October 20 - 26, 2020
Hong Kong well-positioned as green finance hub
Hong Kong, with its clear and compelling advantages, is well-positioned to be a green finance hub, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at an online symposium (Oct 23). The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been implementing measures for the city to offer the needed financial services and capture the available opportunities. These included the launch of Green Bond Grant Scheme and the establishment of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association in 2018, and the launch of the green bond issuance program in May 2019. Later this year, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will launch the Sustainable and Green Exchange as a first-of-its kind central hub in Asia for data and information on sustainable and green-finance investment.
FinTech Week goes virtual in November
Hong Kong FinTech Week 2020 will take place virtually from Nov 2-6 to allow global fintech businesses and experts from around the world to participate. The week-long event, themed “Humanizing FinTech”, will explore how fintech can unlock the power of financial services to drive positive impacts for society and business. The event will comprise five channels, focusing on the resilience and development of Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, future fintech trends and finance sector growth opportunities. It will also provide a reinvented virtual event experience with artificial intelligence-powered matchmaking, live chat networking opportunities and Hong Kong cultural side events. Co-organized by Invest Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Insurance Authority, Hong Kong FinTech Week is expected to attract more than 25,000 participants from over 70 economies and 350 speakers, along with more than 500 exhibitors and over 30 delegations.
Social distancing measures relaxed
Several social distancing measures in Hong Kong were relaxed on Oct 23. They included the lifting of maximum number of people allowed at wedding ceremonies from 20 to 50, where no food or drink is served. Local tour groups have also been expanded to include no more than 30 people, including staff and participants, and premised on relevant infection control measures. Other social distancing measures currently in force continue to remain in effect. They include the prohibition on gatherings of more than four people in public places and the mandatory mask-wearing requirement on public transport and in all public places.
Pilot program for Hong Kong lawyers to practice in Greater Bay Area
Practicing solicitors and barristers in Hong Kong can practice law in nine cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area after obtaining their Mainland practice qualifications under a new pilot program announced by the State Council General Office (Oct 23). Welcoming the program, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng said the arrangement will foster the mutually complementary co-operation relationship between Hong Kong and Guangdong. She encouraged practicing solicitors and barristers to capitalize on the development of the Greater Bay Area and further enhance Hong Kong’s legal service.
Commitment to medical research
The HKSAR Government is committed to supporting research on a wide spectrum of health issues with a view to safeguarding public health and curing diseases. Speaking at the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole 20th Anniversary Opening Symposium (Oct 21), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the tripartite partnership with academia and industry will create an open platform for multi-sectoral collaboration and facilitate the translation of biomedical innovations into commercial value and industrial impact. It will also contribute to Hong Kong's transformation into an international innovation and technology hub. In the area of medical research and to combat COVID-19, the Government has allocated nearly US$35 million under the Health and Medical Research Fund in support of some 50 COVID-19 research studies. Separately, the Innovation and Technology Fund is supporting nearly 60 trial projects focused on detection, diagnosis and surveillance of the COVID-19 virus. 
Hong Kong ranks high in international study
Hong Kong students’ performance was among the world’s best in terms of cognitive understanding, knowledge and skills in the global competence domain in the Program for International Student Assessment 2018. The survey is administered and conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development every three years to assess 15-year-old students’ competence in mother-tongue reading, mathematical and scientific literacy. In the cognitive test, Hong Kong's 15-year-old students ranked third with a mean score of 542, which is higher than the average score of 474 of all participating countries or economies.
Hong Kong as a global aviation hub
Learn more about the latest air logistics developments and growth opportunities in Asia brought by the rise of e-commerce and new logistics tech at the “Hong Kong as a Global Aviation Hub - Unleash the Opportunities in the Post Covid-19 World” webinar on Oct 28 at 9:00 AM (EST). Robert Marsh, President of GlobalMesh, will moderate the panel discussion that features air cargo experts and supply chain specialists from Hong Kong and the US: Cissy Chan, Executive Director (Commercial) of Airport Authority Hong Kong; Elliott Paige, Director of Air Service Development if Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Andy Wong, Head of Innovation and Technology at Invest Hong Kong and Simon Wong, CEO of the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre.
Economic and investment outlook in Asia 2021
What are the financial services opportunities in Asia? Join the “Economic and Investment Outlook in Asia 2021” webinar on Oct 29 at 9:30 AM (EST) and learn more about the economic and investment outlook next year from leading financial professionals as they share the latest insights and market intelligence. Speakers include Henri Arslanian, PwC Global Crypto Leader and former Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong; Johanna Chua, Managing Director, Head of Asia Pacific Economic and Market Analysis at Citigroup in Hong Kong and Anna Fan, Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in New York. The webinar is organized by HKTDC New York office, in partnership with the US Commercial Service. 
  • Overall consumer prices in September fell 2.2% year-on-year, larger than the corresponding decrease of 0.4% in August. The increase was mainly due to the rising cost for meals bought away from home and the upward adjustment in public housing rentals. Looking ahead, overall inflationary pressures should stay mild in the rest of the year as global and local economic conditions remain weak amid the threat of COVID-19.

  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.4% (Jul – Sep) while the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%. With the weak overall economic situation amid the evolving global pandemic, the labor market will remain under pressure in the near term.
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: Hong Kong a free port and a separate customs territory?
A: The HKSAR is a separate customs territory. The HKSAR, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. Ships of all nations enjoy access to the ports of the HKSAR, which is a free port, in accordance with the laws of the Region. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)
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