Hong Kong was liberated by the British in 1945 and has prospered enormously in the post-war period. A joint declaration made by Britain and China in 1985 stated that all of Hong Kong would become a special administrative area of China after 1997 (when the New Territories lease expired). China promises to maintain the capitalist system in Hong Kong for at least 50 years.

Many Chinese languages and dialects are spoken, but Cantonese is universally understood and English is spoken in business. Chinese and English are the official languages.

Hong Kong’s current situation perfectly illustrates the need for flexible, international strategies when operating offshore.

The Sino-British joint declaration provides for the retention of the English common law system, the free movement to and from Hong Kong of people, goods and capital, a freely convertible Hong Kong dollar and Hong Kong’s autonomy in external commercial relations.