Hong Kong is strategically located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta in Southern China and in the heart of the rapidly developing East Asia. It can reach all key markets in Asia within four hours flight time, and half the world’s population within five hours flight time.
Hong Kong, with a total area of 1,106 sq kilometres, covers Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, including 262 outlying islands. Between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula lies Victoria Harbour, one of the world's most renowned deep-water harbours.
Hong Kong is eight hours ahead of GMT and has a sub-tropical climate.
Hong Kong’s population was approximately 7.52 million people in 2019. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population.
Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used in the Government and by the legal, professional and business sectors. Trilingual professionals who speak English, Cantonese and Putonghua play a vital role in the numerous enterprises trading in Hong Kong or doing business with mainland China and Taiwan.
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, formally established on 1 July 1997 under the principle of "One Country, Two Systems". It enjoys a high degree of autonomy as enshrined in the Basic Law, the constitutional document governing the political, judicial and economic framework of Hong Kong as well as guaranteeing its capitalistic way of life. The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China is responsible for foreign affairs and defence.
The HKSAR is headed by the Chief Executive (CE). The CE is advised on major policy decisions by the Executive Council.
The main administrative and executive functions of government are carried out by 13 policy bureaux, which formulate policies and initiate legislative proposals, and 61 departments and agencies, which implement laws and policies and provide direct services to the community. They are staffed mostly by civil servants.
The Legislative Council is the law-making body of the HKSAR. It comprises 70 members, with 35 elected directly by geographical constituencies and 35 elected by functional, occupation-based constituencies. Apart from its law-making function, the Legislative Council debates issues of public interest, examines and approves budgets, receives and debates the Chief Executive's policy addresses, and endorses the appointment and removal of the judges of the Court of Final Appeal and the Chief Judge of the High Court.
Hong Kong's economy is characterised by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. It is the world's 7th largest trading economy, with the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.
A founding member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Hong Kong is firmly committed to free and open trade. There is no barrier on trade. Hong Kong does not charge tariff on importation or exportation of goods. Import and export licensing is also kept to a minimum. Licensing is only imposed when there is a genuine need to fulfil obligations undertaken by Hong Kong to our trading partners, or to meet public health, safety or internal security needs.
After the reunification with China in 1997, Hong Kong has continued its separate membership to the WTO using the name "Hong Kong, China".
More information about Hong Kong can be found here.