Formal Name Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Population 7,234,800 (2014)
Language Chinese (Cantonese / Mandarin)
Currency Hong Kong Dollar ($) HKD
Hong Kong Population in New Zealand 20,000 (estimated)
New Zealand Population in Hong Kong 2,000 (estimated)


Hong Kong is a meeting point of Western and Eastern cultures. It is a major shipping and logistics hub as well as being an important financial center. For a hundred years Hong Kong was part of the British Empire over which time European banking, legal and administrative systems were established. In 1997 Hong Kong was returned to China where it continues to be an important gateway between China and and the world.

Hong Kong's economy is characterised by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. Whilst it only has a population of 7 million, Hong Kong is the world's 9th largest trading economy. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Hong Kong is New Zealand’s 12th export destination, 8th largest investment destination and the 6th largest source for inward investment into New Zealand. Much of Mainland China's investment into New Zealand flows through Hong Kong. Currently about 3,000 New Zealanders are living in Hong Kong. The relationship between the two regions was further strengthened with the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into effect on 1st January 2011.

The New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership

New Zealand was the first foreign country to secure a free trade agreement with Hong Kong. The New Zealand-Hong Kong, China Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) gives our exporters a competitive edge, and the ability to take advantage of growing opportunities in the region. The CEP complements New Zealand’s FTA with China and enhances the potential for Hong Kong to be used as a platform for trade into China.

Agreement highlights

  • Greater certainty of access into the Hong Kong services market, including in private education, business services, environmental services and logistics.
  • Government procurement is included in the agreement, ensuring New Zealand businesses can compete with Hong Kong businesses for government contracts on a level playing field.
  • Locked in duty-free access for New Zealand goods into Hong Kong, providing greater certainty for exporters.
  • Future-proofing rules that ensure service suppliers in some sectors will benefit from any improved access that Hong Kong might grant to other FTA partners in the future.
  • Measures to facilitate trade including 48 hour customs clearance of New Zealand goods entering Hong Kong
  • Easier trading through agreed rules on: sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, competition policy and e-commerce.
  • A clear and detailed process for settling disputes.

Alongside the CEP, New Zealand has Environment and Labour agreements with Hong Kong that promote sound labour and environmental policies and practices.


  • 32,000 Hong Kong  tourists visited New Zealand in 2014

Export Education

  • An estimated 3,000 Hong Kong students are studying in New Zealand


  • Hong Kong was New Zealand’s 21st largest trading partner, 11th largest export market and 39th largest source of imports in 2013 .

Gateway to China

  • In 2014, HK$4.3 billion (US$0.5 billion) worth of trade between New Zealand and the Mainland of China was routed through Hong Kong, representing 3.8% of the total trade between New Zealand and the Mainland.

Investment from Hong Kong

Since 2011, FDI from the PRC (including HKSAR) has gone from NZ$1.1 billion to NZ$5.3 billion, an increase of nearly 400%, or on average growth of nearly NZ $1 billion a year. When measuring FDI on an immediate investor basis, the level of investment from HKSAR is quite striking.

The actual level of direct investment from China is much higher. Data compiled by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise reveals that most Chinese investment in New Zealand is from mainland investors with companies registered in Hong Kong, and to a lesser extent, Singapore, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and other tax favourable territories. Due to the common language and culture, as well as established and trusted connections with the mainland Hong Kong has been a popular gateway

Market Trends


Hong Kong imports 90% of its produce and protein food including processed meat, horticulture produce, premium seafood, and organic food, making it an ideal market for promoting New Zealand fresh foodand value-added products. Hong Kong is also a target market for agri-investment in New Zealand food and hospitality industry. There is a trend towards organic food and healthy snacks to supplement the increasing awareness of health and wellbeing


The Hong Kong Government has committed HK$2 billion (NZD$355 million) to boosting innovation and technology programs, university-industry collaboration and the commercialisation, applications, and industrial  engineering in different technological areas such as biotechnology and traditional Chinese medicine. There are opportunities for joint R&D collaboration and commercialisation of inventions.


Hong Kong is  an important gateway for mainland Chinese investment as well as a significant investor in its own right. There are opportunities to attract investment into New Zealand's age care, property and hospitality marekts