The moment one hears the word ‘Hong Kong’ it brings to mind the skyscrapers, Hong Kong Disneyland, ultra modern lifestyle, their stock exchange and its population density. Hong Kong in Cantonese means fragrant harbor. This island city is located in the south coast of China in between the Pearl River delta and South China Sea. Hong Kong along with Macau is a Special Administrative region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China yet it enjoys a high level of autonomy to govern itself.
The island of Hong Kong was initially a British colony after the First Opium war and later was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War. The Chinese ceded Hong Kong too and later after decades of struggle, the British and Chinese governments signed an agreement in 1984 thus giving birth to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Thus the British formally ruled over Hong Kong until 1997. The agreement stated that China would practice the “one country, two systems” formula which actually meant that for the next 50 years, Hong Kong would not experience China’s socialist system and that it would enjoy complete and could be ruled by its own set of leaders barring defense and foreign affairs which would be China’s responsibility.
Hong Kong is a free market economy dealing with international and offshore trade, financial transactions, exports and tourism majorly. Hong Kong being an island has limited natural resources and hence majority of its raw materials and food are imported. China has eased several travel, trade and finance related restrictions thus helping Hong Kong enjoy its own share of benefits. This has helped its tourism industry and also has saved Hong Kong from the international crisis that caused the downfall of many economies. The Hong Kong stock exchange is a premier stock market aiding in listing of several Chinese blue chip companies and other global companies. This stock market has enabled the emergence of Hong Kong as a global financial hub. The strategic location of Hong Kong helps it maintain close ties with several countries. The Disneyland built here bears resemblance to the original one in U.S. and those who cannot afford to go all the way to U.S due to time or funds certainly can plan a trip here.
One can reach Hong Kong easily by air. The Hong Kong International Airport handles the world’s largest passenger traffic as well as shipments. Apart from this, all major Chinese cities and destinations need to be reached only via Hong Kong. There are a number of roadways, heliports and 2 major ports in Hong Kong through which trade is done with countries all over the world.
The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the currency used in Hong Kong. It is approximately equal to 0.128581 USD.
The flag of Hong Kong is very beautiful with a red background. Within it is a white Bauhinia flower of five petals. Each petal contains a five-pointed star. The red color is symbolic of the Chinese flag and represents the oneness that it shares with the country of China. The flower represents the region of Hong Kong as the Bauhinia flower was grown here in the early days. The five stars are also indicative of the Chinese flag.