Chapter 4: Hong Kong, SAR of China
Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is one of the most successful city economies in the world. Starting as an entrepot, this densely populated city has emerged as one of the major trade and international finance centres in Asia. It has a sophisticated banking sector, which is the second largest in Asia after Japan. Living standards in Hong Kong SAR are very high and are also expected to rise commensurately with the rapid pace of economic growth in mainland China. Over three decades Hong Kong SAR’s economy has transformed from manufacturing leader to an affluent service orientation. Tourism, retail trade and financial services have emerged as the key sectors in Hong Kong SAR’s economy. Its limited endowment of natural resources confers on Hong Kong SAR a comparative advantage in trade and service activity. Government policy supports this dynamism with minimal economic regulation. The dominance of mercantile trade in Hong Kong’s economic structure is reflected in its high degree of economic openness, measured as the ratio of exports plus imports to GDP. For Hong Kong this ratio is among the highest in the world, at greater than 3. Exports from Hong Kong SAR are generally (value-added) re-exports, so that its exports and imports are intertwined.
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