October 27 - November 2, 2017

FinTech

Hong Kong emerges as Asian leader in FinTech

FinTech experts from over 50 countries, including entrepreneurs, regulators, venture capitalists and service providers, have gathered in Hong Kong to keep themselves abreast of the latest development of blockchain, AI and cyber security etc at the second annual Fintech Week (Oct 23-27). Led by InvestHK with more than 4,000 attendees, the event featured presentations, panel sessions and workshops, showcasing Hong Kong as a FinTech leader in Asia. Last year, the city saw a total of 138 FinTech companies starting up, representing a y-o-y increase of 60%.

 

Rankings

Ranked among top 5 places to do business

Hong Kong has been ranked fifth in the world’s easiest places to do business, reaffirming the government’s efforts in business facilitation. In its “Doing Business 2018 Report”, the World Bank commended Hong Kong for successfully implementing reform measures, including improving the quality of the land administration system by enhancing its reliability and establishing a complaints mechanism. The report compares the ease of doing business in 190 economies across 10 indicators. Hong Kong performed well in “starting a business” (3rd), “paying taxes” (3rd), “getting electricity” (4th) and “dealing with construction permits” (5th).

Top city for sustainable transport

Hong Kong leads the world for sustainable transport, according to the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index. The research examined 100 major cities across 23 different indicators, each reflecting a component of urban mobility, from infrastructure spending to affordable public transport. The report recognized Hong Kong for its innovative and well-connected metro network and a high share of trips taken by public transport.

Finance

Aviation financing taking off

As a global financial center and international aviation hub, Hong Kong is well-positioned to develop aviation financing business. Speaking at the inauguration of the Hong Kong Aircraft Leasing and Aviation Finance Association (Nov 1), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government had provided policy and tax incentives for the aircraft leasing and financing sector to increase competitiveness. The profits tax rate was cut by half to 8.25% for qualifying profits of eligible aircraft lessors and aircraft leasing managers. Only 20 per cent of the rentals derived from qualifying aircraft leasing activities will be chargeable to profits tax after deducting allowable expenses.  As a result, the effective tax rate for aircraft leasing activities will be down to about 4 per cent. Moreover, the withholding tax rate between Hong Kong and the Mainland has been lowered to 5 per cent, making the city probably the lowest among aircraft leasing hubs.

Heritage/Conservation

Hong Kong wins UNESCO’s highest conservation award

Hong Kong has won the highest conservation award from UNESCO for the first time. The three 20th-century shophouse Blue House Cluster in Wan Chai clinched the Award of Excellence in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The award recognizes the city’s heritage conservation work and its adaptive reuse of government-owned historic buildings. The jury applauded the revitalization efforts and an inclusive approach to urban conservation.

Innovation & Technology

Sophia adds citizenship to her resume

Having graced the cover of a fashion magazine, attended numerous conferences and appeared on TV such as Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, Sophia, the humanoid robot has been granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Created by Dr David Hanson in the Cyberport of Hong Kong, Sophia can make more than 62 facial expressions. Dr Hanson moved to Hong Kong in 2014 to tap into the city’s growing tech scene.

Creative industries

Head of Create Hong Kong appointed

Victor Tsang has been appointed the Head of Create Hong Kong, effective Nov 1. The government agency aims to help further develop Hong Kong’s creative industries, including film, digital entertainment (games, animation and comics),  arts, and design. Mr Tsang has had more than 30-year experience in the creative sector, including working as the Executive Director of the PMQ, which provides a platform to nurture and showcase Hong Kong designers and brands. 

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 there been any interference in the independence of the Judiciary?

A: No. Hong Kong’s robust and respected court system exercises judicial power independently, free from any interference. The power of final adjudication is vested in the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which may as required invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal. The principle of trial by jury previously practiced in Hong Kong is maintained. (BL Articles 2; 19; 81; 82; 85; 86)

 

Hong Kong Basic Law

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