About Hong Kong Trade

Since the 1997 handover, Hong Kong’s economic future became far more exposed to the challenges of economic globalization and the direct competition from cities in the mainland China. In particular, Shanghai claimed to have a geographical advantage. The Shanghai municipal government dreamt of turning the city into China’s main economic center by as early as 2010. The target is to allow Shanghai to catch up to New York by 2040–2050. Hong Kong, on the other hand, continues to have a more positive and realistic approach, and remains the principal international financial center in China. Until then, Hong Kong is expected to have higher overall economic figures yearly. Hong Kong’s main trading partners are China, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Singapore, and South Korea.

Hong Kong’s economic policy has often been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of laissez-faire capitalism, attributing the city’s success to the policy. However, others have argued that the economic strategy is not adequately characterized by the term laissez-faire.  They point out that there are still many ways in which the government is involved in the economy, some of which exceed the degree of involvement in other capitalist countries. For example, the government is involved in public works projects, healthcare, education, and social welfare spending. Further, although rates of taxation on personal and corporate income are low by international standards, unlike most other countries Hong Kong’s government raises a significant portion of its revenues from land leases and land taxation. All land in Hong Kong is owned by the government and is leased to private developers and users on fixed terms, for fees which are paid to the state treasury. By restricting the sale of land leases, the Hong Kong government keeps the price of land at what some consider as artificially high prices and this allows the government to support relatively some public spending with a low tax rate on income and profit.

Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom of The Heritage Foundation for 20 consecutive years, since its inception in 1995. The index measures restrictions on business, trade, investment, finance, property rights and labour, and considers the impact of corruption, government size and monetary controls in 183 economies. Hong Kong is the only one to have ever scored 90 points or above on the 100-point scale in 2014 Index.




  1. Wikipedia “Economy of Hong Kong”
  2. Richardson, Harry W. Bae, Chang-Hee C. [2005] (2005) Globalization and Urban Development: Advances in Spatial Science. ISBN 3-540-22362-2
  3. Journal of Contemporary China (2000), 9(24) 291–308 “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2006.
  4. Geocities. “Doesn’t Hong Kong show the potentials of “free market” capitalism?”. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  5.  Index of Economic Freedom. Heritage Foundation.
  6.  “The World’s Freest Economy Is Also Its Least-Affordable Housing Market”. Bloomburg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  7. “2014 Index of Economic Freedom – Hong Kong”. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 28 January2014.