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The world has been gripping the edge of its seat watching the protests continuing in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has had a long and complex history with its relationship to China19th-century conflicts led to the colonization by Britain, removing the territory from Chinese control. Hong Kong was returned to China a century later, being allowed to control many of its own systems. The wildly different forms of government (Communist China as opposed to the limited democratic Hong Kong) have led to culturally and politically different regions. The 2019 protests have not been the first occasion where citizens of Hong Kong rallied against governmental decisions. In 2014, over 100,000 people protested Chinese intervention into their election process.

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It is well known that areas in Asia, specifically Hong Kong and Beijing, are reputable for their dangerous air pollution and constant smog. In response, Hong Kong has begun to implement restrictions for the transportation industry regarding fuel and emissions, while even offering up to 50% savings on port fees for those vessels switching to fuel that doesn’t contain sulfur. However, these incentives aren’t enough to make the switch for some large container-shipping vessels, because it is simply too expensive to switch from the dirtier oil. When transportation companies refuse to use clean fuel, it gives them a competitive advantage that energy-conscious companies won’t tolerate any longer.

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Parisian influence is growing in Asia as French citizens pour into Hong Kong looking for economic hotspots in luxury retail, commercial and residential real estate, and business services. Recently, World Economic Forum rated Hong Kong as the world’s most developed economy.  The country’s booming economy, coupled with Europe’s debt crisis, has significantly increased the rate at which French citizens are immigrating to Hong Kong.  Since 2006, the French community in Hong Kong has grown by more than 60%.  But Hong Kong is not the only country where Westerners are flocking; mainland China, Thailand, Singapore, and India have been expanding rapidly as their markets open up.

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Last month, Hong Kong was reported to be the world’s most developed financial market by the World Economic Forum, an independent international organization.  The responsive business environment and financial stability most industries found in this special administrative region of China, along with its efficiency, size of banking, and other financial services catapulted Hong Kong to the top, surpassing the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.  The rise of Hong Kong has been attributed to non-banking services, like IPOs and insurance, which offer long-term yields rather than the shortsighted investments that Western financial markets tend to favor.

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How do restaurants keep customers coming back and attracting new ones? All of us become critics when we try something new. From the outside look of the restaurant to the choice of napkins, every little detail factors into the way customers rate it. The atmosphere and decorations are some of the main essentials; however, the most important factor that makes a dining experience memorable is the skill of the chef.

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A recent Businessweek Ranking listed Hong Kong as No. 9 of the "World’s Gloomiest Countries" with respect to economic outlook, with exports, profitability margins, investments, turnovers, and selling margins all expected to fall in a negative manner. Despite the hard hits that Hong Kong and the other Asian markets have taken in the financial crisis, Hong Kong can and will bounce back.

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Imagine if you could use one simple swipe pass to pay for everything. No, I’m not talking about a credit card. Think of it more like a bus pass. Now integrate this pass into a whole infrastructure of travel. Behold Hong Kong’s octopus card! In Hong Kong, 90% of all traveling is done by mass transit: 7 million daily riders have access to an “octopus card,” used by 95% of Hong Kong’s population (16-65), which is accepted as currency not only for the various forms of mass transit but also at parking meters, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. Hong Kong is widely regarded as having the best blueprint of a successful mass transit system. Could this spread elsewhere?