Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. There is a wide variety of ethnic foods, including Italian, Japanese, French,
and American. Most people, however, eat Cantonese-style Chinese food. Soups are especially
important in most meals. A typical Cantonese food is dim sum, also known as yam chah, which
is small snacks cooked in bamboo steamers. This meal is served seven days a week, and family
members and friends often meet over tea on the weekend. Residents prefer to buy seafood live
and meat freshly butchered. Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of
fast food in the world, and students buy snacks such as potato chips, fried rice crackers, and
prawn crackers from school snack shops.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Eating out banquet-style is a common form of
entertainment, especially for businesspeople. Banquets differ from everyday meals in that most
dishes are meat or fish, and starch is only served at the end of the meal. Alcohol normally
accompanies a banquet; beer and brandy are popular drinks, and grape wine has grown rapidly in
popularity.
Some holidays and ceremonial occasions are associated with certain kinds of food. Lunar New
Year's Eve features chicken, roast pork, and fruit; at the Dragon Boat Festival, people eat rice
dumplings wrapped in lotus leaves; and the Mid-Autumn Festival is associated with moon cakes,
pomelo, and persimmons. Meals when the family reunites, including New Year's Eve, often
include rice flour balls in sweet soup. Birthday banquets for older people include a bowl of long
noodles symbolizing long life, and eggs dyed red traditionally are given out at the celebration of
a baby's first month.
Basic Economy. Nearly all food comes from mainland China and overseas, as less than 1 percent
of the population engages in farming or fishing. The economy has grown rapidly; the real growth
of the median household income from 1986 to 1996 was 51 percent.
In 1996, 11 percent of workers are in manufacturing, 67 percent in service industries, 11 percent
in transport and communications, 9 percent in construction, and less than one percent in
agriculture.
The economy is nearly completely open to the world economy. Most products have no tariffs;
only automobiles, petroleum, and alcohol have high import tariffs. Taxes are low. There are no
value-added or sales taxes, and less than half of the working population earns enough to pay
income tax, which has a minimum rate of 15 percent.
Economy of Hong Kong
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Economy of Hong Kong

Central and Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong
Currency Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Fiscal year 1 April – 31 March
Trade
organisations
APEC and WTO
Statistics
GDP
PPP: $325.755 billion (2011 est.)
PPP per capita rank: 8th
Nominal per capita rank: 25th (2010)
[1]

GDP growth 7.2% (2011 Q1)
[2]

GDP per capita HK$246,733; 2010 (US$50,936 PPP; 2012)
[3]

GDP by sector agriculture: (0.1%) industry: (9%) services: (90.9%) (2008 est.)
Inflation (CPI) 3.6% (2014)
[4]

Population below
poverty line
N/A
Gini coefficient 53.3 (2007)
Labour force 3.2343 million (end-2010)
[5]

Labour force by
occupation
manufacturing (6.5%), construction (2.1%), wholesale and retail trade,
restaurants, and hotels (43.3%), financing, insurance, and real estate
(20.7%), transport and communications (7.8%), community and social
services (19.5%)
Unemployment 3.4% (1/2011 – 3/2011)
[6]

Main industries
textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys,
watches, clocks
Ease-of-doing-
business rank
2nd
[7]

External
Exports $390.4 billion (2010)
Main export
partners
China 54.1%
United States 9.9%
Japan 4.2% (2012 est.)
[8]

Imports $433.5 billion (2010)
Main import
partners
China 46.9%
Japan 8.4%
Taiwan 7.5%
South Korea 5.0%
United States 4.7% (2012 est.)
[9]

Public finances
Public debt 30% of GDP (2012 est.)
Revenues $36.62 billion (2008 est)
Expenses $38.89 billion (2008 est.)
Economic aid N/A
Credit rating
Standard & Poor's:
[10]

AAA (Domestic)
AAA (Foreign)
AAA (T&C Assessment)
Outlook: Stable
[11]

Moody's:
[11]

Aa1
Outlook: Stable
Fitch:
[11]

AA+
Outlook: Stable
Foreign reserves US$272.617 billion (March 2011)
[12]

Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
As one of the world's leading international financial centers, Hong Kong's service-oriented
economy is characterised by low taxation, near free port trade and well established international
financial market.
[13]
The currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is legally issued by three major
international commercial banks,
[14]
and pegged to the US Dollar.
[15][16]
Interest rates are
determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure it is market-driven only.
[17]
There is
no central banking system in Hong Kong.
[18][19]
(for more, see Exchange Bank Association)
When destabilising factors attempt to hit the financial market of this Special Administrative
Region of People's Republic of China it will be supervised and inspected by the Hong Kong
Monetary Authority. Electronic finance trading
[20][21]
is evolutionarily impacting the financial
market of Hong Kong.
[22]

According to Index of Economic Freedom since the inception of the index in 1995,
[23]
Hong
Kong has remained as the world's freest economy, The economy is governed under positive non-
interventionism, and is highly dependent on international trade and finance. In 2009 the real
economic growth fell by 2.8% as a result of the global financial turmoil. Hong Kong's economic
strengths include a sound banking system, virtually no public debt, a strong legal system, ample
foreign exchange reserves, rigorous anti-corruption measures and close ties with the mainland
China. Despite the downturn, these strengths enable it to quickly respond to changing
circumstances.
[24]
In terms of international comparison, with the most efficient and corruption-
free application procedure, lowest income tax and lowest corporate tax as well as abundant and
sustainable government finance that the government of Hong Kong consistently upheld the
policy of encouraging (and supporting such as Cyberport and Hong Kong Disneyland (by Hong
Kong International Theme Parks)) activities of private businesses. This is having a positive
impact on the overall economic performance by removing unnecessary barriers for the private
enterprises in the Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong is a favourable destination,
especially for international firms and firms from Mainland China to be listed in the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange due to Hong Kong's highly internationalised and modernised financial industry
along with its capital market in Asia, its size, regulations and available financial tools, which are
comparable to London and New York.
[25][26]



Humorous comment on the busyness of H.K. life
Hong Kong's gross domestic product, between 1961 and 1997, has grown 180 times. Also, the
GDP rose by 87 times per capita.
[27]
Its economy size is slightly bigger than Israel and
Ireland
[28][29][30]
and its GDP per capita at purchasing power parity is the 6th highest globally in
2011, more than the United States and the Netherlands and slightly lower than the Brunei.
By the late 20th century, Hong Kong was the seventh largest port in the world and second only
to New York and Rotterdam in terms of container throughput. Hong Kong is a full Member of
World Trade Organization.
[31]
The Kwai Chung container complex was the largest in Asia; while
Hong Kong shipping owners were second only to those of Greece in terms of total tonnage
holdings in the world. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the 5th largest in the world, with a
market capitalisation of about US$2.63 trillion.
Hong Kong has also had an abundant supply of labour from the region nearby. A skilled labour
force coupled with the adoption of modern British/Western business methods and technology
ensured that opportunities for external trade, investment, and recruitment were maximised. Prices
and wages in Hong Kong are (relatively) flexible depending on the performance and stability of
the economy of Hong Kong.
[32]

Taxation in Hong Kong raises revenues from the sale and taxation of land and through attracting
international business to provide capital for its public finance, due to its low tax policy.
According to Healy Consultants, Hong Kong is East Asia's most attractive business environment,
in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
[33]
This has led to Hong Kong being the
3rd largest recipient of FDI in the world.
[34]
From its revenues, the government has built roads,
schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure facilities and services. Low levels of spending
relative to GDP (for example, no spending on armed forces, minimal outlays for foreign affairs
and modest recurrent social welfare spending) have allowed the accumulation of very large fiscal
reserves with minimal foreign debt.
Though not conventionally regarded as a tax haven, Hong Kong ranked fourth on the Tax Justice
Network's 2011 Financial Secrecy Index.
[35]

Acting as a government Hong Kong SAR is the 2nd highest ranked Asian government in the
World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index (NRI) – an indicator for determining the
development level of a government’s information and communication technologies. Hong Kong
ranked number 8 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, up from 14 in 2013.
[36]

Stock exchange
Main article: Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the 6th largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of
about US$2.97 trillion. In 2006, the value of initial public offerings conducted in Hong Kong
was second highest in the world after London.
[37]
In 2009, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of
worldwide initial public offering (IPO) capital, becoming the largest centre of IPOs in the
world.
[38]
The rival stock exchange of the future is expected to be the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
As of 2006, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has an average daily turnover of 33.4
billion dollars, which is 12 times that of Shanghai.
[37]

Economic predictions
Since the 1997 handover Hong Kong's economic future became far more exposed to the
challenges of economic globalisation and direct competition from mainland China. Shanghai
claimed in particular to have a geographical advantage, and a municipal government that dreamt
of turning the city into China's main economic centre by as early as 2010. The target is to allow
Shanghai to catch up to New York by 2040–2050.
[39]
Hong Kong, on the other hand, continues to
have a more positive and realistic approach, and remains the principal international financial
centre 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.
Positive non-interventionism
Main article: Positive non-interventionism
This policy has often been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as
an example of the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism. However others have argued that the
economic strategy was inadequately characterised by the term laissez-faire.
[40]
They point out
that there are still many ways in which the government is involved in the economy. The
government has intervened to create economic institutions such as the Hong Kong Stock Market
and has been involved in public works projects and social welfare spending. All land in Hong
Kong is owned by the government and leased to private users. By restricting the sale of land
leases, the Hong Kong government keeps the price of land at what some would say are
artificially high prices and this allows the government to support public spending with a low tax
rate.
[41]



The economy functions well into the night.
Economic freedom
Main article: Economic freedom
Hong Kong has ranked as the world's freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom of
Heritage Foundation for 20 consecutive years, since its inception in 1995.
[23][42]
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.
[