March 3 – 9, 2020


Health declaration measures boosted 

Beginning March 8, all travelers on inbound flights arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport are subject to health declaration arrangements and will be required to complete a health declaration form. Passengers can choose to fill in and submit an electronic health declaration form on their smartphone or mobile devices. Taking into account the increasing transmission of the COVID-19 virus globally, members of the public are also advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. 

First batch of Hong Kong residents in Hubei province arrive safely

A total of 469 Hong Kong residents residing in Hubei Province returned to Hong Kong safely through four chartered flights arranged by the Hong Kong SAR Government on March 4 and 5. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, all returnees were taken to the quarantine center in Chun Yeung Estate by pre-arranged coaches to undergo 14 days of quarantine observation. The HKSAR Government will continue to maintain close liaison with the Hubei Provincial Government and discuss further plans of bringing back Hong Kong residents in other parts of the Province. 


Funding for I&T programs extended

Effective March 9, the funding scopes of the Researcher Programme and the Postdoctoral Hub will be extended to all technology companies conducting or planning to conduct R&D activities in Hong Kong. With the enhancements, the programs will allow more local technology companies to engage more research staff, create more local R&D jobs, and enlarge the pool of I&T talent in Hong Kong. 

Multi-functional smart lampposts scheme encouraged 

The Multi-functional Smart Lampposts Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee unanimously agreed that the Hong Kong SAR Government should continue to take forward the pilot program to install multi-functional smart lampposts as they are key digital infrastructure to promote Hong Kong as a smart city and to facilitate 5G mobile network in the city. To address public concern over potential privacy issues, the Committee recommended the use of more privacy-friendly technologies as substitutes for cameras and Bluetooth detectors, the establishment of rigorous and transparent government review system for any new smart lamppost application and engagement of independent third-party professionals to conduct regular security and policy review. 


Promoting exchanges and collaboration in Pittsburgh

During her two-day (Mar 3-4) visit to Pittsburgh, Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu met with government officials, business executives and academics, highlighting the unique advantages and opportunities that Hong Kong offers for US companies interested in expanding their business in Asia. She also gave an update on the latest developments in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong SAR Government’s efforts to promote innovation & technology development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Representatives from Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Invest Hong Kong also participated in the various meetings in Pittsburgh. 


Smart ID card replacement exercise continues

Hong Kong residents born in 1960 or 1961 should apply for a new smart identity card in person at a Smart Identity Card Replacement Centre on or before Apr 20, the Immigration Department announced (Mar 9). In addition, the caring measure of the card replacement exercise has been extended to persons with disabilities (PwDs). They only need to bring along their existing smart HKIC and provide relevant documentation as proof of their PwD status if they intend to apply for a new HKIC together with eligible applicants under the measure. Eligible applicants may make appointment bookings via the Internet (, the ImmD mobile application or its 24-hour telephone booking hotline. Residents who are absent from Hong Kong during their call-up period can apply within 30 days of their return to the city. 



· The Hong Kong Monetary Authority lowered (Mar 4) the base rate to 1.5%, in accordance with a pre-set formula, followed a 50-basis point downward shift in the target range for the US federal funds rate on March 3. 


· Total assets of Hong Kong foreign currency reserve amounted to US$446.1 billion, as at February 29, 2020. This represents over six times the currency in circulation or about 46 percent of Hong Kong dollar M3. 



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 c oncept of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Q: Is Hong Kong an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people? 

A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of September 2018, 162 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US