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Canada-Hong Kong Relations

In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region, Canada is represented by its Consulate General in Hong Kong. For the rest of China, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Beijing.

Hong Kong is represented in Canada by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ottawa. Hong Kong also has an Economic and Trade Office in Toronto.

Canada’s bilateral relations with Hong Kong reflect longstanding and comprehensive political, commercial, and people-to-people ties. In addition to deep-rooted historical ties, Canada and Hong Kong share common values, among them respect for the rule of law, human rights and individual freedoms.

Following 150 years of British colonial rule, on July 1st, 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since then, Hong Kong is governed under the “One Country, Two Systems” approach set out in the Basic Law, a document also referred to as Hong Kong’s ‘mini-constitution’. Under this approach, Hong Kong is guaranteed its own legislature, legal and judicial systems and economic autonomy under a capitalist system and way of life, for 50 years. Overall, the Basic Law provides Hong Kong with a large degree of autonomy, while entrusting the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China with responsibility over matters of national defence and foreign relations.

Canada and Hong Kong enjoy good cooperation on a large range of topics, including public health, legal matters and trade and investment. Relations are further bolstered by formal agreements and initiatives on issues such as mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, air services, film and television co-production, and internet learning.

Canada and Hong Kong also enjoy productive cooperation in the context of multilateral organizations to which they are both members, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Hong Kong boasts one of the largest Canadian communities abroad (an estimated 295,000). This community, along with the significant number of Canadians of Hong Kong descent in Canada, plays a dynamic role in building vibrant bilateral relations. 

Canada's presence in Hong Kong is also reflected by the presence of Hong Kong-Canadian associations, such as the Chinese Canadian Association, established in 1989 and the Canadian University Association, which now acts as an umbrella group for some twenty Canadian university alumni associations active in Hong Kong today.

Hong Kong is a mature, trade and services-driven economy with a per capita GDP (at Purchasing Power Parity) comparable to that of a number of developed economies. Hong Kong has a solid, well-capitalized banking system, free market environment, established legal institutions and world-class infrastructure. Hong Kong has consistently been designated the world’s freest economy by various international indexes and rankings.

In terms of trade with Canada, Hong Kong is Canada’s sixth (6th) largest export market, and Canada’s second (2nd) largest export market in the world for beef and beef products; and fifth (5th) largest market for fish and seafood. In addition to natural resources and agricultural products, Canadian exports to Hong Kong include everything from telecommunications devices, to train signaling systems, as well as engineering and financial services. In addition, Hong Kong is the third (3rd) largest financial market in Asia and an important source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Canada. As of 2014, Hong Kong was the second largest destination in Asia after China for Canadian FDI, larger than both Japan and India.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is one of the largest Canadian Chambers outside Canada with over 1000 members. There are over 180 Canadian companies in Hong Kong, a number of which have chosen Hong Kong as their regional headquarters, with others establishing regional or local offices in the city.  The Canada-Hong Kong Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaty (2013) as well as the recent conclusion of a bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement offer opportunities to further strengthen the robust bilateral trade and investment relationship.

May 2015

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