2. Hong Kong - A Special Administrative Region (SAR)
a. Political Status
Hong Kong has been a British colony since 1841 until June 30, 1997. In September 1984, the PRC
and United Kingdom signed an international treaty - the Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong
Kong, calling for China to take back sovereignty over Hong Kong. Based on this Sino-British Joint
Declaration, Hong Kong was reverted to PRC effective July 1, 1997, and Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region (HKSAR) was established under the State Government of PRC.
b. Territory - Hong Kong consists of 236 islands of varying size, with a total land area of 413 square
miles - about one third the size of Rhode Island, the smallest of the 50 United States.
c. Population - Hong Kong has 6.3 million people, of which 98% are ethnic Southern Chinese.
d. Economy - Hong Kong has been transforming from an exotic colonial island into a world-class
trade, business, and financial center in the world. Hong Kong maintains one of the
most dynamic and richest markets in Asia. During the last 20 years, Hong Kong’s
GDP has tripled with an average annual growth rate of 7.5%. Current per capita GDP
(US$23,000 in 1995) has placed Hong Kong second among nations in Asia, only next
to Japan. Hong Kong’s current per capita GDP is already ahead of developed countries
including United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
e. International Trade - In 1998, Hong Kong ranked 8th largest trading economy in the world - its
development has been built on a foundation of foreign trade and international
investment. During the last 20 years, the international trading revenues has
grown more than 44 times in goods and more than 26 times in services.
f. Foreign Exchange Reserves - As of October 1997, Hong Kong’s total foreign exchange reserves is
US$92 billion, ranked 3rd in the world, next to Japan and China.
2.5 Hong Kong’s Role in US-China Trade
Hong Kong’s strategic location makes it the gateway to China. At least 45% of China’s exports and
30% of its imports pass through Hong Kong. For U.S. firms, Hong Kong’s unparalleled access to the
Chinese mainland provides a unique gateway to the world’s largest emerging market - China. This is
well demonstrated by the huge increase in US-China trade in recent years.
There are approximately 38,000 U.S. citizens currently (in 1997) residing in Hong Kong and they
represent one of the most significant foreign presence. In addition, 12 States - California, Hawaii.
Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island,
and Wisconsin, have established representative offices in Hong Kong.
2.6 Hong Kong’s Trade Organizations in the U.S.
a. Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
HKTDC is a quasi-official trade organization which offers a multitude of business services designed
to help U.S. firms enter the China/Hong Kong market. In addition to providing comprehensive
market intelligence, it also assists business in searching trade partners and identifying distribution
channels. American companies interested in doing business with China/Hong Kong are encouraged
to make use of the Council’s extensive market information. For more information, contact;
1). Hong Kong Trade Development Council
219 E. 46th St.
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-838-8688 Fax: 212-838-8941
2). Hong Kong Trade Development Council
350 S. Figueroa St., #282
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: 213-622-3194 Fax: 213-613-1490
b. Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office (HKETO)
HKETO is Hong Kong Government’s official representative office in the U.S. It acts as a source of
information and its main function is to promote Hong Kong’s economic and trade policies in the
U.S. For more information, contact:
1). Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
680 Fifth Ave., 22/F
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212-265-8888 Fax: 212-541-7321
2). Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
130 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel: 415-835-9300 Fax: 415-421-0646
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Mandarin Lessons for Corporate America