Country Reports

Hong Kong, SAR China Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

Protests are planned almost on a weekly basis in addition to frequent “everyday conflicts” between pro-democracy activists and police. Chief Executive Carrie Lam made no concessions to protesters’ demands. As such, protests involving more than 100,000 people blocking the streets in Central Hong Kong and other business centres remain likely. The recent storming of government complex and fighting with the police in Sha Tin represents an escalation in protesters’ operational ambitions, capabilities, and co-ordination. However, widespread asset damage and violence across the city remains unlikely. Lam is highly unlikely to get a second term, and there is increasing likelihood that she will not finish her current term, set to end 30 June 2022. Lam’s popularity and credibility has been substantially damaged, increasing the likelihood that she will step down beyond the one-year outlook. Should Lam manage to remain in office for the remainder of her three-year term, she will face major pushback in government policies and be highly unfavourable for pro-China prospects gains in November 2019 district-level elections and 2020 Legislative Council elections.The territory's government will be careful to maintain fiscal discipline and minimise the potential effect on the business environment. For instance, the 2018 budget offers substantial tax relief to middle-class residents, increased welfare benefits for children and the elderly, as well as a one-time cash payment to the working-aged poor. The 2019 budget offers further support for enterprises and individuals by cutting profit and salaries tax.Concerns over slower global and Chinese economic prospects, lingering worries over mainland China-US trade tensions, and unfavourable wealth effects will constrain the economy. Retail sales growth will stay at medium-to-lower single digits. A still-tight labour market should support consumer sentiment. Consumer price inflation is expected to remain moderate in the short term as utility prices counterbalance stronger public housing rentals and higher interest rates and stronger external uncertainties cap demand-pulled inflation.
Last update: July 20, 2019

Operational Outlook

Government intervention in the market has traditionally been minimal; the territory's first anti-monopoly regulation only took effect in December 2015. The legal system, based on English common law, will continue to attract foreign investors to Hong Kong. Tax rates are low, with no tariff barriers.

Last update: May 31, 2019



The threat from terrorism is low in Hong Kong. There has been little indication of Hong Kong being a main target for terrorist groups. The authorities have stepped up security, mainly at airports and cargo ports. The Hong Kong police conduct regular counter-terrorism drills and training exercise.

Last update: June 21, 2019


Rising levels of cyber crime represent a moderate risk, following the hacking of bitcoins worth USD72 million in August 2016. The authorities are likely to introduce tougher laws and more extensive training to combat money laundering and improve cyber security. Violent crime against foreigners is highly uncommon in Hong Kong.

Last update: May 21, 2019

War Risks

Hong Kong has no border disputes with nearby countries and faces no immediate risk of war. The mainland Chinese military maintains about 5,000 lightly armed troops in Hong Kong and is capable of rapidly deploying thousands more to defend the financial centre.

Last update: May 23, 2019

Social Stability


Political activism has risen during recent years, and large-scale protests involving hundred of thousands of students and other residents have been increasingly common. However, pro-democracy groups have been increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress through peaceful expression. Furthermore, increasingly politicised police force and ever-stronger hardliner approach against pro-democracy groups will likely increase likelihood of violent confrontations between protestors and police. This increases the likelihood of more violent and disruptive protests. That said, hotspots remain around government offices, nearby but generally isolated from core business areas. Most protests are still likely to be peaceful and the risks of deliberate violence or asset damage against commercial properties remain low.

Last update: June 19, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks


Travelers should take note that Hong Kong is predominantly threatened by two natural hazards: typhoons and earthquakes.

Typhoons can strike the region at any time of the year but are most common during the monsoon season (July to November), with a peak of storms in the last weeks of August and the first weeks of September. The government is well aware of this risk and a system of alerts is in place; the population is informed when a typhoon is within 800 km (500 mi) of Hong Kong’s coasts. The alert system also warns residents of other types of storms, landslides, and floods. During the monsoon season, visitors should follow local media reports to keep informed of any approaching storms. Over the past few years, no typhoons have led to high numbers of casualties; nevertheless, material damages from such weather events can be significant. On July 24, 2013, Typhoon Vincente, with gusts above 150 kph (93.2 mph), was the strongest storm to hit the region in over 15 years, although no deaths or major property damages were reported.

Moreover, Hong Kong is located in an active seismic zone; the region was struck by a series of relatively minor earthquakes between March 2005 and September 2006. While no major earthquakes have been observed in the area, the risk of a tsunami would be significant if one were to occur.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


Hong Kong's climate is dominated by seasonal monsoon winds that bring rain from May until September. During the winter days are mild and evenings cool but temperatures never fall below freezing. Summers are hot, humid, and rainy, particularly in July and August (cyclone season).

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +852
Police: 999
Fire Dept.: 999
Ambulance: 999


Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019