The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems.” Under this principle, socialist policies of mainland China are not practiced in the HKSAR.
The Basic Law provides the guarantees to maintain Hong Kong’s existing way of life, including socioeconomic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas.
The Basic Law was put into effect July 1, 1997.
Q1: Can foreign enterprises still participate fully in Hong Kong's economy?
A1: Yes. Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the participation of foreign enterprises and provides a level playing field for all. There are no foreign exchange controls in Hong Kong and no restrictions on the trading of gold, securities, futures or the like. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall maintain the status of a free port, pursue the policy of free trade and safeguard the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 112; 114; 115)
Q2: Is Hong Kong still an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?
A2: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of May 2009, over 130 countries/regions have granted visa free access, or provided visa-on-arrival arrangements, for HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)