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Level of Development in Hong Kong - Essay Example

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The main aim of this essay is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the development level of Hong Kong using development indicators. Thus, the essay discusses the challenges faced by Hong Kong in its attempts at development as well as factors that have worked in its favor.

 
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Level of Development in Hong Kong
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Download file to see previous pages It is fascinating to see how Hong Kong has risen to become an economy that is now ranked along with the big wigs of fully developed countries.
Development in this context is the maximum utilization of the resources within a given area or country(Haq, 1995). There are multiple universally accepted indicators on how well developed a country is which can either be based on economic factors such as GDP, GNI, and PPP, or socio-indicators such as availability and efficiency of public services, provision of health services, accessibility of education among others (Haq 1995).
Over the past century to date, Hong Kong has come a long way, for in the nineteen-thirties she would have been categorized as an underdeveloped economy. By the start of the Second World War, Hong Kong was still a British colony. On the 25th December 1941, Japan seized her and occupied the country until August 1945. At the time of the occupation, the Hong Kong economy suffered a great setback. There was rapid inflation and severe food shortages since the Japanese were preserving food for their army. In this harsh environment, there was little economic growth fostered, with advances coming almost to a standstill. In addition, the official currency, the Hong Kong dollar was outlawed and replaced by the Japanese Military Yen. By 1945, the population of Hong Kong had shrunk by half, in front of the pre-occupation number of 1.5 million inhabitants (Tsang, 2004).
In recent years, Hong Kong has faced challenges and drawbacks at a national level that have had negative impacts on her economy. In 2003, there was an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which led to a drastic decrease in the number of international tourists and a fall in the price of the property by 66%. The bird flu pandemic (H5N1), which had broken out on a full scale around the same time, but had been around for years led to the loss of poultry and chicken by the millions(BEAPA,2008).
Another recent setback to the growth of the Hong Kong economy was the Asian financial crisis that occurred between the late part of 1997 and earl 1998. There was a collapse in the stock markets of some south East Asia, Hong Kong being one of them leading to a sharp depreciation in the value of their currencies. These had been preceded by the devaluation of the currencies of the economies involved. It took a while for Hong Kong to regain her momentum from this impediment (Gary,2003).
There are several factors that have fostered Hong Kong's rapid economic growth, one being that the Hong Kong market is friendly and liberal, thus she is quick to adapt to changes in international marketing trends. Her banking system has a rock-solid base, she carries minimal public debt and sufficient foreign exchange reserves. These factors are coupled with a strong legal system and a staunch stand taken in fighting corruption (BEAPA, 2008).
She has benefited from China's joining the World Trade Organization in that the latter markets her as a growing commercial hub with an amicable business environment, reasonable taxes, a sound legal system, and ample infrastructure. China promotes Hong Kong’s Pearl River Delta as the gateway into China.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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