chapter  1
10 Pages

Global connections: Centre of Chinese capitalism

Exposure to globalization is hardly new to Hong Kong. Right from its beginnings as a British colony in the nineteenth century, Hong Kong was declared a free port (by Elliot in June 1841) with no restrictions on foreign trade and investment. It subsequently became an important trading port as well as a commercial city not only for advancing the economic and political interests of the British Empire but also for facilitating regional trade and finance between China and other Asian economies. Indeed, Hong Kong’s strength as a commercial city and trading port lies in her interconnectedness with not one but a variety of economic networks. This chapter provides a historical backdrop to our discussion of the emergence of Hong Kong as a centre of Chinese capitalism for the past 160 years.