Built from ‘barren rock with hardly a house upon it’, as described by a British colonist in 1841, Hong Kong transformed from an entrepôt into a global fi nancial centre under British rule. The economy of Hong Kong took off in the 1970s and in the space of some 30 years, Hong Kong’s GDP caught up with some developed economies. The economic achievement earned Hong Kong a place as one of the Four Asian Tigers. On 1 July 1997, China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong and it became a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Under the ‘one country, two systems’ concept, Hong Kong’s capitalist political system continues to thrive and the region’s free port status maintains. With a land area of only about 1,100 km 2 , 7 million people call Hong Kong home. While over 90 per cent of the population is of Chinese descent, Hong Kong also houses a sizeable international population.