Hong Kong - Economy
Hong Kong's international significance accelerated in the second half of the 20th century--not only from the explosive growth of its industry but also from the reemergence of China as a participant in world trade and politics. It is strategically positioned at the center of the most rapidly growing area of the world--the Pacific rim. A philosophy of free trade and minimal taxes and regulations attracted investment from around the world. Its location in respect to the trading day made it the center of world trading while London and New York City sleep. It is also the gateway for trade with the most populous nation on Earth. China depends on the territory to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange and investment.
Hong Kong has no substantial natural resources, and 90 percent of what it needs is imported. Much of its income is from services it provides as a transshipment and warehousing gateway between China and Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. Manufacturing is led by the textile industry, followed by toys and electronics. Hong Kong exports more watches, clocks, and radios than any nation in the world. China and the United States are its major customers.
Hong Kong is one of the world's busiest shipping centers and is upgrading its port facilities with a new airport and container port on an island in the harbor. About 12,000 oceangoing vessels call at the port each year. These and hundreds of Chinese sampans, sailing junks, ferryboats, hydrofoils, and pleasure craft create a bustling and exciting atmosphere.