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Economy of Hong Kong

The economy of Hong Kong is a developed free-market economy characterised by low taxation free port trade and well-established international financial market. Its currency, called the Hong Kong dollar, is issued by three major international commercial banks, is pegged to the US dollar. Interest rates are determined by the individual banks in Hong Kong to ensure. There is no recognised central banking system, although the Hong Kong Monetary Authority functions as a financial regulatory authority. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has had the highest degree of economic freedom in the world since the inception of the index in 1995, its economy is governed under positive non-interventionism, is dependent on international trade and finance. For this reason it is regarded as among the most favorable places to start a company. In fact, a recent study shows that Hong Kong has come from 998 registered start-ups in 2014 to over 2800 in 2018, with eCommerce, Fintech and Advertising companies comprising the majority.

The Economic Freedom of the World Index listed Hong Kong as the number one country, with a score of 8.97, in 2015. Hong Kong's economic strengths include a sound banking system no public debt, a strong legal system, ample foreign exchange reserves at around US $408 billion as of mid-2017, rigorous anti-corruption measures and close ties with mainland China; the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a favourable destination for international firms and firms from mainland China to be listed due to Hong Kong's internationalised and modernised financial industry along with its capital market in Asia, its size and available financial tools, which are comparable to London and New York. Hong Kong's gross domestic product has grown 180 times between 1961 and 1997; the GDP per capita rose by 87 times within the same time frame. Its economy is larger than Israel's or Ireland's and its GDP per capita at purchasing power parity was the sixth highest globally in 2011, higher than the United States and the Netherlands and lower than Brunei.

In 2009, Hong Kong's real economic growth fell by 2.8% as a result of the global financial turmoil. By the late 20th century, Hong Kong was the seventh largest port in the world and second only to New York and Rotterdam in terms of container throughput. Hong Kong is a full Member of World Trade Organization; the Kwai Chung container complex was the largest in Asia. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.732 trillion. Hong Kong has had an abundant supply of labour from the regions nearby. A skilled labour force coupled with the adoption of modern British/Western business methods and technology ensured that opportunities for external trade and recruitment were maximised. Prices and wages in Hong Kong are flexible, depending on the performance and stability of the economy of Hong Kong. Hong Kong raises revenues from the sale and taxation of land and through attracting international businesses to provide capital for its public finance, due to its low tax policy.

According to Healy Consultants, Hong Kong has the most attractive business environment within East Asia, in terms of attracting foreign direct investment. In 2013, Hong Kong was the third largest recipient of FDI in the world. Hong Kong ranked fourth on the Tax Justice Network's 2011 Financial Secrecy Index; the Hong Kong Government was the fourth highest ranked Asian government in the World Economic Forum's Network Readiness Index, a measure of a government's information and communication technologies in 2016, ranked 13th globally. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.732 trillion as of mid-2017. In 2006, the value of initial public offerings conducted in Hong Kong was second highest in the world after London. In 2009, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of IPO capital, becoming the largest centre of IPOs in the world; the exchange is the world's 10th third largest in China. Since the 1997 handover, Hong Kong's economic future became far more exposed to the challenges of economic globalisation and the direct competition from cities in mainland China.

In particular, Shanghai claimed to have a geographical advantage. The Shanghai municipal government dreamt of turning the city into China's main economic centre by as early as 2010; the target is to allow Shanghai to catch up to New York by 2040–2050. Hong Kong's economic policy has been cited by economists such as Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute as an example of laissez-faire capitalism, attributing the city's success to the policy. However, others have argued that the economic strategy is not adequately characterised by the term laissez-faire, they point out that there are still many ways in which the government is involved in the economy, some of which exceed the degree of involvement in other capitalist countries. For example, the government is involved in public works projects, healthcare and social welfare spending. Further, although rates of taxation on personal and corporate income are low by international standards, unlike most other countries Hong Kong's government raises a significant portion of its revenues from land leases and land taxation.

All land in Hong Kong is owned by the government and is leased to private developers and users on fixed terms, for fees which are paid to the state treasury. By restricting the sale of land leases, the Hong Kong government keeps the price of land at what some consider as artificially high prices and this allows

1993 PBA Governors' Cup Finals

The 1993 PBA Governors' Cup Finals was the best-of-7 basketball championship series of the 1993 PBA Governors' Cup, the conclusion of the conference playoffs. The San Miguel Beermen and Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs played for the 56th championship contested by the league; the San Miguel Beermen wins their 10th PBA title with a 4-1 series victory over Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs. Kenny Travis deflected a pass by Tony Harris in Swift's final offensive with the Beermen up, 139-138, in the second overtime. Travis split his free throw pressed hard on Harris, who lost the ball to Alvin Teng, allowing San Miguel to escaped with a win; the Meaties were down by 15 points early in the fourth period but they battled back and forces overtime at 116-116 on Tony Harris' buzzer-beating basket. The Beermen trailed 117-122 in the extension period when Kenny Travis hit back-to-back triples to give the lead back to San Miguel, 123-122, the Beermen had the game all but wrapped up at 127-124 when Vergel Meneses hit a triple at the buzzer forcing second overtime at 127-all.

In an ugly clash of hotheads, Swift got back at San Miguel to level their series, Al Solis fired three triples while Nelson Asaytono pulled off a three-point play at the height of the Beermen's rally in the final stretch to seal the Meaties' first victory over San Miguel in this conference. The third quarter was marred by a free-for-all with Swift pulled ahead with its biggest lead, 89-71, both teams imports. Tony Harris, Kenny Travis, Art Dela Cruz and Rudy Distrito were thrown out of the game after being assessed fighting fouls and play resumed with the Meaties refusing to give in to the Beermen's relentless bid for a comeback. San Miguel came closest at 93-101 with still 7:47 left. San Miguel rallied from a deficit of 12 points, 71-83, to come within 84-85 with only few seconds remaining in the third quarter. Kenny Travis' slam on a fastbreak gave the Beermen the lead, 97-96, the wild crowd broke into uproar as Al Solis hit two triples, answering Allan Caidic's own trey for a 102-100 Swift edge.

The Meaties went up by six, 108-102, but the Beermen countered with six straight points, forcing overtime. Kenny Travis stole the ball from Tony Harris with less than 20 seconds left to give the Beermen ball possession and protect the 108-all count at regulation. Allan Caidic scored 10 points in overtime in a lopsided extra period that saw San Miguel limited Swift to an all-time low two points in the five-minute extension. Caidic's triple with their shot clock expiring give the Beermen a 115-108 lead, six more points by the Beermen as they blanked the Meaties in overtime until Tony Harris was given a gimme slam on a fastbreak. Tony Harris pulled his groin muscle with still 4:30 left in the first half, the Meaties trailing by two, 42-44, Harris left the game with still two quarters remaining; the all-Filipino Swift put up a gritty stand as they reeled from the early exit of Harris in the second period. San Miguel went up by ten, 106-96, in the fourth quarter from an 83-all deadlock going into the final period.

The Beermen held the Meaties scoreless in the final 49.5 seconds and Samboy Lim providing the marginal points from the free-throw line. Swift was leading, 89-86, after Samboy Lim made his two charities, Yves Dignadice forced Nelson Asaytono to loose the ball twice until Kenny Travis completed a fine defensive stop by stealing off a driving Vergel Meneses. On a fastbreak, Samboy Lim was fouled by Nelson Asaytono, sending him to the free throw line for a go-ahead charities, 90-89, with time down to 14.4 seconds. Swift coach Yeng Guiao sued for time but the Meaties lost ball possession in the ensuing play when Dignadice hounded Asaytono into committing a travelling violation. Allan Caidic was fouled and split his free throws, the Beermen foiled the Meaties' last two tries at the basket with Harris missing a turnaround jumper from 18-feet as time expired. A total of nine players were fined in the aftermath of the Game two brawl that left at least two spectators wounded, no suspensions were meted out by the Commissioner's office.

Kenny Travis was fined P10,000 and Tony Harris P5,000, as the principal figures of the bench-emptying free-for-all that occurred in the third quarter of Game two, Travis was slapped with the heftier fine for instigating the fight, Harris was fined another P5,000 for approaching the Commissioner's row to berate officials over his ejection from the game. PBA official website

Pacific Asia Travel Association

The Pacific Asia Travel Association is a membership association working to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region. As J Mullahey of Pan American Airways set about organizing the first Pacific area travel conference with the aim of promoting tourism to the undiscovered region of Asia Pacific; the purpose of the meeting, Lorrin P. Thurstin noted, was to “discuss cooperation among Pacific countries that would result in a greater exchange of visitors to their mutual advantage, to develop methods of presenting the Pacific area to the world’s travelers and the travel trade by reducing restrictions on Pacific travel, filling in accommodation gaps, presenting the Pacific story in advertising and publicity”. In March 1951, invitations were sent out for the conference, to be held in the first week of June, from the office of Hawaii's territorial governor, Ingram Stainback. Many of the replies came in too late and the conference was postponed, it was in October 1951 that Thurstin, in Paris attending a European travel conference, issued his now-famous cable to Mullahey: "Proceed to send invitations to governments and carriers to attend Pacific Area Travel conference for purpose of establishing permanent Pacific Travel Association and determine most convenient date for majority during first three months 1952."

The inaugural conference took place from January 10–15, 1952 at the Maluhia Auditorium of Fort DeRussy in Waikiki, Hawaii. There were 91 delegates in attendance at the conference, including representatives of government and business. Aside from Thurston and Mullahey, those taking a key role at this event were: Robert Allen, chairman of registration and housing. On Tuesday, January 15, 1952, Lorrin Thurston announced that 25 active and 12 allied members had signed the constitution and bylaws of what was now known as the Pacific Interim Travel Association. PITA was incorporated in the state of Hawaii two months later; the new association's constitution declared its purpose was “To encourage and assist in the development of the travel industries throughout the Pacific area”. While marketing activities were its primary goal, the delegates of the first conference envisioned the association as one that could work with both government and private business in developing travel. One of PATA's main accomplishments in its first year was to publicise itself to the international travel community.

The association's first executive director Sam Mercer noted that the first conference “focused the attention of the entire travel world on an awakening of tourism in the Pacific”. News articles and press releases were sent to, subsequently published in, numerous publications – including both specialist travel press and general audience newspapers. A effective vehicle for PITA's self-promotion was its quarterly newspaper, PITA News Bulletin, which by the end of its first year was being sent to over 500 addresses throughout the world. In its first year, PITA worked with governments to ease entry and exit requirements for foreigners, seeing success in Japan, the US and the Philippines. By the second conference in March 1953 PITA had increased its membership from 33 active and allied members to 49, it was at this conference that it was decided to change the association's name to the ‘Pacific Area Travel Association’ – or PATA. In 1953 PATA's headquarters were moved from Hawaii to San Francisco, with Sam Mercer serving as the first executive director.

Considered as the state of “money and influence”, San Francisco was home to an influential group of individuals who served on the PATA board and committees during the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout the first decade, PATA membership grew attracting a wide range of members including governments, hotel members, travel agents, cruise lines and the media. Other members included tour operators, educational institutions, vehicle operators and catering services, advertising agencies, public relations firms, publications and architectural and research firms. By the end of the 1950s, PATA had 325 members, while there had been a steady rise in the annual conference attendance. In 1955, a Research and Survey Committee was established and PATA delegates gave their approval to spend US$8,000 on the organisation's first advertising programme. In 1957 the first issue of Pacific Travel News was published, providing PATA with a news vehicle to promote itself and its destinations. In 1958, PATA's Board of Directors requested that the US International Cooperation Administration provide US$150,000 for a comprehensive study of the Pacific countries.

The results of the survey, which became known as the'Checchi Report', were presented at the 1962 Annual Conference. It presented to PATA members and NTOs the status of tourism in the Pacific region, both area-wide and individually by country, it contained information regarding the anticipated impact of tourist expenditure, the effects of tourism on jobs and wages, methods of financing tourism development and projections for US visitor arrivals to the Pacific region. The report became a blueprint for many NTO and travel planners, as it methodically presented the economic benefits – both direct and indirect – derived from tourism.1961 saw the establishment of the first PATA Chapters in New Zealand and Hong Kong. The development of the chapter system was an effort to involve p