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Country Reports

Hong Kong, SAR China Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Hong Kong's autonomy in its internal governance has decreased over the past two years with Beijing asserting its authority over the region and openly threatening to revoke "one country, two systems". In March 2017, locally unpopular candidate Carrie Lam was voted as the new Chief Executive by a 1,194-person committee that is overwhelmingly loyal to Beijing. Lam's tenure begins on 1 July 2017. Under Lam, Beijing is expected to continue increasing its interference in Hong Kong political affairs. As a result of this and repeatedly frustrated peaceful dissent, pro-democracy protests are likely to gradually become more violent and disruptive. Police reinforcements can be quickly deployed from the mainland and will prevent significant property damage, even if protesters clash withpro-Beijing demonstrators.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

The government has undertaken great efforts to promote foreign investment and the business environment is highly favourable. 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 in Hong Kong. Tax rates are low, with no tariff barriers. The tensions between pro-democracy and pro-establishment camps, in the meantime, will prompt occasional protests, especially around government premises. Disruptions to businesses, however, are unlikely in the over the next three months.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Terrorism

Low

Hong Kong's internal security is stable. The police are professional and effective, with specialised counter-terrorism capabilities. The threat from terrorism is very low in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, against the backdrop of global terrorism, the authorities have stepped up security, mainly at airports and cargo ports. In June 2017, authorities increased security ahead of the 1 July 2017 handover anniversary and Xi Jinping's visit to the city, although no specific threat to Hong Kong was cited.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Low

The Chinese central government is responsible for Hong Kong's defence. The Chinese military maintains about 5,000 lightly armed troops in Hong Kong and is capable of quickly deploying thousands more to defend the prosperous financial centre. Hong Kong faces no immediate risk of war.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

Elevated

Political activism has risen in the recent years, sparking protests and rallies by students and professionals. As a result of the recent blocking of pro-independence legislators and arrest of pro-democracy advocates and other repeatedly frustrated peaceful dissent, pro-democracy protests are likely to gradually become more violent and disruptive.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

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: November 27, 2013

Natural Risks

Very high

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: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

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

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: December 9, 2013