|Language||Cantonese, Mandarin, English|
|Religion||Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism|
|State system||special administrative region of the PRC|
|Head of State|
|Head of government||John Lee|
|Currency name||Hong Kong dollar|
|Time shift||+6h (summer time); +7h (winter time)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||488.8|
|Economic growth (%)||6.3|
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. The official name of the territory in English is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, however, you will also come across the abbreviated name Hong Kong SAR, or simply Hong Kong, China. Check equzhou to learn more about China political system.
Hong Kong’s considerable autonomy is guaranteed until 2047 in accordance with the principle of “one country, two systems” by the local mini-constitution (basic law), which is based on the British legal system. Reforms that curtail civil liberties and tighten control of the PRC’s central government mean a repeat of the large-scale protests of 2019 is unlikely. From 2020 at the latest, there is a gradual decrease in confidence in the autonomy of HK, also related to the erosion of the basic law.
Although Hong Kong can still be considered an open economy, the ongoing zero-tolerance policy towards covid has an undeniable impact on HK’s standing and competitiveness in the world and within the region. The long-term closure of the border between Hong Kong and the PRC greatly complicates business relations, and at the same time, from the point of view of Western companies, it limits to a large extent one of the main foreign exchange assets of Hong Kong – the connection with the PRC market. The government’s economic policy agenda in the coming years will undoubtedly focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, expanding integration with the Pearl River Delta region and increasing the housing stock. However, the economic recovery will largely depend on the continuation of the current covid policy. After the first months of 2022 and the total closure of the territory, initial growth forecasts were revised to just 0.8% of GDP.
There is an EU delegation in Hong Kong, which started its activities in 1993. EU policy towards Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, was first defined in 1997 in the form of the European Commission’s communication “Communication: The European Union and Hong Kong Beyond 1997”, issued in as part of handing Hong Kong over to Chinese rule. The EU and Hong Kong are meeting for a joint structured dialogue, which determines further areas and the direction of mutual cooperation. However, the last dialogue took place in November 2019.
Summary Territorial Information (STI) Hong Kong (China) (337.8kB) Global Industry Opportunity Map – Hong Kong (China) (MFA) (244B)
Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
The highest representative of Hong Kong is the Chairman of the Executive Council (Chief Executive), who is elected by the Election Commission for a five-year term. However, he is definitively appointed to the position by the Chinese central government, which is directly responsible and has a considerable range of executive powers. After the May 2022 election, Beijing-backed John Lee was elected to the post.
The main body of the executive power is the Executive Council, which is effectively the cabinet of the Chairman of the Executive Council, which advises and assists him in the formulation of important policies and in matters related to the introduction of laws and regulations. The Council consists of 16 principal officers and 16 non-official members. The current filling of the most important posts is as follows (to be adjusted after the appointment of new members in connection with the recent elections):
- Chairman of the Executive Board – John Lee
- Principal Secretary for Public Administration –
- Minister of Finance –
- Minister of Justice –
- Minister for Constitutional Affairs and Relations with the PRC –
- Minister of Trade and Economic Development –
- Minister of Transport and Housing –
- Minister of the Environment –
- Minister for Innovation and Technology –
- Minister for Financial Services and Financial Administration –
- Minister for Development –
- Minister of Health and Agriculture –
- Interior Minister –
- Minister of Education –
- Minister of Labor and Social Affairs –
- Minister of Security –
- Minister for State Administration –
The key body of the legislative power is the unicameral Legislative Council consisting of 70 members, 35 of which are directly elected and 35 based on constituencies. In autumn 2020, some opposition members of the Legislative Council were disqualified for participating in the protests, and another 15 subsequently resigned in protest. The subsequent trials with members of the opposition pan-democratic parties significantly affected the currently strongest ruling party (Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong). The fact is that given the course of the last election, which finally took place in May 2022, the transfer of power in HK can be considered a mere ceremonial formality.
Foreign policy of the country
In accordance with the Hong Kong Basic Law, the People’s Republic of China is fully responsible for Hong Kong’s foreign and defense policy. The current provisions allow Hong Kong to independently maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the economic, trade, financial and monetary, maritime, communication, tourism, cultural and sports fields. Check recipesinthebox for China defense and foreign policy.
In response to the passage of the National Security Act at the end of June 2020, the US decided to withdraw Hong Kong’s previous preferential status as an independent territory. Among other things, this means that foreign direct investment by Hong Kong firms in the US will now face greater scrutiny. In addition, the US government has imposed financial sanctions on several local high-ranking officials, including former chief executive Carrie Lam. Even the United Kingdom did not leave the adoption of this law without response. The British government has decided to make it easier for holders of the so-called British National (Overseas) passport and their family members to move permanently to the United Kingdom and simplify the conditions for subsequent acquisition of British citizenship. It is estimated that around 3 million Hong Kongers could be eligible to take advantage of this policy.
The population of Hong Kong is 7.413 million (February 2022). The birth rate has been falling for several years in a row, reaching a negative value for the first time in 2020 – 0.3%. 59.7% of the population is economically active. Unemployment rose to 5.8% in 2020. In terms of religion, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism are represented in the population.