Hong Kong was declared a free port after the British occupation of Hong Kong in 1841. The Hong Kong Government has not adopted a scheme of delineating specific areas and enacting special ordinances, but has committed itself to making Hong Kong a free trade port.
After a hundred years of development, it has evolved from a single entrepot trade port into a free port with diverse economic structures. By 2013, Hong Kong has been selected by the American Heritage Foundation for the most free of charge in the global economy for 19 consecutive years. In addition to the free economic policies, the Hong Kong Government has also provided various measures to facilitate trade and services for the growing trade, making Hong Kong an important global aviation and shipping hub. In addition, the free port system also contributed to the flourishing development of the art market.
Hong Kong Freeport Economic Policy System
After decades of construction, Hong Kong’s “positive non-interventionism” has now developed into a relatively comprehensive free-port economic policy system composed of three basic elements, which are completely non-interventional policies, direct intervention policies and temporary intervention policies.
1. Do not interfere with the policy completely
The policy of no intervention does show that in Hong Kong, economic activities are largely uninterrupted and enjoy a high degree of freedom, except for areas and behaviors that are clearly limited by local law. mainly include:
(1) free trade system. Specific performance in four areas:
First, the import and export trade is not set up control. In addition to legal control over the import and export of dangerous drugs, firearms, animals and plants, endangered species, meat and poultry, import and export trade (including import and export commodity categories, import and export commodity prices, trade identity and import and export market The choice of, etc.) are not subject to control, enjoy a very wide range of free space;
Second, do not set up tariff barriers. In addition to tobacco, alcohol, methanol, hydrocarbons and other four types of goods levied import duties and consumption tax, the general import goods are not required to pay import duties or tariffs, import and export trade “threshold” is very low;
Third, import and export procedures is extremely simple. Except for a small number of trade-regulated goods need to apply in advance and approved after the import and export, the general import and export of goods without approval, the formalities of the formalities within 14 days to the Hong Kong Customs to submit a complete declaration form can be completed;
Fourth, foreign ships from the port to apply for entry and customs procedures, the implementation of non-mandatory water diversion, inspection and inspection procedures are simple, and exempt from port administrative fees, logistics system is smooth.
(2) free enterprise system. Mainly in three aspects:
One is free to enter and operate the system. In Hong Kong, the government only regulates industries such as finance, telecommunications, public transport, public facilities and some mass media industries. The majority of other investment areas are entered and operated by investors. At the same time, as long as the business according to law, the Government will not interfere in its business activities. Hong Kong does not impose capital gains or dividends withholding tax, and uses the principle of geographical origin in respect of taxation, only taxing profits or income derived from Hong Kong. Hong Kong pursues a simple tax system with a low tax rate and a profit tax rate of 17.5%
Second, enterprises to enter and operate a low threshold. Investors in Hong Kong can set up limited companies, guarantee companies and infinite companies, the procedures are simple, more professionals can provide assistance. Registered companies in Hong Kong, if the documents are available, as soon as possible within 4 working days to complete;
Third, the national treatment system. The establishment and operation of enterprises in Hong Kong, regardless of the source of funds for local or overseas, asset ownership for the collective or private, enjoy the same “national treatment”, not because of different status of discrimination or favoritism. Government to take the attitude of the enterprise are “you invest, I welcome; you make money, I tax; you lose, I sympathize.” Business environment is quite fair.
(3) financial freedom system. After World War II, with the Hong Kong economy taking off and thriving, the stock market flourished, especially the Hong Kong government adopted a series of financial liberalization policies, including the lifting of foreign exchange and gold control, “thaw” bank license, cancellation of deposit interest tax, making foreign banks And the influx of multinational financial institutions into Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s financial industry has entered a period of rapid development, towards diversification and internationalization. As a free port, Hong Kong’s foreign exchange control has been more relaxed. Foreign exchange, gold and diamonds are free to enter and leave Hong Kong, and various currencies are freely traded and exchanged in Hong Kong.
(4) free immigration system. Hong Kong has always implemented a liberal and open immigration policy. Now there are about 170 countries and regions of the national, can be visa-free travel to Hong Kong 7 to 180 range. In Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government has signed agreements with a large number of foreign governments to allow Hong Kong residents who pass the HKSAR passport to travel overseas or to do business. In many countries, they are entitled to visa-free entry (foreigners are also entitled to the same treatment) The However, although the Hong Kong Government has provided convenient accommodation arrangements for visitors to Hong Kong and those who have contributed to the development of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Government will limit the number of immigrants to Hong Kong in formulating and implementing immigration control policies so that Hong Kong’s population growth At an acceptable level.
In addition, the degree of freedom of information and information in Hong Kong is also high in the world. This allows all kinds of information to be freely accessible to Hong Kong and distributed in Hong Kong.
2. Direct intervention policy
Mainly based on the strict control of certain extremely sensitive and important economic activities in order to ensure the orderly operation of Hong Kong’s overall economy and thus the basic premise of the implementation of the policy of no intervention. Mainly concentrated in three aspects:
(1) Intervention of land-level markets. The direct intervention of the Hong Kong Government on the land is mainly focused on the number of land grant, the directional development of land control and so on. Direct interventions on land first-level markets will enable Hong Kong’s limited land resources to be developed efficiently and maximize the potential of Hong Kong’s land resources.
(2) Intervention of key financial activities. Hong Kong’s control of financial markets is mainly focused on the establishment of the linked exchange rate system for the Hong Kong dollar and the US dollar, the designation of note-issuing banks and the control of note-issuing banks, the implementation of “financial three-tier system” and so on.
(3) Intervention in the field of trade. This includes: the implementation of the import license for rice and pre-storage system to prevent individual traders hoarding, driving up rice prices, affecting people’s livelihood; the import of six categories of goods levy high tariffs, and so on. In addition, the Hong Kong government also directly intervene in the formation of a number of commodity prices that affect the people’s livelihood.
3. Temporary intervention policy
Mainly used to deal with the economy of the abnormal state of the operation of the problems. The use of temporary intervention policies by the Hong Kong Government is to make the economy more efficient by defining the economic role of the government rather than limiting the role of the market mechanism. The use of temporary intervention policy measures, including mortgage control, mortgage transfer control, the use of foreign exchange management funds to intervene in financial markets, and so on.
Measures to facilitate business in Hong Kong Freeport
In the context of increasing globalization of the supply chain, Hong Kong, known as one of the world’s premier logistics hubs, is irreplaceable as a “gateway” to and from China, and it actually plays the role of regional distribution hub in Asia and the Pacific. International Airport has been the world’s busiest international air cargo hub, the Hong Kong port is the world’s third largest container port (see Table 1). World-class logistics infrastructure and the status of free port, for Hong Kong’s long-term maintenance of the primary logistics hub plays a major role. The logistics hub of the strengthening of the process, the convenience of electronic services, efficient and convenient business measures also greatly consolidate the status of Hong Kong’s free port.