September 22 - 28, 2020
Financial Secretary attends APEC meeting
Financial Secretary Paul Chan underlined the importance of international co-operation and free trade and investment in the critical path to global economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting 2020 (Sep 25), Mr Chan called on all APEC member economies to act in unity and focus efforts on reigniting trade and investment as engines for growth. He also described Hong Kong’s policy response to the unprecedented crisis and shared his views on prescriptions for economic recovery in the region. The event was, for the first time, convened virtually due to the global spread of COVID-19.
Hong Kong’s financial ranking moves up
Hong Kong ranked fifth in the latest Global Financial Centers Index Report, one place higher than the last index. In a statement, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government said the overall ratings of financial centers that ranked third to seventh in the report were very close, adding that Hong Kong was ranked among the top five in five areas of competitiveness, including financial sector development and infrastructure. Noting that various parts of the world are facing varying degrees of challenges due to the pandemic, the Government pointed out that Hong Kong’s financial system remains resilient.
Judiciary to strictly apply the law
Hong Kong’s Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal Geoffrey Ma said there must not be a politicization of the Judiciary and its functions. In a statement (Sep 23), Chief Justice Ma explained that the constitutional duty of judges, in the exercise of judicial power, is to strictly apply the law and nothing else and that such duty does not involve judges deciding political matters or controversies. Judges therefore must not be influenced by political considerations of whatever nature, the Chief Justice added. It is the law that always governs the determination and handling of all cases, without any extraneous factors being considered. Furthermore, all are equal before the law, no one is above it. 
Social distancing measures maintained
Taking into account the latest assessment of public health risk, Hong Kong continues to maintain most of its social distancing measures, with minor refinements made to the re-opening of public bowling alleys, billiard establishments and shower facilities starting Sep 25. Live performances at some entertainment venues could re-start on Oct 1, subject to the latest requirements and restrictions and the adoption of sufficient epidemic prevention measures. With the stabilizing epidemic situation, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Hong Kong is striving to restart discussions with relevant authorities to enable the public to resume travel as soon as possible. She said the Government has established a task force to actively explore setting up travel bubbles with other places that have a relatively stable epidemic situation and close economic and trade relations with Hong Kong. 
Full subsidy for exhibition rentals
With the gradual stabilization of the epidemic situation and the progressive resumption of convention and exhibition activities, the HKSAR Government will provide a 100% venue rental subsidy for eligible organizers of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo. The Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme, which has no cap, will run from Oct 3 for 12 months. Set up under the Anti-epidemic Fund, the Convention & Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme has a total commitment of US$130 million.
Logistics subsidy to be launched
Attaching great importance to the continuing development of the logistics industry and Hong Kong’s role as the regional logistics hub, the HKSAR Government will launch the Pilot Subsidy Scheme for Third-party Logistics Service Providers on Oct 12 to provide support to the industry and enable it to enhance operational efficiency and to better meet its clients’ needs. About 300 logistics enterprises will benefit from the US$38 million subsidy program, which will provide financial assistance to third-party logistics service providers to encourage the industry to enhance productivity through the application of technology.
MILA: Behind the scenes
Join the creative team and cast of Hong Kong original chamber opera “Mila” for a webinar panel discussion on Tuesday, Oct 6 at 8:00 PM (New York time) to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of this production that explores the cultural richness and diversity of Hong Kong, following its North American premiere in December 2019 in New York and San Francisco. The session will be moderated by critic and journalist Ken Smith. The discussion will also share the world-premiere of a short documentary screening featuring previously unreleased behind-the-scenes footage recorded during the North American leg of the MILA journey. To RSVP for the webinar, please email
Students triumph in international Olympiads
Hong Kong students continue to attain good results in international competitions related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. A team of six students representing Hong Kong achieved outstanding results in the 61st International Mathematical Olympiad (Sep 18 – 28), winning three silver medals and three bronze medals. Separately, a team of three Hong Kong students won one gold and two bronze medals at the 32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (Sep 13 - 19), the most recognized worldwide computer science competition aimed at high school students under 20. Both competitions were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The value of Hong Kong’s total exports fell to US$44.1 billion in August, down 2.3% year-on-year. During the period, the value of goods imports dropped 5.7% to US$46 billion, registering a US$1.8 billion trade deficit, or 4.1% of the value of imports.
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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