Long before the return of Hong Kong to China, the colony had already firmly established itself as a regional business centre. The proportion of Hong Kong’s trade, foreign investments, and banking and financial services to other Asian countries accounted for a significant part of the colony’s economic activities, and was rising.1 Not only had the colony attracted the regional headquarters of a number of Western and Japanese transnational corporations, but many overseas Chinese businesses from East and Southeast Asia also established regional headquarters or subsidiaries in the territory.2 Apart from manufacturing firms, international financial institutions and commercial enterprises have also established bases in Hong Kong.3