Cruising in Hong Kong
Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997.
In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Territorial sea: 3 nm
Subtropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall
Hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north
Lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
Hong Kong has a free market, entrepot economy, highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Gross imports and exports (i.e., including reexports to and from third countries) each exceed GDP in dollar value. Even before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration on 1 July 1997, it had extensive trade and investment ties with China. Hong Kong has been further integrating its economy with China because China's growing openness to the world economy has made manufacturing in China much more cost effective.
Hong Kong's reexport business to and from China is a major driver of growth. Per capita GDP is comparable to that of the four big economies of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 2005, but Hong Kong suffered two recessions in the past eight years because of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998 and the global downturn in 2001-2002.
Although the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 also battered Hong Kong's economy, a solid rise in exports, a boom in tourism from the mainland because of China's easing of travel restrictions, and a return of consumer confidence resulted in the resumption of strong growth from late 2003 through 2005.
Airports: 3 (2005)
Total: 895 ships (1000 GRT or over) 29,662,934 GRT/50,199,048 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region