Australia has extensive and enduring interests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Australian Government supports Hong Kong's "high degree of autonomy" under Chinese sovereignty as provided for by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and in accordance with China's policy of observing "one country, two systems".
Australia's policy toward Hong Kong is underpinned by its substantial commercial interests, and by the presence of a large Australian community living in Hong Kong. Australia's commercial interests in Hong Kong are extensive and range from banking, accounting, legal, engineering, information technology services and retail and general trading. Some 90,000 Australians are resident in Hong Kong, while around 550 Australian companies are based here, and a further 1,000 Australian companies have representative offices.
According to the 2009 Census in Australia, around 88,500 people of Hong Kong origin now live in Australia. Australia is one of the major English-speaking study destinations for students from Hong Kong.
Australia and Hong Kong enjoy a strong relationship built on mutual cooperation and people to people links. High level visits from Australia include: former Foreign Minister Sen. Bob Carr in July 2013; former Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Mr Kelvin Thomson in April 2013; then Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, in January 2013, July 2012 and August 2011; and Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, in May 2011.
Since 2011, several senior state government officials have visited including the premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
High-level visits to Australia from Hong Kong include former Chief Executive Donald Tsang (retired on 30 June 2012) in June 2011. Other high-level visits include the Chief Secretary for Administration, Secretaries for Transport and Housing, Food and Health, Financial Services and the Treasury.
The Australian Consulate-General represents the Australian Government in Hong Kong. In Australia, the Hong Kong SAR is represented through the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office based in Sydney.