Hongkong: From fishing village to a major International and Financial hub


A perfect business base, perfect centre for trade and economic ties, a leading financial centre, Hongkong is definitely a city that requies multiple definition. The city of skyscrapers, astonishes you with its technical advancement and development in all sectors. But the story of its journey to a tech and financial hub was not an easy one. The story of city starts with the arrival of Europeans at 19th century. Prior to that Hongkong was a fishing village inhabited by indigenous people known as Tanka people. The population in the village was also very low. In midninteenth century Hongkong became a British colony and Britishers realized the potential of harbor on the northern side of Hongkong which could connect China to Europe. Later the city was occupied by Japanese also before becoming a part of China as one country, two systems.

Great Vision Leading to a Greater Economy

Even though British laid base for the development of the city as commerce and trade hub, the birth of modern Hongkong started at mid-twenty th century. Today the city is home to more than 9000 business and companies. City is International Business Centre and home to the headquarters of multinational companies. After second world war, the city experienced an economic boom fuelled by factors like strategic location, skilled work force, and favorable business climate. It used the international trade which as started by Britishers as the base of its economy and tried to increase trade activities and business. It changed its policies for promoting investment with a long vision and attracted international trade, businesses and investors from all over the world. This boosted economic growth and helped them to further invest in infrastructure and transportation and even in public housing, which they lagged until then. Government policies with a vision of development contributed to Hongkong’s development at a huge margin.

The free market economy and low taxation of Hongkong economy attracted a number of International businesses . Numerous financial institutions in the territory has made Hongkong a financial hub. As the world's largest centre for offshore renminbi trading, Hong Kong enormously impacts the global financial markets. Technological evolution of Hongkong started with the development in electronics industry. In 1990s, with heavy investment from government, Hongkong’s IT infrastructure started developing, building up telecommunications and internet capabilities of the city. Establishment of Cyber port, a technology hub lead to the growth of local ICT companies, promoting innovation. Government

"Risk assessment is the key factor behind running a successful CPA firm in Hong Kong -- Kobe Tang, finance professional (certified public accountant, Hongkong)"

Considering the current political scenario of Hong Kong, especially matters like political tensions, economic uncertainty and rapid technological advancement the future of Hongkong is unpredictable and looks competitive, especially when discussions are going on about the integration  with mainland China. But still the city has a lot for anticipating an optimistic future.

Once Hongkong is integrated with China mainland, its role will become inevitable as International trade and financial centre. Even though MNCs might not move out to mainland for around 7-10 years of integration, within few years, the city have to sort out how to grow, along with the growth of South China by helping them to attract more investments from fortune 500 companies. Hong Kong will never lose its position as the most important regional economic body of China.

Greater Bay Area

The city is a gate way to Greater Bay Area(GBA), which helps the surrounding regions to grow along with the city. GBA is a hub that integrates Hongkong with other cities in region like Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Macau. GBA will result in the integration of a number of cities connected with latest transportation network. The cities in the Greater Bay Area, will collaborate to build a cohesive city cluster. This collaboration aims to promote the free flow of talent, logistics, capital and other production factors within the region, thereby enhancing the economic efficiency, openness, and internationalisation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Through GBA, government intends to enhance technology and innovation and reduce talent outflow. With this Hongkong is on the path of transforming itself into an IT hub like its neighbouring country Singapore.

"With preparations in place for the border reopening and the expected recovery of the economy in Hong Kong, Manulife is in a unique position to grasp future opportunities to better serve our customers, drive business growth and contribute to the development of the insurance industry in the Greater Bay Area---- Patrick Graham, CEO- Hongkong&Macau area, Manulife"

The Smart City Blue Print

The government strives to build the territory into a world class smart city through its smart city blueprint 2.0.This blueprint was implemented  in 2020 Dec and according to 2022 reports Hong Kong has some of the highest public internet penetration.

The city is increasing its tech implementation by concentrating on cloud, AI, Blockchain, data analytics and cyber security solutions within the sectors like banking, retail, healthcare and education. This has created a lot of technical job opportunities in the city.

The Belt and Road Initiative

This is an important initiative for national development and means important opportunities with historic significance for Hong Kong.  The initiative is a super connector connecting mainland china with Europe. The urban population of the GBA is growing, and with the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, many cities in the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macau triangle will be linked as well as it will get connected to Europe with whom China has maximum trade going on.

The Future

In coming decades the city holds a great future, with its continued development as a smart and sustainable city. 5G connectivity strengthened by AI, Big Data, Blockchain, cloud and Edge computing, when connected with  new-gen digitally enabled applications, will help in the overall development. Efficient use of these technologies can lead to reducing traffic congestions, creating more energy-efficient buildings, designing more liveable public spaces, and improving delivery of healthcare and other services. With smart and sustainable city planning an optimal ecosystem can be created along with flourishing economy. Hongkong also sates an example for growing cities all over the world on the importance of  urbanisation in a sustainable manner and the need of  accommodating the growing urban population in a liveable manner

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