Facts and Figures

NORWAY

Population: 4,985,900 (As of 1.1.2012)

GDP per capita: NOK547,268 (2011)

Capital and major cities: Oslo – capital – (613,285), Bergen (263,762), Trondheim (176,348) and Stavanger (127,506)

Language: Norwegian – very similar to Swedish and Danish. English is widely spoken.

Total land area: 385,199 km2 (148,726 sq. miles) – about the size of the British Isles

Neighbouring countries: Sweden, Finland and Russia

Geography: Mountains cover roughly 60 % of all land area, productive forests cover 20 % and cultivated land cover some 5 %

Government: Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. King Harald V is head of state.

Legislature: The “Storting” has 165 representatives who are elected for a four-year period during which the Storting cannot be dissolved or a new election be held.

Time zone: +1 GMT

National day: 17 May

Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

Country code for telecommunications: 47

Government internet web site: http://www.regjeringen.no

 

HONG KONG 

Population: 7,103,700 (2011)

GDP per capita: HK$257,810 (2011)

Language: Chinese and English are official languages. Cantonese is the most widely spoken dialect and English is widely spoken in commercial circles. Written language uses full form characters (Traditional Chinese).

Total land area: 1,104 km2

Government: Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on 1 July 1997 and is governed according to the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” which was laid down in the “Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong” in 1984. In 1990 the “Basic Law”, Hong Kong’s constitutional document, was adopted, with the following main principles: Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy and enjoys executive, legislative and independent judicial power, Hong Kong people shall rule Hong Kong and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged until 2047. The current laws in force shall be maintained and the Central People’s Government is only responsible for defence and foreign affairs. Hong Kong people enjoy inter alia freedom of speech, the press, publication, association, demonstration and strike. A Chief Executive who is advised by an appointed Executive Council leads the Hong Kong SAR. The Legislature is partly directly elected, partly indirectly elected and partly nominated.

Entry requirements: Norwegian citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 3 months, but employment and study are prohibited. In order to take up employment in Hong Kong an employment visa or an investment visa is required. Visa applications may be submitted at the Chinese Embassy in Oslo or by mail directly to the Immigration Department in Hong Kong or through a sponsor in Hong Kong. The processing time is normally 4-6 weeks. A Travel Pass Pilot Scheme has been introduced to facilitate entry for frequent travellers. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 may accompany the visa holder and they are free to take up employment or education in Hong Kong. One is normally not allowed to obtain an employment visa while staying in Hong Kong as a visitor. Anyone staying in Hong Kong for more than 3 months must have a Hong Kong identity card.

Time zone: +7 GMT

National day: 1 October

Currency: Hong Kong dollar (HKD), linked to the US dollar at a ratio of 1 USD = HKD 7.8

Country code for telecommunications: 852

Government internet web site: http://www.info.gov.hk

 

MAINLAND CHINA

Population: 1,345,750,000 (2011 estimate)

GDP per capita: US$5,184 (2011 estimate)

Capital: Beijing

Language: Chinese (Putonghua). Written language uses simplified characters.

Total land area: 9.6 million km2 (3.1 million sq. miles).

Time zone: +7 GMT

National day: 1 October

Currency: Renminbi/Yuan (RMB) 

Country code for telecommunications: 86

Government internet web site: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/

 

TAIWAN

Population: 23,188,078 (July 2011)

GDP per capita: US$18,603 (2010)

Capital: Taipei

Language: Chinese (Mandarin). Written language uses full form characters (Traditional Chinese). English is widely spoken in commercial circles.

Total land area: 36,000 km2 (11,500 sq. miles).

Geography: Taiwan is an island dominated by mountains covering 60 % of the area. Mainly the western coastal areas are inhabited.

Time zone: +8 GMT

National day: 10 October

Currency: New Taiwan dollar (NTD)

Country code for telecommunications: 886 

Government internet web site: http://www.gio.gov.tw

 

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