Role of Technology in Making Hong Kong an Economic Power House



The famous quote by Princes Charles ” Hong Kong has created one of the most successful societies on Earth.”

Much of the success and economic progress evident Hong Kong can be attributed to these two important technologies, IT and nanotechnology.
Hong Kong’s information technology (IT) is one of the most advanced globally. Hong Kong is ranked as fourth in Asia and 14th globally in terms of the readiness to take part in and leverage IT development by the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index 2013. Its excellent telecommunication amenity is the major factor contributing to the advance in information technology. Hong Kong ranks prime in Asia when it comes to the penetration of telephone lines, fax machines as well as international call time. It also mans largest commercial satellite-earth station in Asia.

A study on Hong Kong will make this quite obvious. 


Information technology and nanotechnology are two technologies that have transformed many countries of the world. The world in its entirety has been unimaginably changed by IT and nanotechnology. Measurements at nanoscale confer some special properties on materials and hence give room to enhanced features, improved properties, and strong but light materials. No industry or country in the civilized world of today can exist without IT. Just as oil is essential in driving the daily schedules of developed and developing nations, IT is equally essential. In fact, the technological advancement evident in the twenty first century is clearly a product of information technology. Much of the success and economic progress evident Hong Kong can be attributed to these two important technologies, IT and nanotechnology. A study on Hong Kong will make this quite obvious.

History of Hong Kong

Hong Kong started out as an island region in China. However, the region became notable as a result of the battle between Imperial China and the British Colony in the region. It began as a small village whose major occupation was salt production, fish farming and trading center, however, today Hong Kong has developed into a globally important territory and financial center which has the 6th largest GDP (PPP) per capita.

Archeological findings show evidences that Hong Kong has been preoccupied by people some 3000 years ago during the Stone Age. Hong Kong became a Chinese territory during the Qin Dynasty which began in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC. The Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) saw an amazing increase in the region’s population according to archeological findings.

In the 19th century, the British became interested in Hong Kong as they wished to expand their trading opportunities. They chose Hong Kong basically because it will serve as a naval resupply point. Consequently, the Opium Wars broke out between China and the British due to the trade of opium and hence the British acquired Hong Kong. In 1841, Hong Kong was occupied by the British. The following year, China surrendered the region to Britain as they signed the Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking).

In 1856, following some treaty disputes, the Second Opium War ensued between Britain and China. The war was won by Britain and resulted to the ceding of some other regions including Kowloon Peninsula to Britain. Thus Britain controlled regions from Hong Kong to the Kowloon Peninsula. This led China to lease the territory to Britain for 99 years and also adding lots of lands and regions to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s growth in the 19th century was rather slow; however, it saw a rapid growth in the 20th century. The growth was stimulated by light industrial growth and Chinese Republican Revolution and the World War I. As Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong and occupied it for four years, the population growth ceased in the World War II. However, population growth in the region began to increase after the world war. The Chinese Mao Zedong administration triggered China’s dependence on Hong Kong as an economic and financial window to the world. This even intensified after Mao’s death.

In 1984, Britain returned the entire Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China following the expiration of their lease and the Sino-Britain Joint Declaration was signed. Hong Kong’s political status was therefore changed but it still continue to blossom in economic development. Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China in 1 July 1997. Today, Hong Kong’s contribution to Chinese economy is quite unimaginable as it supports 33 percent of the foreign capital flows into China.

Honk Kong’s Economy

An overview of the Hong Kong’s economy will explain the reason why the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China with a small population is controlling the global economy.

Firstly, Hong Kong has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the freest economy in the world. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom has ranked Hong Kong as the freest nation since the introduction of the index in 1995. The index measures varieties of factors and Hong Kong scored 90 percent, the only country which ever does. The factors which are considered include finance, restrictions on business, trade, property rights and labor, impacts of corruption, monetary controls and government size.

Hong Kong has a GDP (PPP) of $325.755 billion and a GDP growth of 7.2 percent in 2011. The service sector generates more income than any other sector according to the 2008 estimation. The key industries in this Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China include clothing, tourism, banking, textile, clocks, plastics, toys, watches, electronics and shipping. According to the 2010 estimate, export in Hong Kong generated $390.4 billion and its main export partners include China, the United States and Japan. Import amounted to $433.5 billion as per the 2010 estimate and the main import partners include China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States. Hong Kong has about US$272.617 billion according to 2011 report. The unit of currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (7.76 Hong Kong dollars equals US $1).

Hong Kong does not have any Central Bank or financial system similar to US’ Federal Reserve System. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority plays the role of the central bank and three banks are authorized to issue Hong Kong dollars. These banks include the Bank of China, HSBC and the Standard Chartered Bank. Hong Kong is free to continue using its currency for the next 50 years from the time the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed. Thus, the Hong Kong dollar will be issued till 2047.

There are several reasons why Hong Kong occupies its economic position in the world today. Its location is one of these reasons. It is strategically located between Singapore and Japan and therefore occupies a central position between the major shipping and air routes of the western Pacific. In addition, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) presents favorable business atmosphere. This is why investors in different parts of the world target the region for investment. The economy of Hong Kong is based on trade and service. Tourism is one of the nation’s major service activities and it is its third largest source of foreign exchange. Hong Kong’s economy is essentially characterized by low taxation, near free port trade and a highly developed international financial industry, comparable to New York and London. The economic system in this Chinese territory is governed under positive non-interventionism which is solely based on international trade and finance. Hong Kong’s strength in sound banking system, large foreign exchange reserves, anti-corruption measures and close relationship with the mainland China have continued to uphold the nation even in the face of global financial turmoil.

Hong Kong’s Global Investment

` Hong Kong plays an important role when it comes to global investment. The city has a territorial nature where tax is levied on income derived from Hong Kong. Among developed economies, Hong Kong’s tax regime is the most favorable and the least cumbersome. The tax regime encourages foreign investors to invest into the nation. Hong Kong does not tax foreign source income even if it is remitted to Hong Kong. Direct payroll, turnover, value added or capital gain taxes are not imposed in Hong Kong. Only few products attract duties and such products are tobacco and alcohol. No investment approval procedure is directed towards foreign investors in Hong Kong. Thus a wonderful investment atmosphere is created in this Chinese territory and that is why a slew of foreign investments exist in Hong Kong. With the exception of broadcasting industry, foreign investment is not limited in any way in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong attracts foreign investors with the following factors enumerated below:

–       Free flow of information.

–       The rule of law in the city and the protection of property rights.

–       A corruption free governmental system.

–       Taxation system is very low.

–       No exchange control.

–       Highly efficient transport, communication and various other top notch infrastructures.

There are up to 4,047 foreign companies registered in Hong Kong. The immense number of foreign companies is simply due to the above mentioned factors which favor foreign investment. Among these companies are AAA International Holdings Limited, 51NET.COM INC, 159 Regenerative Medicine Group (HK) Limited, A. Machine Dot Ltd, Abacus Finance Ltd and so forth.

Needless to say, lots of investments come out of Hong Kong to the world as well. The city manufactures goods that require skilled labor force and highly educated force. These include electrical and electronic components. It also has a highly efficient service sector which has amazing global impact. It is a leading trade center in the world and therefore globally contributes in trade and shipping activities. Hong Kong exports products like clothing, telecommunications, textiles, electrical machinery, recording equipment, footwear and appliances. It also has a strong trade relationship with mainland China.

Future Advancement of Hong Kong

Chinese economy is estimated to grow tremendously in the near future. It is estimated that China will exceed the US by 2030 in terms of economic development. Being a Chinese territory and owing to the trade relationship between mainland China and Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s economy can also be expected to experience a major boost in the near future.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration stated that Hong Kong will have a different economy from China. The declaration is one country, two systems until 50 years after the agreement. However, it is believed by so many people that the current trade and economic dynamics between China and Hong Kong will result to not just a synergy but integration before the expiration of the Joint Declaration. The synergy between the two economies is in line with the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) which was signed in 2003 and continually amended. In 2011, CEPA VIII was signed.

There is rapid bilateral trade and investment between the two economies. This has resulted to increase in trade between the two economies. Trade between these two economies has increased from 35 percent to 46 percent between 1997 and 2006. Mainland China is one of the greatest foreign investments in Hong Kong as investments from mainland China has amounted to about 318 billon Hong Kong dollars. The two economies have benefited tremendously from the synergy. While China takes advantage of Hong Kong’s developed systems and services, it invests heavily in Hong Kong.

It is expected that the synergy will increase between the two economies because Hong Kong is used by investors as a stepping stone to China. Chinese also use Hong Kong as a training environment for international relationship between moving to New York and London. China’s investment into Hong Kong has create what is known as round tripping, a situation in which Chinese firms reinvest into Chinese economy through Hong Kong and thereby creating a circular flow of investments, thus drawing Hong Kong closer to China and straightening the ties.

Experts report that by 2016, 50 percent of Hong Kong’s economy will be supported by Mainland China and this will grow to 70 percent in 2020. At the present Hong Kong has a different currency, custom, immigration, laws and regulations from China at least in official recording. However, with the business relation of Hong Kong and China today, it is expected that the separation and chasm will be closed.

Most business transactions in Hong Kong today is done in Renminbi (official Chinese currency) instead of Hong Kong Dollars or US Dollars, indicating the close ties between the two economies. With the increasing use of the Renminbi and the developments of the CEPA as well as other economic ties between the two economies, it is expected that the economic boundary between the two regions will be dissolved even before the expiration of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and thereby leading to one country, one economic system.

Information Technology and Nanotechnology in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s information technology (IT) is one of the most advanced globally. Hong Kong is ranked as fourth in Asia and 14th globally in terms of the readiness to take part in and leverage IT development by the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index 2013. Its excellent telecommunication amenity is the major factor contributing to the advance in information technology. Hong Kong ranks prime in Asia when it comes to the penetration of telephone lines, fax machines as well as international call time. It also mans largest commercial satellite-earth station in Asia.

A survey conducted by the Vocational training Council (VTC) in 2012 revealed that the Hong Kong IT sector employs 77,698 people. 66.2 percent of the above said numbers of people were employed by IT user organization and 33.8 percent were employed by suppliers of IT products and services. Hong Kong’s IT service providers compete favorably internationally and also deliver top notch services at home. The government has a plan to turn Hong Kong into a world-class digital city according to its Digital 21 Strategy. The economy offers the world most affordable internet connection and mobile telephone services.

Nanotechnology is one of the key economic drivers in the city owing to the features substances possess when they exist in the nanoscale. Unlike other developed regions of the world where nanotechnology researches are funded by the public, nanotechnology research in Hong Kong is funded by the government and the researches are conducted on local universities. It is expected that nanotechnology would strengthen the local backbone industries of manufacturing, materials and electronics through upgrading their goods and services, making them profitable.

Of course, nanotechnology in Hong Kong may not be the best globally but Hong Kong will surely be one of the most important places in the world when it comes to this technology in the near future. It is too early to conclude how nanotechnology will affect Hong Kong in the future since the technology in itself is still in its infancy.

Socio-economic, political and investment climate in Singapore

The Republic of Singapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia with a land area of 685 square kilometers. It is an island country comprising one main island and several other minor islands. The Southeast Asian country is known for its materialistic culture based on the so-called 5C’s which include cash, car, country club, condo and credit card. Singaporeans are pressured to acquire these materialistic aims but despite that it is a peaceful nation.

Singapore is classified as the happiest country in Asia. The most important unit of the society is the family as Singaporeans place keen interests on their families. Singapore was ranked number one in Asia by the 2010 Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Singaporean community consists of different ethnicities including Malays, Indians, Chinese and various other smaller groups from other countries. This implies that it is a multicultural nation as its culture is influenced by the various ethnicities. The cultures maintain their various ways but also live in harmony with each other. Honesty and hardworking is highly pivotal in the society. They also give due respect to the elderly ones and give room for authority, seniority and social norms.

The population of Singapore is relatively small when compared to other countries. According to 2008 population estimate, Singapore’s population was 4.6 million. Population estimate of July 2013 highlights that Singapore’s population is 5.46 million. The government enforces strict law procedure for fighting crime and offenses. The country is rule bound and serious fines are imposed on defaulters. This makes Singapore a very safe country as women can even walk about in the night without the fear of being harassed or attacked.

The political climate of Singapore is stable and it has a pragmatic political culture based on the rule of law. The government aims at ensuring the prosperity and survival of the nation. It often makes wise but unpopular decisions for the interest of the nation. The government thinks proactively and puts the future of the nation first before any other thing. The ruling party in the small nation is People’s Action Party (PAP) and its policies and decisions have helped in ensuring a politically stable and prosperous economy.

Singapore has been able to attract up to 9000 multinational companies because of its developed system in a developing environment. The systems set up by the government ensure that lives are secured and that the economy moves forward. Singapore was ranked as the best bureaucratic system in Asia by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy. The Global Competitiveness Report of 2011-2012 by the World Economic Forum stated that Singapore has the highest public trust of politicians. The Southeast Asian country is the least corrupt country in the world in line with the 2010 Corruption Perception Index of corruption watch-dog Transparency International.

Singaporean economy is one of the best in the world. It is a free from corruption, competitive and open to business. Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world. The combined sales of Singapore’s corporate companies have increased by an impressive figure of 21.7%, from S$1.98 to S$2.42 trillion in during 2012-2013. Shell Eastern Trading is on top the list with $141.7billion revenues, and DP Info, achieved a significant milestone of S$2 trillion. Wilmar, was ranked 3rd having profit more than $2billion profits, and Jardine Cycle & Carriage, ranked 14th, in context of profit with$3 billion in 2013.Its major export commodities are electronics and chemicals. It is a very diverse economy today as it handles lots of researches, bio-medical facilities, banking and finances and healthcare. These features and many more attract multinational companies and investments. Furthermore, foreign investors flock Singapore because of the social stability, highly developed infrastructure, international communication systems and many more.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 of the World Economic Forum pointed out that Singapore is the second most competitive economy in the world. The 2012 index of Economic Freedom of the Heritage Foundation also highlights that Singapore is the freest economy in the world only exceeded by Hong Kong. Its low tax regime is worthy of note. Resident’s personal income taxes range from 0% – 20 % whereas non-resident’s personal income tax is 15%. Singapore is one of the best investment destinations in Asia for foreign companies, according to Ernst & Young, financial advisory firm and the Japan External Trade Organization. The small nation gained tremendously from these firms through their technological, skill and capital inputs into the nation.

Table: Comparison of growth rate B/w Hong Kong & Singapore

Duration Hong Kong Growth Rate Singapore Growth Rate Difference B/W HK & Singapore
1960-70 6.17 6.62 -0.45
1970-80 6.37 7.3 -0.93
1980-90 5.27 5.37 -0.09
1990-00 2.33 4.38 -2.05
2000-2011 3.68 2.96 0.74
2000-2011 4.7 5.26 -0.56


Technology in Singapore – Nanotechnology

Singapore is driven by technology to a great extent. The development of information technology (IT) is at its high rate in Singapore. Singapore has an organizations and networks committed to promoting and exploring nano-science. The Nano-science & Nanotechnology Cluster known as Nanocluster is a NTU having wide network of research centers that includes shared facilities for nano-characterization, nanofabrication and manipulation of nanotechnology applications.Telecommunications also defines a greater aspect of the economy. Many homes in Singapore have computer systems and this is helping to drive information technology high in the nation. Nanotechnology is also another important technology in Singapore. The country has an organization which aims at exploring and researching on the new technology.

Nanotechnology is a relatively new technology in the world. It defines matters and components at very miniature sizes. Substances measured at nanoscale exhibit unique properties such as exceptional strength, lightness, magnetism and many more. Singapore focuses greatly on nanotechnology as it would go a long way to catalyze industrial development in the Southeast Asian nation. Some organizations are solely responsible for nanotechnology research in Singapore and among these are NanoConsulting, Nanoglobe, Nanomaterials Technology, NanoYo, Omniyo, Quantum Precision Instruments, Wintech Nano-Technology Services, Qtech Nanosystems and Shayonano. Each of these organizations play important role in nanotechnology research as they have various functions to play to ensure effectiveness in the process.

In addition, various universities in Singapore offer research and educational opportunities for nanotechnology. Singapore’s Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star)  promote nanotechnology through the following institutes including Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), National University of Singapore which has lots of nanotechnology related disciplines, Singapore-MIT Alliance and so forth. In addition, the engineering faculty of the National University of Singapore and the A*STAR’s SIMTech collaborated to form a lab which aims at boosting manufacturing productivity. The venture aims at coming up with many researches but mostly on multi-axis nanopositioning systems for high end machines.

In short, Singapore is one of the best places to invest in Asia as proved by these evidences. The prospect of high development and further advancement in Singapore is very high.  Singaporean economy and Hong Kong economy are related in various ways. While the index of Economic Freedom of the Heritage Foundation highlights Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world, Singapore is the second freest economy in the world. Hong Kong is Singapore’s greatest rival in terms of the world’s largest container port. The both economy are akin in amazing ways and they are equally open to foreign investments in a great way.

Green Technology Image of Hong Kong

Though corporate portrait economic development always gives rise to living standards and imposes effluence on working environment. This is need of the time to focus on green technology even more today, to keep sustainability in the international market. Hong Kong followed the New Zealand which played a key role in this concept and provided a model.

Almost 25% of the world population emphasize on sustainable and rapid growth in this sector and stretching the environmental resource to achieve a breaking point. This article also reports on a longitudinal investigation of consumer behaviors and attitudes and behaviors which enhanced business activities and opportunities related to environmentalism in Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is a key partner in the world trading and traders for foreign investment with minor issues for protection and recovery related to environmental pollution. This policy makes it an international gateway for technology and trade, and enhanced socioeconomics progress. These factors make it an appropriate entry point for examining environmentalism and green business opportunities in the world. Hong Kong presents a story of unique free market but rapid and haphazard economic development has created pollution problems to some extent which threatened natural resources and seriously impaired community health. As a matter of fact, air quality in Hong Kong is only one worsen issue on the roads. Secondly, use of timber by the construction industry, limited waste recycling and extreme summer air-conditioning   challenge the basic principles of sustainable development.

The modern green movement emerged by the social feminists in 1960’s. The green movement has become a focal point for protests against their indifference toward ecological issues. Almost 77% purchase decisions are being affected by corporate environmental performance in the new regime of economics and 7 % rejected a specific product only due to environmental issues. Majority of Americans businessmen declare themselves as environmentalists. The green consumer growth is providing continuous support to build a corporate   image of Hon Kong.


Hong Kong is such a powerful economy basically because of its free trade system and the influence of the Mainland China. The economic system in this Chinese territory encourages investors in different parts of the world to put in their resources into the country. The round tripping method of investment often adopted by Chinese in which they reinvest into China via Hong Kong is also another important factor in driving further Hong Kong’s economy.

In addition, the highly developed financial industry, information technology and the promising nanotechnology are features that make Hong Kong a strong economy. Hong Kong is one of the best IT zones in the world.

Hong Kong and India are the two world’s nascent economic powers when it comes to trade and finance. It would have been difficult to predict the future of this Chinese territory in the past 50 years; however, it has turned into one of the best economies in the world which controls an amazing part of the global economy. It is expected that the full integration of Hong Kong into China in the near future will further fuel the economic advancement and give rise to amazing increase in Chinese economy. Being an economy that encourages investment, investors of all kinds can easily leverage the positive non-interventionism and the interesting tax system to invest into one of the best economies in the world and make lots of returns from Hong Kong.

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Quotes By Famous People:

1.  Hong Kong has created one of the most successful societies on Earth. By Prince Charles

2. One of my goals is to have a base near mainland China. I think Hong Kong would be a good match for me. I like being in Hong Kong. By Nicolas Cage

3. “You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.”  by Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong: The City of Dreams

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“Power House of Asia- Hong Kong”



“Power House of Asia- Hong Kong”

Pre-Publication Review:

Hong Kong is a world city. Hong Kong-“Nylonkong”, which referred to New York City, London and Hong Kong facilitates the global economy. Hong Kong world’s leading international financial centers, major capitalist service economy, low taxation and free trade, Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world. City is center of modern architecture and the world’s most vertical city. Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. This article will shed economic overview of Singapore as well.