Hong Kong Soars

A technology-led strategy has recast the city as an indispensable hub of global supply

Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty

The Hong Kong skyline

Seated in a nondescript office in Hong Kong, 1,500 workers are turning the wheels of the global economy. Without leaving their desks, these merchandisers at Hong Kong--based trading outfit Li & Fung connect the far-flung dots of today's international manufacturing system. They make sure that Victoria's Secret gets its bras, American Eagle Outfitters its T shirts and Disney its stuffed Winnie the Poohs. One moment, workers in Hong Kong are haggling with fabricmakers for the best price of denim, and the next, they're ensuring that a shipment of teddy bears gets to U.S. stores on time or searching for the right factories...

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