June 16 - 22, 2020
National security law fully supported
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said (Jun 20) the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government fully supports the legislative work for safeguarding national security in the city. She said that it is the constitutional responsibility of the HKSAR to safeguard national security . Taking into consideration the practical situation in Hong Kong, the enactment at the state level of legislation to safeguard national security in the HKSAR is a significant initiative by the central authorities at a critical moment to enhance the "one country, two systems" institutional system, ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.
Government responds to US recommendation
As a telecommunications hub in the region, Hong Kong attaches great importance to the security and integrity of its telecommunications networks , said a spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau. He expressed disagreement and disappointment with the US Department of Justice’s decision to deny the Pacific Light Cable Network connecting to Hong Kong. “The recommendation by the committee not only hinders the telecommunications development between Hong Kong and the US, it also harms the interests of US investors and entities, and disregards the win-win situation between Hong Kong and the US as brought by investments in communications infrastructure,” he said, adding that the concerns raised are also ungrounded.
Hong Kong ranks fifth in competitiveness
Hong Kong ranks fifth globally in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020 published by the International Institute for Management Development. Among the various factors, Hong Kong remained the first globally in “Business legislation”, and jumped to first in indicators “Legal and regulatory framework” and “Exchange rate stability”, all reaffirming Hong Kong’s institutional strengths.
World’s busiest cargo airport for 10th consecutive year
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) remains the world’s busiest cargo airport for the 10 th  consecutive year in 2019, handling 4.8 million metric tons of cargo, according to Airports Council International. Memphis Airport in the US came in second, handling 4.3 million metric tons of cargo. The success of HKIA was attributed to the airport’s extensive connectivity, high operational standards and successful cooperation with business partners.
HKEX launches university scholarship program
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) launches its first university scholarship program as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. The program will develop home-grown talent in the fields of business, finance, biotech, and innovation in Hong Kong. HKEX Chairman Laura M Cha said the program will support the best and brightest talent in Hong Kong and also contribute to the city’s continuing role as a leading global international financial center. She added that the scholarship program reflects HKEX's commitment to cultivate the local ecosystem for new economy and biotech investments.
Hong Kong: An ideal place for biomedical development in Asia
With the rapid growing biomedical industry, Hong Kong, as a gateway to the Mainland China, offers tremendous opportunities for biomedical companies to thrive. Learn more about the outlook and opportunities for the biomedical industry in Hong Kong in a webinar on June 29, including the incentives and resources available for setting up biotech companies in Hong Kong, cutting-edge biomedical research and support, and fund raising opportunities for biotech and life science companies. Speakers include: Michael Chan, Head of International Issuer Services at HKEX; Prof. John Kao, Head, Biomedical Technology Cluster at Hong Kong Science and Technology Park; and Andy Wong, Head of Innovation & Technology at Invest Hong Kong. Registration is free.
Cash handout registration commences
Registration for the HKSAR Government’s Cash Payout Scheme went smoothly on the first day (Jun 21) with about 2 million Hong Kong residents submitting electronic registrations through the 21 participating banks. This is the fastest and most convenient way to receive the payment. Internet banking users only need to provide their local telephone contact number for registration. On the same day, about 8,000 residents submitted electronic forms through the Hongkong Post website. They would receive the payment by order cheques. Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above may register for the scheme by December 31, 2021.
Social distancing measures relaxed
The HKSAR Government is easing social distancing measures in relation to catering businesses, scheduled premises, and group gatherings in public. Beginning June 19, public gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Group gatherings, such as banquets, have been exempt from the restriction on the number of persons at group gatherings. Restaurants have been exempt from customer restrictions while restrictions at a table in bars/ pubs has also been relaxed from four to eight. Live performance and dancing can resume at catering businesses but employees and performers must wear masks at all times. The new measures, as part of the “lifting” phase of the city’s “suppress and lift” anti-pandemic strategy, will be in effect until July 2.
Two special flights for Hong Kong residents stranded in India
About 280 Hong Kong residents stranded in India returned to Hong Kong through two special flights arranged by the HKSAR Government. The two flights, departing from Bengaluru and Chennai for Hong Kong on June 18 and 20, carried Hong Kong residents in various provinces in the southeast part of India with special needs. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, the returnees underwent compulsory COVID-19 testing before being transferred to designated quarantine centers for a 14-day compulsory quarantine period.
Speedpost service to US resumes
Speedpost service to the US resumed on June 19, according to the Hongkong Post. Notwithstanding the service resumption, postal operations will experience delays in mail delivery due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Overall consumer prices in May rose 1.5% year-on-year, less than the corresponding increase of 1.9% in April. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year increase in May’s underlying inflation rate was 1.9%, smaller than the 2.3% increase in April.

  • Hong Kong’s total exports of goods and imports of goods in April decreased by 2.7% and 5.3% respectively year-on-year. In the same comparison period, a 22.7% decline was recorded for the total export volume to the US.

  • Unemployment rate increased to 5.9% (March - May 2020) from 5.2% (February - April 2020). Looking ahead, the labor market will still face pressure in the near term. However, the relief measures rolled out by the Government will preserve the vitality of the economy and keep workers in employment.
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the HKSAR. Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems”. 

Q: Can Hong Kong conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions or international organizations, and participate in international conferences?
A: Hong Kong plays an active role in the international arena and maintains close contact with its international partners. The HKSAR may under the authorization of the Central People’s Government (CPG) conclude certain agreements with foreign states or regions, or may on its own, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the appropriate fields. Since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the HKSAR Government, authorized by the CPG, has concluded about 600 bilateral agreements in accordance with the Basic Law, including air services agreements, visa abolition agreements, free trade agreements, and cultural co-operation agreements etc. In addition, the HKSAR may, as members of delegations of the People’s Republic of China, or in such other capacity as may be permitted by the CPG and the international organization or conference concerned, or using the name “Hong Kong, China”, participate in relevant international organizations and conferences. (BL Articles 96; 133; 151; 152; 155)
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