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Hong Kong’s free-trade policy


Hong Kong street
Hong Kong street

Hong Kong’s free-trade policy has made the territory one of the world’s great centres of trade. There is no tariff on imports, except for some luxury items, such as perfumes, motor vehicles, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco. Hong Kong is dependent upon imported products, which make up about half of the total amount of external trade, the rest being divided between exports and reexports. Apart from trade with other regions of China, Japan supplies the largest percentage of imports, and other major suppliers include Taiwan, the countries of the European Union (EU), and Singapore.

Capital and consumer goods such as electrical machinery and apparatus, clothing, radios, television sets, stereos, and computers represent the largest group of imports. The second largest group includes mineral fuels, raw materials, semi-manufactured goods (such as synthetic and natural textiles, chemicals, and electronic components), and foodstuffs.

China became the main market for Hong Kong’s products prior to 1997, and this trade remained predominant after the territory’s reintegration. Other major export destinations include the United States, the countries of the EU, and Japan. Textiles and clothing are the leading exports.

Also important are electrical machinery and appliances, office machinery, photographic apparatus, and a variety of other manufactured items. Reexports constitute a major portion of the goods shipped out of Hong Kong.

Wholesale and retail trade also are major components of the service sector, as is tourism. The tourist trade, which is highly promoted by the government and well catered to by the huge service sector, now constitutes a significant component of the economy. The largest number of tourist arrivals are from the mainland. In addition, a large number of business and tourist travelers from Taiwan pass through Hong Kong on their way to and from destinations on the mainland. "Hong Kong" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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