Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions under the "one country, two systems" policy. As a result, Hong Kong is largely self-governing, has its own currency, legal and political systems, a high degree of autonomy in all areas except foreign affairs and defence. Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial capitals, a major business and cultural hub, and maintains a highly developed capitalist economy. Its identity as a cosmopolitan centre where east meets west is reflected in its cuisine, cinema, music and traditions, and although the population is predominantly Chinese, residents and expatriates of other ethnicities form a significant segment of society.
The Government of Hong Kong plays a passive role in the financial industry, mostly leaving the direction of the economy to market forces and the private sector. Under the official policy of positive non-interventionism, Hong Kong is often cited as an example of laissez-faire capitalism.
Hong Kong is the world's eleventh largest trading entity with the total value of imports and exports exceeding its gross domestic product. Much of Hong Kong's exports consist of re-exports, which are products made outside of the territory, especially in mainland China, and distributed via Hong Kong. Even before the 1997 handover, Hong Kong had established extensive trade and investment ties with mainland China, and its autonomous status now enables it to serve as a point of entry for investment flowing into the mainland. Hong Kong's largest export markets are mainland China, the United States, the European Union, ASEAN and Japan.