July 20 - 26, 2017

HKETONY News

Editor's Note:

Steve Barclay, Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, will leave his post this Friday, July 28, and go on to a restful retirement in Hong Kong. Here are some thoughts that he would like to share:

Farewell, my friends

After more than 38 years, my Hong Kong public service ends on July 28, 2017. I am experiencing a wide range of emotions: surprise that I have survived so long, delight that I am going to enjoy my pension, sadness at leaving New York and so many wonderful friends in the United States, and excitement about the adventures that are yet to come. I have been reflecting over the last few days about the way that my life and career have turned out.

I joined Hong Kong’s colonial government in 1979 … [more]

Outgoing Director’s parting words

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay recounted some of the proudest accomplishments of his three-year stint in New York in the final media session (July 26) before his upcoming retirement. As the pioneer of the office’s first Facebook page and the driving force behind a sports exchange for Hong Kong rugby teams in New York, he expressed his hope that the office would continue to build on his efforts to reach out to a new generation of young Americans in the coming years.

HKETONY’s new Director

Ms. Joanne Chu, who also met with New York media at the July 26 session, will officially take up the post of Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York on July 31. Before coming to New York, Ms. Chu was Administrative Assistant, or chief of staff, to Hong Kong’s Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs from 2013 to 2017.  She also worked in the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels from 2008 to 2012, and has served in various policy bureaus and departments. She joined the Hong Kong Government in 2001.

John Slosar in New York

John Slosar, Co-Chairman of Hong Kong-US Business Council and Chairman, John Swire & Sons (HK) will be speaking at a by-invitation luncheon on August 2. The event is organized by the Hong Kong Association of New York and Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and supported by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.  For details, please email: contact@hkany.org

Transportation

Hong Kong government announces plans for high-speed rail station

The Hong Kong SAR government announced its plan (July 25) for the immigration and customs facilities to be located at the Hong Kong terminus of the new high-speed rail line (XRL). The plan, known as a co-location arrangement, was initiated by the Hong Kong government and is based on the model of an existing customs facility on the border between Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen. Under the proposal, XRL passengers will be able to reach any city in Mainland China on the national high-speed rail network without having to undergo clearance procedures again on the Mainland. It is envisioned that the XRL will enable Hong Kong to continue to be the regional transportation hub in the next decade.

Economy

Optimism on growth

Hong Kong’s economic outlook is better than previously estimated, according to Financial Secretary Paul Chan in a radio interview (July 22).  He hinted possible upward adjustment of the city’s economic forecast for this year after reviewing the figures next month. Economic growth in the first quarter was about 4.3 percent, exceeding the earlier forecast of two to three percent. Hong Kong’s labor market, meanwhile, is at full employment, with an unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent.

Education

Hong Kong students excel at maths and physics Olympiads

Hong Kong team of secondary school students won big at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (July 16-23), returning home with one gold, one silver, three bronze medals and one honorable mention. Hong Kong students performed with similar distinction at the International Physics Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 16-24), earning two gold, one silver medal and two bronze medals. Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung congratulated the students and said the government would continue to support talented students in maths and science.

Arts & Culture

Dragons awaken in Times Square

A dragon boat awakening ceremony was held in Times Square (July 20), ahead of August’s Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York, the largest such event in the city and probably in the US. HKETONY Director Steve Barclay officiated at the brief but colorful ceremony, which was followed by an eclectic demonstration by the Shaolin masters and students of the New York Shaolin Temple. The HKETONY is the major benefactor of the multicultural dragon boat festival, having initiated it back in 1991.

Manhattan International Young Artists Music Festival

A gala concert was held at New York’s Carnegie Hall (July 21) to showcase the winners of the Manhattan International Young Artists Music Festival’s music competition, which was held in Hong Kong in February. HKETONY director Steve Barclay and director-designate Joanne Chu were on hand to congratulate the performers on their big-stage debuts and to wish them every success in their pursuit of music.

AYO on tour in US this August

The Hong-Kong based Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) is set to come to the US in August as part of their summer world tour, which will feature 22 concerts in 20 cities and nine countries. The 109-strong orchestra will perform in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., before being joined by prominent violinist Sarah Chang for concerts at Brevard College in North Carolina (tickets here) and the Tilles Center for Performing Arts on Long Island (tickets here), on August 11 and 13, respectively.

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: Have Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life been preserved?

A: The Basic Law provides that the capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged. Hong Kong maintains a free and open market economy with a free flow of capital, goods, intangible assets, and a freely convertible currency. People's lifestyle remains the same as before. (BL Articles 5; 112; 115)

Hong Kong Basic Law

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