September 21 - 27, 2017

Ranking

Great leap in global competitiveness

Hong Kong climbed three places to reach sixth in the latest index measuring global competitiveness, moving ahead of Sweden (7), the UK (8), and Japan (9). It scored the largest leap among the top 10 economies this year, with a record high of 5.53 (out of 7) since the inaugural Global Competitiveness Report was launched by the World Economic Forum in 2005. The WEF valued the city’s physical infrastructure, and its healthy level of competition and openness which ensure extremely efficient markets. The index is based on numerous factors deemed relevant to driving productivity and competitiveness, including judicial independence. Hong Kong ranks 1st in Asia and 13th globally for judicial independence.  The report said Hong Kong’s most significant improvement is seen across the business sophistication (11) and innovation (26) pillars.

News 

Judicial independence here to stay

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam reiterates that Hong Kong’s core values, including the rule of law and judiciary independence guaranteed by the Basic Law have continued to underpin its success and future growth. Addressing a business dinner on her first visit in London (Sep 20) since assumption of office, Mrs Lam countered the recent criticisms and skepticism cast on the judgments by some quarters in the political and media sectors in the UK. She said such criticisms were unfair and disrespectful.

Business & Finance

S&P’s credit rating

On Standard & Poor's move to adjust downwards Hong Kong’s credit rating following downgrading of the credit rating of Mainland China, citing the “very strong institutional and political links” it had with the Mainland, Financial Secretary (FS) Paul Chan disagreed with the agency reasoning. While there are signs of moderation in China’s credit growth, Hong Kong has built up robust markets and strong regulations over the years to safeguard against any spillover risk from Mainland China, said FS. He added that the city’s fiscal and financial strength continued to be underpinned by sound and robust fundamentals, like strong economic growth prospects, sizeable fiscal reserves, strong external position and credibility in monetary policy, which have been acknowledged by S&P.

Forbes celebrates 100th anniversary

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Joseph Tsai, Chairman of GEOX Group Mario Moretti Polegato, and CEO and Chief Designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide Kathy Ireland were among the distinguished line-up of speakers who gathered in Hong Kong for the 17th annual Forbes Global CEO Conference (Sep 26-27). The conference also marked the centenary anniversary of the magazine’s September 1917 issue. Chief Executive Carrie Lam congratulated Forbes on its centennial celebration, noting that the media group has been a champion for free enterprise.

Innovation & Technology

MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node

The first of its kind overseas, the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node will provide collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for the MIT and Hong Kong communities as well as resources, including advanced manufacturing capabilities, in the neighboring Pearl River Delta. At the opening (Sep 25), Chief  Executive Carrie Lam said she looked forward to more synergistic collaboration between MIT and local universities in bringing more commercial success from R&D projects. The 5,000-square-foot facility includes cutting-edge prototyping equipment, a makerspace and multipurpose areas that can be used for lectures, classes and working spaces.

Awards

Shaw Prize presented to five laureates

Three US-based scientists -  Dr Ian R Gibbons of University of California Berkeley, Prof Ronald D Vale of University of California San Francisco, and Prof János Kollár of Princeton University, are among five leading minds who have received The Shaw Prize. Dr Gibbons and Prof Vale shared the Prize in Life Science and Medicine while Prof Kollár shared the Prize in Mathematical Sciences with Prof Claire Voisin of College de France. The Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded to Simon D M White, Director of Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany. Established by movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw in 2002, the Shaw Prize honors individuals who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or applications and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind. Chief Executive Carrie Lam presented the awards at a ceremony in Hong Kong on Sep 26.

Arts & Culture

Hauser & Wirth to open first outpost in Asia

Leading global art gallery Hauser & Wirth will open a gallery in Hong Kong in spring 2018, establishing a presence in Asia for the first time. The 10,000 square-foot gallery will occupy the 15th and 16th floors of the new H Queen’s development in Central. Hauser & Wirth currently has gallery space in Zurich, London, Somerset, New York, Los Angeles and Gstaad.

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: What is the role of the People's Liberation Army in Hong Kong under the Basic Law ?

A: The maintenance of public order in the HKSAR is the responsibility of the HKSAR Government. The People's Liberation Army stationed in the HKSAR is responsible for the defence of the HKSAR and does not interfere in the local affairs of the HKSAR. In addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the HKSAR. Expenditure for maintaining these military forces is borne by the CPG. (BL Article 14)

Hong Kong Basic Law

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