December 8 - 14, 2017

Business/ Finance /Economy

Hong Kong‘s free trade embrace reaffirmed at WTO

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, has reaffirmed Hong Kong’s commitment to free trade at the 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina Dec 12 and 13). Mr Yau was the leader of the Hong Kong delegation and a Vice Chair of the Conference. The biennial meeting is a chance for ministers from WTO member territories to review and reaffirm the current work and objectives of the WTO. Since joining WTO in 1995, Hong Kong has been a separate and full member with its own customs and trade agreements under the “One Country Two Systems” framework.

Canada celebrates 150th birthday at Ocean Park

Hong Kong’s gateway location, as well as its rule of law, judicial independence and the open market economy have made it an ideal gateway for companies to expand or establish business in the city, said Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung at the 150th birthday celebration of Canada in Ocean Park (Dec 9). The city is home to more than 100 Canadian companies who have set up their regional headquarters, regional offices or local offices. Canada was Hong Kong’s third largest trading partner in terms of trade in goods in Americas in 2016. Reciprocally, Hong Kong was one of Canada’s important export markets in Asia, in particular for frozen beef, fish and seafood.

Education

American professor awarded inaugural Yidan Prize

Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck was one of two special Yidan Prize honorees(Dec 10). Held for the first time this year, Yidan is the largest of its kind in the world honoring achievements in education research and is named after tech entrepreneur Charles Chen Yidan. The honoree will receive US$4 million for further research. The other honoree was Vicky Colbert of Fundación Escuela Nueva in Colombia. Yidan is the third prestigious international award based out of Hong Kong, after the Shaw Prize, and the Lui Che Woo Prize.

PolyU 80th anniversary celebration

From a humble beginning as a trade school, Hong Kong Polytechnic University has made great strides in the last 80 years, becoming one of the world’s leading universities. Congratulating PolyU on its achievements at its 80th Anniversary Dinner (Dec 7), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the PolyU had excelled in professional education, applied research and community partnership. The university is among the top 20 in Asia according to the Times Higher Education University Rankings. President of PolyU Professor Timothy Tong, a US trained engineer, will be stepping down next year after leading the university for a glorious and fruitful decade.

Students win big at Science Olympiad

Hong Kong scored big at the International Junior Science Olympiad 2017 in Nijmegen, Netherlands (Dec 4-11) with a delegation of 6 students winning 3 gold and 3 silver medals. The IJSO science competition tests knowledge and analytical skills of secondary school students aged 15 and below in physics, chemistry and biology, from 48 countries.

Innovation & Technology

Hong Kong scoops technology awards

Hong Kong has won a total of 9 awards at the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance (APICTA) Awards, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh (Dec 7-10). Dubbed the Oscars of the ICT world in the Asia Pacific, the APICTA awards included competitors from 16 countries this year. The Hong Kong delegation comprised 32 ICT professionals as well as students, and was organized by the Hong Kong computer Society and led by Government CIO Allen Yeung.

HKETONY News

Journalists telling stories, from their own experience

US journalists gathered in midtown Manhattan to hear some of their peers’ exciting stories whilst covering news as foreign correspondents in Hong Kong in the second half of the last century (Dec 12). Prolific writer Richard Bernstein travelled to Hong Kong for Time Magazine in 1975 to cover China from the former British colony. With Sino-US diplomatic relations beginning to take shape, the journalist from New York opened the magazine's Beijing bureau in 1980, making him the first Time correspondent in China.

Former Hong Kong Standard journalist Yvonne Dunleavy and award-winning author/journalist Bill Holstein recounted their respective personal experiences covering protests in front of Government House during the tense standoff between pro-Communist forces and the colonial government, and the hair-raising experience of landing at Kai Tak Airport in a typhoon.

Former Forbes journalist Andrew Tanzer took pride in interviewing many of the business movers and shakers, including notoriously media-shy Hong Kong businessman Robert Kuok. His 1997 interview with the Malaysian-Chinese tycoon made the cover of the financial magazine. He is the co-author of the recently published memoir of Mr Kuok, dubbed the sugar king, which has sold out in its first print run.

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: Is Hong Kong still a free port and a separate customs territory?

A: Ships of all nations regularly call into Hong Kong which is virtually a duty-free port. The HKSAR, using the name "Hong Kong, China", is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. Hong Kong remains a separate customs territory, and the boundary between the Mainland and the HKSAR is clearly delineated and properly managed. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)

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