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Country Forecast Hong Kong

  • ID: 2138622
  • Country Profile
  • Region: Hong Kong
  • 49 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
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Background: The territory of Hong Kong came under British control in the 19th century. Under the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, signed in 1984, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and was promised "a high degree of autonomy" for at least 50 years. The territory is ruled according to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, which functions as a mini-constitution.

Political structure: Carrie Lam, previously the chief secretary for administration, took office as chief executive of the territory in July 2017, succeeding Leung Chun-ying. The chief executive, who is advised by the Executive Council (the cabinet), is the dominant force in the government. However, the public mandate of the post is weaker than that of the Legislative Council (Legco, Hong Kong's parliament), as the majority of Legco's members are directly elected. The chief executive is selected by a 1,200-member election committee, over which the central Chinese government has strong influence. The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (legislature), which is controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, has ultimate authority over interpretation of the Basic Law.

Policy issues: As the central Chinese government pushes local officials to take a tougher line against those who call for greater autonomy or independence for the territory, political freedoms in Hong Kong will be eroded in 2018-22. Despite a forecast drop in house prices in 2018-19, public unhappiness over the high cost of housing will remain a pressing issue. The quality of education and healthcare are also high on the list of public concerns. Ms Lam's government will place more emphasis on improving public health and education services than did her predecessor, but it will be hard to address the sources of social discontent, particularly among the young.
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Country Forecast Hong Kong

Hong Kong--highlights: Political outlook

Hong Kong--highlights: Business environment outlook

Hong Kong--highlights: Economic outlook

Hong Kong--highlights: Demographic outlook

Hong Kong--highlights: Market opportunities

Hong Kong--highlights: Long-term outlook

Fact sheet

Political outlook: Political forces at a glance

Political outlook: Political stability

Political outlook: Political and institutional effectiveness

Political outlook: Election watch

Political outlook: International relations

Business environment outlook: Business environment rankings

Business environment outlook: Hong Kong's business environment at a glance
Policy towards private enterprise and competition
Policy towards foreign investment
Foreign trade and exchange controls
The labour market
Technological readiness

Business environment outlook: Macroeconomic environment

Business environment outlook: Policy towards private enterprise and competition
The Competition Commission will launch further legal actions

Business environment outlook: Policy towards foreign investment
Science and technology FDI will underperform relative to the region

Business environment outlook: Foreign trade and exchange controls
An FTA with Australia is set to be signed shortly

Business environment outlook: Taxes
A new, lower tax rate on profits up to US$2m will help smaller firms

Business environment outlook: Financing

Business environment outlook: The labour market
The government will be unwilling to alter migration policy substantially

Business environment outlook: Infrastructure
The Sha Tin to Central MTR rail link is due to open in 2019

Business environment outlook: Technological readiness
The government has targeted a doubling of R&D spending in five years

Economic forecast: Policy trends

Economic forecast: Fiscal policy

Economic forecast: Monetary policy

Economic forecast: International assumptions

Economic forecast: Economic growth

Economic forecast: Sectoral trends
Financial services will be a key driver of service sector expansion in 2018-22

Economic forecast: Inflation

Economic forecast: Exchange rates

Economic forecast: External sector

Economic forecast: Foreign direct investment in Hong Kong
Stocks and flows
Origin and distribution

Demographic assumptions
A key visa scheme allows up to 150 mainlanders per day to immigrate
The gender ratio is becoming increasingly skewed towards women

Market opportunities: Market outlook
Hong Kong consumers will continue to be early adopters of new technology

Market opportunities: Consumer expenditure
The launch of 5G telecommunications services will stimulate spending

Market opportunities: Social indicators and living standards

Long-term outlook: The long-term outlook
Hong Kong's exposure to the mainland continues to carry high risks
Hong Kong will switch its currency peg to the renminbi within the next 10 years
There will be only minor tax reforms in the long term

Long-term outlook: Long-term trends
Climate change and sustainability
Technological developments

Long-term outlook: Methodology for long-term forecasts
Growth projections
Definitions of variables
The independent variables include:
Summary of findings
Productivity growth

Data summary: Global outlook

Data summary: Gross domestic product, current market prices

Data summary: Gross domestic product, at constant prices

Data summary: Gross domestic product by sector of origin

Data summary: Growth and productivity

Data summary: Economic structure, income and market size

Data summary: Fiscal indicators

Data summary: Monetary indicators

Data summary: Employment, wages and prices

Data summary: Current account and terms of trade

Data summary: Foreign direct investment

Data summary: External debt

Data sources and definitions
Global data
Domestic data

Guide to the business rankings model
Outline of the model
Calculating the rankings
Measurement and grading issues

Indicator scores in the business rankings model
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