increasingly integrated with mainland China over the past few years through trade, tourism, and financial links. The mainland has long been Hong Kong's largest trading partner, accounting for 46% of Hong Kong's total trade by value in 2006. 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 13.6 million in 2006, when they outnumbered visitors from all other countries combined. Hong Kong has also established itself as the premier stock market for Chinese firms seeking to list abroad. Bolstered by several successful initial public offerings in 2007, mainland companies by September 2007 accounted for one-third of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and over half of the Exchange's market capitalization. Hong Kong's service industry over the past decade has grown rapidly as its manufacturing industry has moved to the mainland and now accounts for 91% of the territory's GDP. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2007, despite the economy suffering two recessions during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98 and the global downturn in 2001-02. Hong Kong continues to link its currency closely to the US dollar, maintaining an arrangement established in 1983.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $293.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $203 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $42,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 8.1%
services: 91.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 3.64 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: 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%
note: above data exclude public sector (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.2% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 53.3 (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 22% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $36.9 billion
expenditures: $29.4 billion (FY07-08 est.)
Public debt: 8.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: fresh vegetables; poultry, pork; fish
Industries: textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
Industrial production growth rate: -0.9% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 38.6 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 40.3 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports: 4.5 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports: 10.9 billion kWh (2006)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption: 292,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 22,420 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports: 314,700 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 2.944 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 2.944 billion cu m (2006)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $19.87 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $353.3 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
Exports - partners: China 47%, US 15.1%, Japan 4.9% (2006)
Imports: $371.3 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
Imports - partners: China 45.9%, Japan 10.3%, Taiwan 7.5%, Singapore 6.3%, US 4.8%, South Korea 4.6% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $6.95 million (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $152.7 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $588 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $506.4 billion (2006)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $441.4 billion (2006)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $2.97 trillion (2007 est.)
Currency (code): Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Currency code: HKD
Exchange rates: Hong Kong dollars per US dollar - 7.802 (2007), 7.7678 (2006), 7.7773 (2005), 7.788 (2004), 7.7868 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 3.87 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 9.913 million (2007)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
international: country code - 852; multiple international submarine cables provide connections to Asia, US, Australia, the Middle East, and Western Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China
Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios: 4.45 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 55 (2 TV networks, each broadcasting on 2 channels) (2007)
Televisions: 1.84 million (1997)
Internet country code: .hk
Internet hosts: 812,137 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 17 (2000)
Internet users: 3.77 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Heliports: 5 (2007)
Roadways: total: 2,009 km
paved: 2,009 km (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 1,009 ships (1000 GRT or over) 34,556,075 GRT/57,423,309 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 499, cargo 135, chemical tanker 51, combination ore/oil 3, container 173, liquefied gas 24, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 91, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 8, vehicle carrier 8
foreign-owned: 617 (Belgium 4, Canada 39, China 309, Denmark 12, France 1, Germany 10, Greece 30, Indonesia 7, Japan 78, South Korea 6, Lebanon 1, Norway 30, Pakistan 1, Philippines 10, Portugal 1, Singapore 11, Syria 1, Taiwan 11, UAE 1, UK 32, US 22)
registered in other countries: 275 (Bahamas 3, Belize 5, Bermuda 4, Cambodia 11, China 6, Cyprus 2, Honduras 1, India 1, Liberia 21, Malaysia 14, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 4, Mongolia 1, Norway 5, Panama 137, Philippines 2, Seychelles 1, Singapore 37, St Vincent and The Grenadines 7, Tuvalu 10, UK 2, unknown 7) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Hong Kong
Military Military branches: no regular indigenous military forces; Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes elements of Ground Forces, Navy, and Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under administrative control of the adjacent Guangzhou Military Region
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 1,743,972
females age 18-49: 1,904,967 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 1,403,088
females age 18-49: 1,527,278 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 40,343
females age 18-49: 38,234 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: despite strenuous law enforcement efforts, faces difficult challenges in controlling transit of heroin and methamphetamine to regional and world markets; modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering; rising indigenous use of synthetic drugs, especially among young people