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The political situation in Hong Kong is also hugely influenced by other world economy political systems. The governance of Hong Kong is mainly in the hands of China, where the country is ruled by the influence of two systems and one country. Thus, there is a separate legal system and responsibilities, also including the assembly and free speech rights freedom. There is a mini law for the constitution of Hong Kong, which is also called the Basic Law, and it states that the aim of this law is the election of the chief executive through the ways of suffrage universally. The major decision makers of the Chinese state decided that the leader for Hong Kong, who will ensure democracy will be elected in the year 2017. The candidates can only be limited to two or three in number, and they are to be elected by the pro-Beijing committee. There, however, needs to be a reform of the political system that is to take place in the legislative council belonging to the territory, in the year 2017, with consultation constituting a major part of the process. However, in case there is a situation in which the whole process is scrapped down, the existing system, wherein the choice of leaders is made on the current systems and other 1200 people will still be in system. This could be said as one of the worst situations of politics that the Hong Kong has seen, after being handed over to the Chinese regime in 1997.
Talking about the current scenario of the Hong Kong Government, there is a hot discussion on the ways of electing the leader in a specified territory. This movement has followed protests of democracy and drawn to the country’s parks many citizens in thousands of number. The state Government of China has made an agreement on public elections to be held in Hong Kong, in the year 2017, which is supposed to be a turning point; however, the Chinese Government still wants to maintain a certain degree of power. To avoid this state of pseudo-democracy, the legislators of democracy have expressed commitments to fight against any such Government proposal. The newest way or initiation in the election of a leader has been brought through the step of consultation. The current state summary of the Hong Kong state would be reflected in the dilemma situation in politics, where before democracy protests are dominant.
A recent report published on the state affairs of Hong Kong state that there has been a lot of controversy in the development of a constitution followed and preoccupied with a number of rallies and aroused widespread concerns. Also, the leader of Hong Kong, CY Leung, is also of an autocratic nature given his statements that the current rallies were a demonstration of powerful and forceful actions that are against the laws and at the same time, balance social order and security. Human rights activists are however against this notion as these are on the public display of democracy requirements.
The lawmakers and all other forces of the society are in dire need of democracy. The police and judiciary system is under the influence of the current leader while, on the other hand, campaigns are high on how genuine democracy can be brought to the people. The leader’s added statement reflects that campaigners are trying to threaten the Hong Kong Government or even the Government at the central level.
We could thus summarize the political situation in Hong Kong as being highly influenced by China. There is, however, a need for democracy, being reflected by the regular protests of students, leaders, and professionals alike. Key areas of Hong Kong are highly affected by this riot of democracy need, in social as well as economic terms. Police power is a dominant in the economy, which is controlled by the central Government. The situation soared in when the Government was not able to handle well the peaceful protests being demonstrated by students and other citizens.
As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong was included as a part of China in the year 1997, to be regulated under the policy of the same country and two different systems. As per the agreement, the Chinese Government had a promise that there would be no imposition of any socialist policies of the Chinese want into the Hong Kong Government. This provides for high autonomy in Hong Kong, however, there are certain issues in areas of defense and affairs of the foreign nations, for a period of half century, i.e. 50 years. The main issue right now is the forming of universal suffrage that is to be taken to Hong Kong in 2017 by the Chinese authorities, as promised earlier. Though the control aspect of China in Hong Kong may be a problem for people in favor of democracy, there have been many economic benefits from the Chinese government commitments to Hong Kong. The most used industries in the country are shipping and services related to financing, with manufacturing being quite heavily directed towards the mainland areas.
There is the high integration of Hong Kong economy with that of China’s economy, because of increased ties due to tourism, trade, and other economic links.
If we go by statistics, the score for economic freedom of Hong Kong is 89.6. The score as a whole has seen a decline by 0.5 since the previous year. This could be because of the growing corruption incidences in the recent years that have outgrown into other opportunities like labor freedom, the freedom in fiscal policies, improvements of freedom in business. Despite all these, there is a high ranking of the Hong Kong economy on the economic score index. There is an extended and free movement of resources; goods, services and capital across borders, making it easier for the economy. There are many simple ways in which the Hong Kong economy has been able to thrive. Some of them are being the financial gateway to China, having a well maintained framework of regulation, highly integrated capital markets, taxation systems that are easy to use and the high foreign direct investment opportunities for many multinationals in the mainland areas. The country also possesses a high resistance when it comes to handling the economic mood swings at the global level and the economic shocks at the domestic level.
Though there was this high degree of autonomy and economic uniqueness in the previous years of operation of Hong Kong economy, the effect has somehow decreased in the recent years with the diminishing level of autonomy. However, there are traces and features of a free society, that can sustain economically and socially, the extent of bureaucracy and politics in economic decision-making has increased, with raised administrative concerns of the Government. The public confidence in the agreement that the Chinese Government had made seems to be in the verge of a collapse.
There is comparatively a low level of corruption in Hong Kong, despite the fact that there is the high influence of the business interests in the branches of execution as well as legislation. The higher power being exerted at some of the places of Mainland from the capital of China, Beijing, in the period of 2014, is being called out as breaches of the pro-democracy commitments. There are a strong and efficient rule of law and the judiciary functions independently of complete protection of state property rights.
There are classifications of taxes to be levied to various points. The standard of income taxes is at 15 percent. The corporate tax rate is 16.5 percent, and tax burden as a whole is accounted for 13.7 percent of the total Hong Kong household income. There is low public debt, The Government functioning at a budget surplus and the proportion of aging population is growing and fiscal pressures have heightened because of social programs. The average rate of tariff is at a flat 0 percent and thus is one of the freest economies for the movement of resources across borders. As a result, international investments and level of trade are high. There is a high density of financial systems being made available, with innovation being a basis for all these unique happenings. Most of the sectors are well developed, dynamic and tolerant to any sudden changes or shocks. One example of this may be the banking industry. The mainland is, however, the most economically prospering area.
The socio-cultural environment in Hong Kong is mainly based on the values, beliefs and traditions of the races that have inherited the area from decades. The most intriguing feature of the Hong Kong culture is that this culture is mainly surrounded by customs that are implied rather than expressed. The most common examples of this would be norms like the non-discussion of political matters in the public or the act of being drunk in front of people.
The Hong Kong culture is also hugely influenced by the lowering of eyes, which is a gesture of showing respect to the person in front. This means that the power distance is high because these rules become highly important when there is a question of job placement. Once you attain a higher position, there is not a necessity to follow some of the already followed gestures of the subordinate levels. The addressing of an individual by name is also considered something not right. People are more collectivistic as compared to being individualistic. Western culture does have some influence in the form of names that are adopted by the individuals.
The physical distance between people in the course of the communication is very less. However, there is avoidance of culture of touching and being open to the public. There is a high respect for seniors, which explains for the high power distance score of the country. The people are tight and reserved when it comes to opening up conversations with distant people, and mechanism of feedback is pretty weak. There is no free opinion expression and avoidance of politics is high, with low levels of expression of opinion. There is a strong culture of expressing gratitude for an invitation, by taking in gifts, and it is considered rude if the gift is missing. The word and numbers also play an important role in the culture, with letters having significances and meanings such as death, eternity, and life. Similarly, colors play an important role, with red and gold being the pick of the many. The people believe in show off and formalities and are not devoid of some of the customs of the typical traditional societies.
People in Hong Kong are very polite and believe in maintaining a low tone when it comes to conversation. Public display of affection is prohibited. The most used languages and, in fact, the official languages used in Hong Kong are English and Chinese. The most common tongue is however taken as Cantonese. English dominates the business industries, service industries, and many of the sectors. The young, corporates and socialites mostly understand and speak English. Some other regional languages include Mandarin (Putonghua), Chiu-Chow and Shanghainese.
Another fascinating factor of the Hong Kong culture is the face value, which is taken as an intangible asset but is associated with the individual’s prestige and dignity. There is a provision that there can be losing, saving or even giving to face from one person to another. There is a face associated with most of the Companies and individuals and thus provides the reason for transactions of a business. There is also a provision of compliment, respect sharing and the increase in self-esteem. People are mostly private and have high concerns for their privacy and private life. The major learning followed is the teaching of Confucius, which also describes why the culture is highly related to that of China. This system is a behavioral and ethical system, where the relationship is the basis for all business activities. Hierarchical relationships hold an important spot in the belief and value system of all individuals.
Hong Kong is regarded as one of the best IT (Information Technology) country in the globe and has ranked fourth in the whole Asian continent and 14th in the whole world with respect to its readiness in participating in and benefiting from IT as according to World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index 2013.
Hong Kong has the best telecommunication configuration and framework, which has helped in advancement in the IT industry in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has largest satellite earth station being operated at the commercial level. Apart from that, Hong Kong lies on the top in conducting the operation of international calls and has high network density of landline telephones, mobile phones, and fax services.
The survey conducted by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) on 2012 reveals the fact that the IT sector employed 77,698 persons directly as principal jobs in Hong Kong. According to the data, out of those 77,698 employee, 33.8% were employed from the supplier side of products and services related to IT and the various organization who used IT products and services employed the other rests.
Hong Kong is able to deliver and provide the IT related services and solutions to IT related problems worldwide because of its technical competency, flexibility, and international exposures. The IT service providers of Hong Kong are considered as the strong competent in the world IT market.
Another reason in advance IT development in Hong Kong is that, the Hong Kong’s government has its full support in developing the IT sector in the state. They have a vision of making Hong Kong a world-class digital city in the future. Besides having the competitive commercial IT infrastructure which provides most affordable internet connection and mobile telephone services in the whole world, Hong Kong has developed strategic hubs such as Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science Park which bring the IT companies and the professionals and the new talents from all over the world in common cluster.
The IT industry in Hong Kong has not only groomed itself and made the country prosperous but also has acted as a piers and abutments to bring innovation in various sectors of the infrastructure of developments. Innovation of Octopus in public transport, airport management system, modernization of port management system at container ports, online and wireless banking system, evolution of Smart ID system are the various examples of these innovation in various sectors. This has again created need and fund for the growth, research, and development in Hong Kong IT infrastructure and has created the positive cycle.
The major achievement of the Hong Kong Government in terms of technology would be the development of the Cyberport. It is a high technology port, which is a result of integrated efforts from the private as well as public sectors of the economy and has a selling price of more than 13 billion HK dollars. This project is important as it has the capacity to accommodate massively as much as thirty large and medium sized companies and almost hundred small companies. It also specializes in the development of multimedia and the service sectors alike. Training, matching of events and the organization function of businesses are also what Cyberport specializes in. this has definitely increased the corporate effectiveness of Hong Kong companies.
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