Hong Kong was a collection of fishing villages when claimed as a crown colony by Britain in 1841. At that time it was described as a «barren rock», much to the amusement of today's property barons.
Hong Kong is situated on the south-eastern coast of China and spreads out over 1,100 km2 (425 square miles). The main areas are Hong Kong Island, kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Hong Kong Island lies just south of Kowloon and the two are separated by Victoria Harbour. The New Territories lie north of Kowloon and run up to the boundary with mainland China. The New Territories also include more than 260 outlying Islands.
Hong Kong's climate is subtropical, tending towards the temperate for nearly half the year. Temperatures can drop below 10 degrees Celsius in winter and exceed 31 degrees Celsius in summer. About 90 per cent of the rainfall occurs between March and September.
The objective of Hong Kong's monetary policy is to maintain currency stability. Given the highly externally oriented nature of the economy, this objective is further defined as a stable external value for the Hong Kong dollar in terms of a linked exchange rate against the US dollar at the rate of $7.80 to US$1. This linked exchange rate System has been introduced in 1983.
Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on July 1997, after a Century and a half of British administration. Under Hong Kong's constitutional document, the Basic Law, the existing economic, legal and social System will be maintained for 50 years. Hong Kong has a well established and trusted legal system based on common law. The rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and those living here are founded upon the impartial rule of law, an independent judiciary, a comprehensive system of legal aid, and a free and active press. Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy except in defence and foreign affairs.
Hong Kong has no natural resources, except one of the finest deep-water ports in the world. A hardworking, adaptable and well-educated workforce of about 3.5 million, coupled with entrepreneurial flair, is the bedrock of Hong Kong's productivity and creativity Hong Kong's total Population is approximately 6.8 million (as of 2002). The official language is Chinese and English, with Cantonese being the most widely spoken Chinese dialect. English is widely used in the Government, the legal system and by the Professional and business sectors. There is no short-age of well-educated competent bilingual or even trilingual professionals who speak English, Cantonese and Putonghua.
About 3'200 international corporations have established regional headquarters or offices in Hong Kong. The major types of business carried on by the regional headquarters include the wholesale/ retail and import/export trades, other business services (e.g. accounting, advertising and legal services), finance and banking, manufacturing and transport and related services.
Hong Kong advocates and practises free trade - a free and liberal Investment regime, the absence of trade barriers, no discrimination against overseas investors, freedom of capital movement, well established rule of law, transparent regulations, and low and predictable taxation.
Hong Kong has a small and efficient government structure. Corporate and personal taxes are quite low, and simple to calculate. The HKSAR Government is well known for its efficiency, transparency and fairness. Several times in the past few years Hong Kong has been nominated as the «world's freest economy».
Hong Kong is the world's 10th largest trading economy, one of the world's four largest gold markets, the world's 7th' largest foreign exchange market, the world's 12th largest banking centre, and Asia's 3rd biggest stock market. Hong Kong is one of the world's top exporters of garments, watches and clocks, toys, games, electronic products and certain light industrial products.
Civil aviation, shipping, travel and tourism, trade-related services, and various financial and banking services are the main components of trade in services.
While Hong Kong is not seen as a typical offshore jurisdiction it does offer interesting possibilities to international clients. While the profits of a Hong Kong Company are taxed at 17.5% this rate does not apply to earnings generated outside of Hong Kong. There is a clear set of rules to follow and advise needs to be sought in structuring the activities of a Hong Kong Company in order to achieve the required results . Jeeves Fiduciary Services Limited can assist in the registration of Hong Kong companies and the opening of bank accounts for clients in Hong Kong.