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HONG KONG: SPECIAL REPORT

Metropolis on the Move

June 15, 1997

Urban update

Hong Kong ranks 32nd on a list of the world's most populous cities. Known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, Hong Kong has more cellular telephones and Rolls-Royces per capita than anywhere else in the world. Other average comparisons, in U.S. dollars, with major urban centers:

*

Hong Kong

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $7.80

Local telephone call: 13 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $474

Big Mac: $1.28

Coca-Cola*: $2.50

Movie ticket: $7.15

*

Tokyo

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $200

Local telephone call: 80 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $440

Big Mac: $2.70

Coca-Cola*: $6

Movie ticket: $19.05

*

Moscow

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $50-$100

Local telephone call: 26 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $392

Big Mac: $1.93

Coca-Cola*: 61 cents

Movie ticket: $1.73-$10.40

*

Paris

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $40

Local telephone call: 40 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $377

Big Mac: $3.41

Coca-Cola*: $3.50

Movie ticket: $9.75

*

New York

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $35

Local telephone call: 25 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $305

Big Mac: $2.79

Coca-Cola*: 95 cents

Movie ticket: $7.50-$8

*

Los Angeles

Taxi ride from airport to city center: $30

Local telephone call: 20 cents

Daily cost for a business traveler: $189

Big Mac: $1.99

Coca-Cola*: $1.25

Movie ticket: $7.50-$8

* Single serving, on average.

Sources: City Net Travel, Frommer's Travel Guides, Macmillan Publishing ,Runzheimer International, Weather Data Inc., Times staff reports.

Offically engaged

While China and Britain haggle over Hong Kong's political future, the forces of supply and demand have already pushed the two regions into a complex marriage in which people, products and money flow across the border with little regard for national boundaries.

*

67%: Percentage of Chinese Hong Kong residents born on mainland.

53,400: Number of mainland Chinese allowed to emigrate to Hong Kong annually.

2,311,196: Visits by mainland Chinese to Hong Kong, 1996.

28,792,061: Visits from Hong Kong to China, 1996.

*

Daily border crossings

Boat: 800

Air: 72

Rail: 20

Automobile: 26,000

* Hong Kong is mainland China's third-largest trading partner.

* The mainland is Hong Kong's No.1 trading partner.

$234 billion: Hong Kong investment in China.

$50 billion: Chinese investment in Hong Kong

Sources: "The Hong Kong Advantage," by Michael Enright, Edith Scott and David Dodwell; Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office; Hong Kong Tourist Assn.; Hong Kong Government Information Services; Hong Kong Government Trade Department.

Compiled by JENNIFER OLDHAM and EVELYN IRTANI / Los Angeles Times

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