Asia’s International Trading and Finance Centres
Edited by François Gipouloux
Chapter 7: Hong Kong: An Upgraded Gateway for China Trade
7. Hong Kong: an upgraded gateway for China trade James J. Wang INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on how Hong Kong has been upgrading itself as a value-added gateway for China’s trade in the past three decades. For about 150 years, Hong Kong has been regarded as an entrepôt to Mainland China and plays a pivotal role as a commercial center linking China with the rest of the world.1 In recent literature on world city studies, Hong Kong has been ranked among the 10 Alpha-level world cities in 2000, 2004, and 2008.2 Although its status as a world city is weighted heavily by its being a financial center and regional headquarters for transnational corporations (TNC), its port as the busiest hub in the world is also considered as a key factor for its worldwide connectivity. Similar classification and ranking are found from Master Card annual report, which ranks Hong Kong among the top world cities, largely due also to its port throughputs and airport connectivity.3 A basic theoretical underpinning in the literature, particularly those from the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network, a group of geographers at Loughborough University, UK, is that the formation of a global urban system must be defined by its worldwide connections; at which level a city is positioned in the global urban hierarchy depends largely on the power of control and command it has over the networks of TNCs. The ranking of a city in the world city hierarchy is therefore a reflection of...
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