Location

Hong Kong is on the south east coast of China and consists of a large number of islands and a part of
the mainland totaling approximately 1,025 sq. km. The principal areas are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon
and the New Territories. These areas were ceded to Britain in perpetuity in 1842 under the treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, the New Territories were leased by Britain from China for a period of 99 years. On 1 July 1997 all of Hong Kong reverted back to China and became a Special Administration Region within the People’s Republic of China.

Population

The population of Hong Kong is currently 7 million made up mainly of people of Chinese origin and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Political Structure

Until 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony. A governor appointed by the Queen presided over the Hong
Kong government, which consisted of the executive and legislative councils.
On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong elected its own legislature and maintained its court structure. The head of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the Chief Executive Officer. The Legislative Council is the legislature of the Hong Kong.

Infrastructure and Economy

Separating Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsular is Victoria Harbour, which is recognised internationally as one of the world’s perfect natural harbours. It varies in width from two to ten kilometers. An additional 13,517 sq. km of land has been reclaimed in the New Territories to provide additional dockyard and warehousing facilities. It is estimated that well over 100,000 containers per month pass through the port.

Hong Kong is the leading South East Asian centre for both finance and commerce and ranks as the world’s third largest financial centre after New York and London. There are more than 160 licensed banks with more than 130 foreign banks having representative offices in Hong Kong and a further 225 licensed deposit taking finance companies all of which play an active role in the financing of international trade and commerce.

Language

The official languages are English and Chinese, with English being used in the commercial and political context and
Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese used widely in industry and domestic trade.

Exchange Control

None.

Type of Law

Common Law based on English Common Law.
Principal Corporate Legislation
Companies Ordinance (Cap 32).