Hong Kong Economy


Hong Kong ‘s free market economy is highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials have to be imported. Imports and exports, including re-exports, each exceed GDP in dollar value. The extensive trade and investment ties with China had existed even before Hong Kong was reverted to Chinese administration on 1 July 1997. Hong Kong has further integrating its economy with China because China’s “Open Door” policy to the world economy has increased competitive pressure on Hong Kong’s service industries, and Hong Kong’s re-export business from China is a major drive of growth. Per capita GDP compares with the level in the four big economies of Western Europe . GDP growth averaged a strong 5% in 1989-1997, but Hong Kong suffered two recessions in the past 6 years because of the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the global downturn of 2001-2002.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak also battered Hong Kong’s economy, but a boom in tourism from the mainland because of China’s easing of travel restrictions, a return of consumer confidence, and a solid rise in exports resulted in the resumption of strong growth in late 2003.


Purchasing power parity – $212.2 billion (2003 est.)

GDP – real growth rate

2.9% (2003 est.)

GDP – per capita

Purchasing power parity – $28,700 (2003 est.)

GDP – composition by sector

Agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 12.9%
services: 87.1% (2002 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-2.6% (2003 est.)

Labor force

3.48 million (2002 est.)

Labor force – by occupation

Wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 43.5%, financing, insurance, and real estate 19.5%, community and social services 17.8%, manufacturing 8.2%, transport and communications 7.8%, construction 2.9% (Note: above data exclude public sector) (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.9% (2003)


Revenues: $22.8 billion
Expenditures: $30.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $5 billion (FY02/03)


textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks

Industrial production growth rate

2.7% (2003 est.)

Electricity – production

30.48 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity – production by source

fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%

Electricity – consumption

37.12 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity – exports

1.581 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity – imports

10.36 billion kWh (2001)

Oil – production

0 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil – consumption

257,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil – exports


Oil – imports


Natural gas – production

0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas – consumption

680.9 million cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas – exports

0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas – imports

680.9 million cu m (2001 est.)

Agriculture – products

fresh vegetables, poultry, fish, pork


$225.9 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2003 est.)

Exports – commodities

Electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones

Exports – partners

China 39.3%, US 21.4%, Japan 5.4% (2002)


$230.3 billion (2003 est.)

Imports – commodities

electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, foodstuffs, transport equipment, raw materials, semimanufactures, petroleum, plastics; a large share is reexported

Imports – partners

China 44.2%, Japan 11.3%, Taiwan 7.2%, US 5.7%, South Korea 4.7%, Singapore 4.7% (2002)

Debt – external

$61.2 billion (2003 est.)


Hong Kong dollar (HKD)

Currency code


Fiscal year

1 April – 31 March

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