Hong Kong at a Glance
Literally translated as Fragrant Harbor, Hong Kong—with its skyscraper dotted skyline and open economy—is as modern and fast-paced as New York City or San Francisco. A British colony for 156 years, Hong Kong’s sovereignty transferred to China in 1997 with a special provision granting a high degree of freedom. Officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and coexisting under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, Hong Kong maintains a free market characterized by low taxes and free trade in stark contrast to mainland China’s state-controlled economy.
Geography and Culture
Located in Southeast Asia and roughly six times the size of Washington DC, Hong Kong is composed of more than 200 islands and is home to an estimated 7.3 million people. With a population of 91% ethnic Chinese, Cantonese and English are the official languages and it’s common to find signs displaying both Chinese and English throughout the territory.
A wonderfully distinct culture where East meets West, Hong Kong proudly displays both its Asian roots and British influence. This diversity is most evident in Hong Kong’s cuisine, where dim sum and hotpot are found along with western style fast food and haute cuisine.
Hong Kong is world-renowned for its thriving action movie industry. Launching the careers of notable martial arts actors Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li and director John Woo—amongst others—Hong Kong’s status as a global entertainment mecca is firmly cemented.
With few natural resources and scant arable land, Hong Kong imports most of its food and raw materials. The economy is mainly driven by the service sector—which includes international business, banking, trade, and tourism—accounting for over 90% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Consistently ranking among the most competitive economies, Hong Kong maintains the highest degree of economic freedom in the world and boasts one of the highest per capita incomes. In fact, with 8.5% of households worth at least a million US dollars and 1 out of every 132,075 persons being billionaires, Hong Kong ranks fourth in the world in terms of highest percentage of millionaire households and second in the world by billionaires per capita.
With the world’s second busiest container port and the busiest airport for international cargo, Hong Kong’s largest export markets are mainland China, the United States, and Japan. In addition to standard exports, Hong Kong is the world’s largest center for re-exports, which are products made elsewhere—for example in mainland China—and distributed by way of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong—with its lenient taxation and free economy—presents a tempting opportunity. However, despite the economic freedom, Hong Kong is a complex market for outsiders. To help you, Creditsafe is proud to offer its customers unprecedented access to business intelligence on both private and public Hong Kong businesses. You will gain insight into details such as company name/address, financials, industry code/description, negative data, payment behavior, shareholder information, and group structure. With this actionable data, you’ll be on your way to opening or growing your presence in one of the most lucrative marketplaces in the world.