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Expat Life in Hong Kong

Last updated: 5 September 2014 at 13:28

Expat Life in Hong Kong

East meets West in Hong Kong, as the city-state’s Chinese roots combine with it’s past as a British colony to welcome long term visitors and expatriates with a wide range of careers and interests.

A hub for international business that has attracted some of the world’s largest and most influential companies and organisations, the city-state is widely regarded as the third most important global financial centre, resulting in it offering great opportunity as a capitalist service economy.

In fact, Hong Kong’s service sector accounts for around 90% of its GDP, while industry makes up a further 9%. Internationally, it’s well known for its financial, business consultation, management, IT, and professional services.

Characterised by low taxation and free trade, Hong Kong has been continually ranked as the freest economy in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom since 1995. Further, the Hong Kong Dollar is the world’s eighth most traded currency, no small feat considering the city’s physical size.

Officially a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, the city-state has a different political system and a high degree of autonomy from mainland China. This is in no small part due to its recent British colonial past, as Hong Kong’s Basic law is based on English Common Law. As such expatriates within the city-state generally enjoy greater freedom of expression and movement than they might otherwise find in mainland China.

Logistically, many adoptee Hong Kongers tout ease of movement as a great selling point for life in such a developed cosmopolitan area, as the city boasts a highly developed transport network, with bus, rail and ferry services offering speedy transportation around the city and beyond, as well as an international airport hub.

Meanwhile, many new inhabitants are lured by the city’s vast array of leisure activities, ranging from international sports, to relaxing at the city’s numerous beaches, or even taking a short boat ride to Macau, another Special Administrative Region of China that’s earned itself the nickname the Vegas of the East.