May 5 - 11, 2020
COVID-19 stabilizes in Hong Kong
Hong Kong recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on May 11, with the total number of confirmed cases at 1,047. It also marked the 22nd day in a row free from reports of local transmissions. With the COVID-19 infection situation stabilizing, Hong Kong has eased some social-distancing measures under the “ suppress and lift ” strategy to contain the epidemic. Beginning May 8, the number of people allowed for group gatherings in public places will be raised from four to eight people. In addition, bars, gyms, cinemas, gaming centers, massage parlours and mahjong parlours have resumed operation, with some restrictions to prevent physical interactions. Bathhouse, party room, club or night club, and karaoke establishment remain closed for another 14 days.
Free distribution of reusable CuMask+™
Hongkong Post has started door delivery of CuMask+™ , the free reusable masks distributed by the Hong Kong SAR Government, from May 11. Developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel and awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in 2018, CuMask+TM has gone through strict testing and is in compliance with ASTM F2100 Level 1 standard. It is reusable for up to 60 washes and could continue to be used by replacing the filter. Except for babies and infants, all holders of valid Hong Kong Identity Card can register online to obtain a CuMask+™. The registration period will last until June 6 and each registration can cater for a maximum of six persons.
Green and Sustainable Finance Steering Group set up
The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group , initiated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission, along with other government agencies, was inaugurated on May 5. Through regulatory policy and market development, the Steering Group aims to accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong and support the climate strategies of the government. It will also facilitate regional cooperation, including in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Welcoming the establishment of the Group, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui, said this would consolidate Hong Kong’s position as a premier green and sustainable finance hub .
HKEX chief will not seek reappointment
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited announced (May 7) that Charles Li will not seek reappointment as Chief Executive after his current contract ends in October 2021. Financial Secretary Paul Chan expressed his deep appreciation to Mr Li for his exemplary contribution to the development of Hong Kong’s financial market, helping to reinforce the status of Hong Kong as a leading international financial center and rendering Hong Kong as the largest IPO market in the world for seven times in the past 11 years. “He also played a pivotal role in the launch of new listing regime in Hong Kong, the enhanced internationalization of HKEX and its international visibility,” said Mr Chan, who added that the Hong Kong SAR Government is confident that the HKEx Board will continue to ensure the success of the HKEx in the future.
Global Supply Chains Webinar: Post-COVID-19 Re-opening of Economies
The COVID-19 outbreak has dealt an unprecedented blow on the global economy, including a profound impact on the global supply chain. How will the global supply chain revive after COVID-19? What will the come-back be like? How should you prepare for the new post-pandemic normal? Learn more at the upcoming free webinar organized by the Hong Kong Association of New York on May 14, with keynote speaker Prof Yossi Sheffi, author and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and panelists Joanne Chu, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, and Anna Fan, New York Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Register here .
Hong Kong Immigration named world's best
The Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) has been voted the winner of the 2020 best airport immigration service award in the World Passenger Survey commissioned by Skytrax. This is the fourth time for the ImmD to receive the award after winning it in 2015, 2016 and 2019. The survey was conducted between September 2019 and February 2020, covering over 550 airports worldwide, and the survey questionnaires were collected from air passengers of more than 100 nationalities.
Smart ID card renewal for Hong Kong residents resumes
The Immigration Department announced (May 6) the full resumption of the territory-wide identity card replacement exercise from May 11, with a new call-up program for Hong Kong residents born in 1957 to 1963 and 1970 to 1976. To reduce crowd gatherings, applicants who have not made appointment bookings previously should do so via the Internet , the ImmD mobile application or the 24-hour telephone booking hotline +852 2121 1234.
  • Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserve amounted to US$441.2 billion, as of Apr 30, 2020, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. This represents over six times the currency in circulation or about 46% of Hong Kong dollar M3.

  • March’s value of total retail sales, provisionally estimated at US$2.9 billion, fell by 42% year-on-year. A government spokesman said retail sales continued to plummet in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting anti-epidemic measures that brought a standstill to inbound tourism and seriously disrupted consumption-related activities.
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: Are Mainland laws applicable to Hong Kong?
A: Generally speaking, national laws of the Mainland China are not applied in the HKSAR. Article 18(2), (3) and (4) of the Basic Law provide for application of national laws in the HKSAR. Such national laws as applied in the HKSAR shall be listed in Annex III to the Basic Law. Currently, a total of 13 national laws are so listed in Annex III, all of which concern matters outside the limits of the HKSAR's autonomy. They include national laws on the capital, calendar, national anthem, national flag, national day, national emblem, territorial sea and contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, nationality, garrisoning, diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities as well as judicial immunity of assets of foreign central banks. ( BL Article 18; Annex III )

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