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HK's economy records 3.4 pct annual growth since return

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- From 1997 to 2013, Hong Kong's Gross Regional Product (GRP) grew by 3.4 percent annually in real terms, said a government white paper Tuesday.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) "has maintained steady economic growth" since its return to the motherland in 1997, said the white paper on the practice of the "One Country, Two Systems" Policy in the HKSAR, issued by the State Council Information Office.

Hong Kong's per capita GRP increased by a total of 39.3 percent calculated in U.S. dollar during the same period, according to the paper.

According to the 2013 statistics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Hong Kong's GRP and per capita GRP, respectively, ranked the 35th and 7th in the world, as calculated by purchasing power parity, it said.

"Hong Kong has maintained and enhanced its status as an international financial, trade and shipping center," the white paper said.

As an important international banking center, Hong Kong boasts the world's sixth-largest securities market and fifth-largest foreign exchange market, according to the paper.

As the world's ninth-largest trading economy, Hong Kong has regular trading ties with almost every country and region in the world, it said.

Hong Kong is one of the world's largest container shipping ports and fourth-largest ship-registration center.

The Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world's busiest. Its air freight volume has led the world for many years, and its passenger transport volume ranks fifth.

"Hong Kong's robust industries have been strengthened even further," the white paper said.

Trade and logistics, tourism, finance, and professional services and support services for industry and commerce continue to play an important role as Hong Kong's four pillar industries.

In 2012, these four sectors employed 47.2 percent of Hong Kong's total working population, and their added value accounted for 58 percent of Hong Kong's total GRP, figures from the white paper show.

"Hong Kong has maintained a sound business environment, and is generally recognized as one of the world's freest economies," the paper said.

For many years, it has ranked high in the World Bank's evaluation of business environments of 185 economies.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140610/hks-economy-records-34-pct-annual-growth-return