The Role of the Nonprofit Sector in Hong Kong's Development

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The recent handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China (PRC) brought Hong Kong worldwide attention and scrutiny. In the run up to the handover, the international media prominently featured stories about Hong Kong's freewheeling capitalism and the stability created by its administrative institutions. Lost in the media attention was the role of nonprofit organizations and the voluntary sector in Hong Kong's political and economic development. Although Hong Kong has a vibrant civil society, it has received little attention from scholars. This paper reviews the role of the third sector in Hong Kong's development. Among the issues the paper addresses are the legal codes that govern the creation and operation of nonprofit organizations in Hong Kong, the evidence regarding the role of the nonprofit sector in Hong Kong's development, particularly its relationship to the government and market sectors, and the implications of the 1997 transition for the nonprofit sector's role.

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