Trade, economic and cultural relations between the European Union and Hong Kong remained strong during the period covered by this annual report. The European Union remained Hong Kong's second-largest trading partner after mainland China, while Hong Kong was a major partner for the European Union as regards trade in goods and services and foreign investment flows. With more than 2,200 EU companies based in Hong Kong, the EU remains the largest foreign business constituency in the city. A variety of factors including the rule of law, the transparent regulatory framework, along with an efficient public administration and an independent judiciary, contributed to preserving a favourable investment climate in Hong Kong.
Since the handover of Macao to the People’s Republic of China in 1999, the European Union and its Member States have closely followed political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. The European Union adheres to its ‘one China’ policy and supports the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and its implementation.
Since Hong Kong's handover to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997, the European Union (EU) and its Member States have closely followed political and economic developments in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. In line with the commitment given to the European Parliament in 1997, an annual report is issued on developments in Hong Kong. This is the 21st report, covering developments in 2018. The EU adheres to its ‘one China’ policy and supports the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and its implementation.
The Council today adopted a set of conclusions concerning the implementation by the EU of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, which was established in 2015 and comprises a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given the horizontal nature of the 2030 Agenda, its implementation requires a cross-policy approach by the EU and its member states. Earlier this year, the Commission published a reflection paper "Towards an ever more sustainable Union by 2030," to which the conclusions are a response.