November 3 - 9, 2017

Business & Economy

Free trade and investment

Hong Kong embraces free trade and investment principles with the belief that more interaction among economies will only bring growth and economic benefits. Attending the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meeting in Vietnam (Nov 8), Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said Hong Kong supported high quality bilateral and regional trade agreements that promoted trade and investment. Hong Kong has just concluded negotiations on the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, and will continue to push for the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. 

US interest rate on a rising spiral

The appointment of Jerome Powell as Chairman of the US Federal Reserve may not dent the rising trend in the interest rate. Speaking to reporters, Financial Secretary Paul Chan also said a possible tax cut in the US, coupled with President Trump’s earlier pledge to increase infrastructure spending, would offer a positive outlook for the US economy and might affect interest rates. Hong Kong must be vigilant as its interest rate would inevitably go up under the linked exchange rate system, although the magnitude and timing would depend on various factors, he noted.

Wine customs clearance expanded

Wine re-exported from Hong Kong will enjoy instant clearance in all customs districts in Mainland China with immediate effect. Facilitation measures for wine entering the Mainland through Hong Kong have been extended from five designated ports (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) to all 42 customs districts on the Mainland. The expansion will support international wine traders in tapping the Mainland market through Hong Kong’s top-notch business and logistics infrastructure, and further strengthen Hong Kong’s unique position as Asia’s wine hub.

Arbitration

Well-placed as international dispute resolution center

Recent amendments to Hong Kong’s Arbitration and Mediation Ordinances will further enhance the city’s status as an international dispute resolution center. Speaking at a legal and business seminar in Kuala Lumpur (Nov 7), Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the changes would clarify that third-party funding for arbitration and mediation is not prohibited by the common law doctrines of maintenance and champerty. The amendments made to the Arbitration Ordinance would clarify that disputes over intellectual property (IP) rights can be resolved by arbitration and it would help save costs and time. It’s because parties can resolve efficiently in a single forum their IP rights disputes which may occur in multiple jurisdictions without having to fight parallel court proceedings in different jurisdictions.

Innovation & Technology

Smart city infrastructural investment

The imminent input of millions of infrastructural investment coupled with a smart city blueprint will put Hong Kong on course to become a smarter city. Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang said the infrastructural projects included an Electronic Identity for all Hong Kong residents that would provide a single digital identity and authentication platform for online government and commercial transactions. There will also be a multi-functional smart lampposts pilot to provide convenient data services and collect real time city management data. The government cloud structure will be revamped to ensure a more reliable and efficient delivery of e-government services. Each new infrastructure will mean more new opportunities for the information and communication technology industry.

Tourism

Most visited city in the world

Keeping the title for the eighth consecutive year, Hong Kong remains the world’s most visited city by international travelers due to its strategic location and ties with China, according to a study by London-based Euromonitor International. An estimated 26 million international visitors are expected in Hong Kong this year.

NYETO News

Video and photo contest winner

Lisa Chan, a Tai-chi coach, captured the exhilarating moments of the 27th Hong Kong Dragon Festival in New York in August by camera and video-cam and clinched the top prizes in both categories of the photo and video contest organized by Sing Tao Daily and the HKETONY. Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu congratulated the winners, especially those in the video segment, which was introduced for the first time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR.

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 the laws previously in force in Hong Kong been maintained?

A: The Basic Law provides that laws previously in force in Hong Kong, that is, the common law, rules of equity, ordinances, subordinate legislation and customary law, shall be maintained and adopted as laws of the HKSAR, except for any that contravenes the Basic Law, and subject to any amendment by the HKSAR legislature. (BL Articles 8; 18; 160)

 

Hong Kong Basic Law

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