January 21 - 27, 2020


New measures rolled out to tackle novel coronavirus

In an all-out effort to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city, the Hong Kong SAR Government has rolled out a range of measures after issuing the highest “emergency” response level (Jan 25). These include enhancing the mechanism and organization structure to tackle the disease, strengthening immigration control, minimizing risks of virus infection and spreading in local community, enhancing personal hygiene of the public, improving anti-epidemic facilities and services, and allocating sufficient resources for the measures.

Flight and high-speed train services between Hong Kong and Wuhan are suspended indefinitely. Effective Jan 27, and until further notice, Hong Kong will impose restrictions on all Hubei Province residents and people, except for Hong Kong residents, who visited the province in the past 14 days from entering the city.

Explaining that the Government has taken actions in a very systematic matter based on scientific evidence and advice from experts, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government will closely monitor the development of the situation and seek expert advice. “We will not hesitate to introduce more measures when necessary to protect the health of the citizens. I appeal to the public to work together with the HKSAR Government in fighting the disease," she said.

Relevant information and health advice on the emergence of the respiratory illness outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus can be found on a dedicated webpage.


Chief Executive concludes visit to Davos

Concluding her three-day visit in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she was deeply encouraged to note that all the people she met had a very positive attitude towards Hong Kong and were pleased to continue to enhance their connections with the city in all relevant aspects. While in Davos, Mrs Lam spoke at various WEF events and activities, as well as bilateral meetings with more than 10 political and business leaders and senior members of the media, in which she gave updates on Hong Kong’s situation.

At the Hong Kong Night (Jan 23) event, Mrs Lam led the TeamHK delegation to promote the city’s strengths and advantages to about 200 global political, business and media leaders. During a Q&A session, Mrs Lam stressed that the Hong Kong SAR Government will safeguard Hong Kong’s fundamentals, including the rule of law, adding that she is fully confident of the city’s future. The event also included three panel discussions, with topics covering the global capital market, trade and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, during which relevant experts shared their insights on Hong Kong’s future development opportunities.

Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed

Hong Kong and Mexico signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) in Davos, Switzerland (Jan 23) to strengthen mutual investment protection. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said the agreement allows investors of the two parties to enjoy corresponding protection of their investments in the host economies, and thus enhance investors’ confidence in making investments abroad. The IPPA with Mexico is the fourth such agreement that this term of the Hong Kong SAR Government has signed since taking office in July 2017.

Second best year for Exchange Fund

The Exchange Fund recorded its second highest-ever investment income of HK$247.2 billion (US$31.6 billion) last year, with an investment return of 6.2%, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Chief Executive of HKMA Eddie Yue said despite the slowdown of global economic growth and US-China trade tensions last year, accommodative monetary policies by major central banks lent support to the equity and bond markets.

Record number of firms invest in Hong Kong

Invest Hong Kong assisted 487 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong last year, up 11.7% year-on-year, setting a new record.The number of fintech companies and start-ups saw the strongest growth. The total number of jobs thereby created (6,009) rose by 14.1% year-on-year. "2019 was another record year for InvestHK in terms of the number of companies assisted and the number of jobs created by those companies. Hong Kong continues to attract overseas and Mainland investors because of its core advantages and emerging business opportunities, especially in the light of the latest developments in the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative," said InvestHK's Director-General of Investment Promotion Stephen Phillips.


Ushering in the Year of the Rat in Atlanta

Over 200 guests from the political, business, academic and cultural sectors in Atlanta joined Hong Kong Commissioner to the US Eddie Mak and Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu to welcome the Year of the Rat at a reception (Jan 23). Commissioner Mak gave an update on the latest developments in Hong Kong and highlighted the broad ties between Hong Kong and the US. Ms Chu reaffirmed the office's commitment to foster closer economic and cultural ties with academics, arts and culture, business and government in the US to promote a better understanding of Hong Kong.

Two Hong Kong arts activators start art residency at Yale

Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu welcomed Hong Kong cross-disciplinary artist-curator Chi-yung Wong and filmmaker Jeremy Hung to New Haven to start their six-month residency program at Yale University under the Hong Kong Arts Activators Fellowship program of the HKETONY. Speaking at a welcome reception (Jan 21), Ms Chu said this is the second consecutive year of HKETONY's partnership with the Yale-China Association in the arts activators program. Previously, from 2015 to 2017, HKETONY had also partnered with the Association to provide another fellowship program for Hong Kong artists. Hong Kong-based academic, curator and art critic Hong Zeng is also in New Haven as an arts fellow.

HKETONY Director calls on Mayor of New Haven

Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu called on Mayor Justin Elicker of New Haven, Connecticut, (Jan 21) where she provided the recent developments in Hong Kong and on the mission and work of the HKETOs in the US. Noting the close tie between Hong Kong and New Haven, Ms Chu hopes to see more collaboration and partnership between the two cities.


Greater travel convenience for HKSAR passport holders

Kenya will grant entry visas upon arrival to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders and stay in the country for up to three months, according to the Immigration Department (Jan 22). HKSAR passport holders may also apply for an online e-visa for Kenya. Noting that Kenya is along the Belt & Road, the department said under the Belt & Road Initiative, the visa-on-arrival arrangement would bring greater travel convenience to HKSAR passport holders visiting Kenya and strengthen the tourism, cultural and economic ties between the two places. This arrangement brings to 168 the number of countries and territories that grant visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders.


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)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

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