May 13-19, 2017

One Belt One Road

Financial super-connector 

Hong Kong is China’s international financial center and the world's China financial center, said Chief Executive C Y Leung at the Belt & Road Forum for International Co-operation in Beijing (May 14). Hong Kong is the top global fund-raising destination for IPOs and has proven records to assemble syndicate finance, to identify potential investors from the Mainland of China and the region; and to access a large number of Mainland investors through the Stock Connects with Shanghai and Shenzhen.  Financial connectivity lies at the heart of the Belt and Road, and Hong Kong will play a key role with its “super-connectivity”.

Legal strength given full play

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Conference (May 12), drew attention to the advantages of Hong Kong’s unique position as the leading common law jurisdiction in the region with a history of international respect for the strength of its legal system. The city can provide the necessary services for all parties globally in the areas of legal risk management, dispute resolution, and investment arbitration. 

 

Bond Connect

Imminent Bond Connect

The Bond Connect, a bond-trading link between Hong Kong and Mainland China, will be launched soon, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. It will mark an important milestone in the development of mutual capital market access between the two markets. It will also enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center and the leading global offshore renminbi business hub. To be implemented in phases, the Bond Connect will start with “northbound” trading, which allows institutional investors in Hong Kong to invest in China’s interbank bond market.  

 

Bilateral Trade

Free trade talk with Australia starts

At the official launch of the negotiations of the Hong Kong-Australia Free Trade Agreement (May 16),  Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So spoke on the close trade ties and the benefits brought by FTA i.e. more market opportunities, legal certainty and predictability for service suppliers in entering and operating in other party's market.

 

Innovation & Technology

Secretary speaks at world communications congress

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang delivered opening thoughts as host for the 19th edition of the Critical Communications World Congress (May 17), about global communications developments and challenges posed by a new cyber world order, and Hong Kong’s role as the most robust regional telecommunications network. He referenced a consultancy study marked for completion by 2017 that will blueprint Hong Kong’s strategy to be a leading smart city utilizing disruptive smart innovations for securely transmitting massive enhanced data flows over the internet and other distribution channels. He said security for public users is of quintessential importance and optimizing use of digital certificates offers promising solutions for vulnerabilities in local and global critical communications networks.

Support for technology start-ups

Speaking at the Entrepreneur Day of Hong Kong Baptist University (May 15), Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang congratulated the awardees and cited the successful innovation of  HKBU's Gait Force Imaging technology and the Lanthanide Toolbox. He said the Government’s Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities had backed 120 technology start-ups, thereby “turning their research and development deliverables into businesses”. He also mentioned the launch of the US$256 million Midstream Research Programme, which encourages academic and downstream research for new product development and commercialization. 

Tourism

Chief Executive opens Disney Explorers Lodge

At the opening ceremony of the Disney Explorers Lodge (May 16), Chief Executive Leung welcomed a crowd that included the Consul General of the United States Kurt Tong and key Disney executives, to the newest Hong Kong Disneyland resort attraction on Lantau Island. Leung praised the Lodge’s splendid design and details capturing cultural elements of Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa. This tourist destination with 750 rooms increases Hong Kong Disneyland’s capacity to 1,750 rooms and will offer visitors from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, all of China and international travelers alike, new attractions such as "Elsa and Anna", more Marvel superheroes, "Moana" and a magnificent castle. 

Hong Kong Basic Law

Economy

Jobless rate stays at 3.2%

Hong Kong remains in a state of full employment, with the latest unemployment rate standing at 3.2% for February – April 2017, same as that in January – March. The city’s underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.2%. The unemployment rates of many sectors were lower than their year-ago levels, attributed to improving economic conditions such as continued recovery of inbound tourism. The labor market is expected to remain tight in the near term.

Hong Kong Basic Law

20A Celebrations in NYC

“Inspirational Liaisons – Encore” at Carnegie Hall

A group of musicians from Hong Kong will perform at “Inspirational Liaisons – Encore” concert at Carnegie Hall (June 11), bringing with them a repertoire of works including “Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel”, “Ravel Sonata in G for violin and piano” and “Gershwin Three Preludes”. Ticketing details can be found here.

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: Do Hong Kong people still enjoy a wide range of personal freedoms?

A: Chapter III of the Basic Law guarantees a wide range of personal freedoms to be enjoyed by Hong Kong people. The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labor conventions as applied to Hong Kong continue to remain in force. The extensive personal freedoms of Hong Kong people is borne out by, for instance, the facts that demonstrations are a part of every-day life in Hong Kong, and that newspapers regularly comment on or criticize government decisions and policies and people say what they want in Hong Kong's open society. (BL Articles 27-39)     

Hong Kong Basic Law

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