Hong Kong is a leading international trading
and services hub as well as a high value-added manufacturing base.
It is widely recognised as one of the freest economies in the world,
and the gateway to the Mainland market.
In 2004, Hong Kong's total merchandise trade amounted
to $4,130.2 billion. Over 289 000 business establishments in
a wide range of services and manufacturing sectors are operating
in Hong Kong, and the vast majority are small and medium enterprises
(SMEs). There is also a strong presence of international businesses
in Hong Kong. In 2003, Hong Kong had 9 072 enterprise groups
with inward direct investment.
Hong Kong's continuing economic success owes much
to a simple tax structure and low tax rates, a versatile and industrious
workforce, excellent infrastructure, free flow of capital and information,
the rule of law, and the Government's firm commitment to free trade
and free enterprise.
The Government sees its task as facilitating commerce
and industry within the framework of a free market. It maintains
no tariffs and no regulatory measures impinging on international
trade, other than those required to discharge its international
obligations or to protect health, the environment and access to
high technology. The HKSAR also adopts an open and liberal investment
policy and actively encourages inward investment.
The Government's industrial policy aims to promote
industrial development by creating a business-friendly environment
and providing adequate support services. The Government zones land
for general and specialised industrial use. It also ensures a modern
legislative and regulatory environment, and supports industry in
enhancing productivity and quality through technology and management
improvement. The Government, however, does not subsidise any specific
With the weight of the Hong Kong economy shifting
towards knowledge-based and higher value-added activities, the Government
puts increasing emphasis on promoting innovation and technological
improvement in industry and business. It aims to strengthen support
for technology development and application, develop a critical mass
of fine scientists and engineers, skilled technicians and venture
capitalists, and encourage the development of a significant cluster
of technology-based businesses.