August 10 - 16, 2017

Economy

Economy exceeds expectations

The Hong Kong economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter of 2017, expanding by 3.8% in real terms over the previous year. Exports of goods and private consumption expenditures both grew briskly, while the jobless rate fell to its lowest level in more than three years. Taking into account the positive developments, the government raised its real GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 3-4%, up from the previous projection of 2-3%.

News

Police arrest and investigation

Hong Kong police have arrested Howard Lam on Aug 15 for giving officers false information, and the investigation is underway. The latter claimed earlier in a press conference (Aug 11) that he had been abducted and tortured by mainland agents. An independent news agency – FactWire – published the result of an investigative report that it conducted over the weekend revealing contradictions with Lam’s version, supported by CCTV footage.    

Tourism

Deal signed on tourism cooperation

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau signed an agreement to enhance tourism cooperation between the Mainland and Hong Kong in Beijing (Aug 9). The agreement aims to strengthen collaboration in cruise tourism and tourism regulation in order to attract more visitors to Hong Kong and to other cities in China.

Education

Students win scholarships for world's top universities

Chief Executive Carrie Lam officiated at an award ceremony (Aug 15) honoring the students selected as part of the 3rd annual Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. A total of 78 students won scholarships totaling up to US$32,051 per year to support their study at some of the world’s top universities, including the Ivy League schools in the US and in the UK. Mrs. Lam, noting the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” said, “We not only celebrate the achievements of the scholars and wish them well on the next step of their journey, we also celebrate the success of our ‘village,’ our community that continues to nurture highly capable future generations.”

Innovation & Technology

Researchers show promise of liquid biopsies

A team of Hong Kong scientists has uncovered the first major evidence that cheap and quick blood tests, known as liquid biopsies, hold promise for screening people for cancer, in this case for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. According to their study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dennis Lo of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said the work was “very exciting” because it could potentially provide a blueprint on  how to detect many other types of cancers.

Arts & Culture

Representative list of Hong Kong's intangible heritage announced

Hong Kong released its first-ever Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Hong Kong (Aug 14), including some of the territory’s most storied traditions, which will receive priority for preservation resources. The list named some well-known institutions, such as Cantonese opera and the method of sewing the traditional costumes known as cheongsam and Kwan Kwa, as well as local customs like the fire dragon dance performed in the village of Pok Fu Lam every year on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

HKETONY News

Dragon boats roar to life

The 27th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York was held last weekend (Aug 12 and 13), featuring two new boats and a special race dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. HKETONY Director Joanne Chu, along with other dignitaries, officiated at an eye-dotting to initiate the festivities, which saw more than 2,500 paddlers battling it out in nearly 100 races over the weekend. Meanwhile, on land, visitors to the HKETONY booth proved their knowledge of Hong Kong playing a trivia game, flexed their arms  at bean bag toss, and earned souvenirs celebrating the Hong Kong SAR’s 20th anniversary, such as tote bags, Frisbees, and more.

NYSE bell rung to herald Dragon Boat Festival

Joining other executives and sponsors, director Joanne Chu rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (Aug 10) to usher in the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York. Executives and sponsors of the festival later descended on the storied NYSE trading floor, bringing a piece of Hong Kong culture to the heart of America’s financial sector. Video of the bell ringing is here, thanks to the NYSE.

Asian Youth Orchestra's US tour comes to an end

The 100-plus strong, Hong Kong-based Asian Youth Orchestra performed in New York (Aug 13) to a standing ovation, which was a fitting note to the end of its cross-country tour. Earlier in the week, they performed in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina. At the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on Long Island, NY, director Joanne Chu congratulated the AYO’s chairman, Jim Thompson, and conductor, Richard Pontzious (who is also the orchestra’s founder and artistic director), on the tour’s success.

Bidding adieu to summer interns

Six summer interns from Hong Kong and the US are wrapping up their summer internships in the office, after two months helping out in various publicity and administrative tasks primarily related to the celebration of the 20th anniversary (of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR). The interns tried their hand at drafting FB posts, remarks and research reports, and were heavily involved in organizing various publicity events such as the 20A Gala Dinner, the New York Asian Film Festival and the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York. Director Joanne Chu thanked them for their hard work and wished them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Basic Law

Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems.”

Q: Has the HKSAR Government maintained complete control over fiscal and economic policies and safeguarded the free movement of goods, assets and capital?

A:  The HKSAR Government formulates its own economic policies; manages its finances independently; prepares its own budgets; issues its own freely convertible currency; practices an independent taxation system; keeps its low and simple tax regime; formulates its own monetary and financial policies; safeguards the free flow of capital; maintains the status of a free port; pursues a policy of free trade and protects the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 62; 106-119)

Hong Kong Basic Law

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