AUG 17 - 23, 2021
Hong Kong rises in safe city index
Hong Kong has moved up 12 places, from 20 to 8 in the latest 2021 Global Safe Cities Index, released by The Economist Intelligence Unit. New York and London ranks 11 and 15, respectively, in the latest index. The index tracks five areas of security in 60 countries/economies: digital, health sector, infrastructure, personal and environmental, which was newly added for the 2021 index. Hong Kong topped the ranking for infrastructure security and was third for health security.
HKEX to launch futures contract
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) is set to launch the MSCI China A-share index futures contract on Oct 18. This will provide international investors with a new and effective risk management tool to manage their portfolios of Stock Connect eligible A-shares and reflects the increasing global reliance on Stock Connect to access Mainland China’s burgeoning equity markets. CEO of HKEX Nicolas Aguzin said this marks a key step in HKEX’s plans to build an offshore Mainland China equities derivatives suite in the city. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the launch will expand the product scope offering in Hong Kong’s capital markets, strengthen the city’s offshore renminbi businesses and deepen the collaboration between the two capital markets.
Tighter quarantine measures set
In view of the latest global COVID-19 epidemic situation, Hong Kong has tightened quarantine requirements for people arriving from 16 overseas places, including the US, which is currently classified under Group A (high risk places). Only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents will be allowed to board flights for Hong Kong from the US. Prior to boarding, the traveler must provide a vaccination record; a negative result proof of a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19, conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled flight departure time; and confirmation of room reservation for 21 nights in a designated quarantine hotel. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, these travelers will need to comply with the compulsory testing requirement. Non-Hong Kong residents will not be allowed to enter the city. To date (Aug 23), about 7.1 million doses of vaccines have been administered to the public in Hong Kong, with more than 3.1 million people fully vaccinated.
Air travel bubble decision explained
Hong Kong and Singapore will continue their best possible efforts to resume normal bilateral travel and in doing so, a balance must be struck between the resumption of normality and the containment of the COVID-19 epidemic, said Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau in a statement (Aug 20) after both places decided not to pursue further discussions on launching the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government welcomes Singapore’s announcement to unilaterally allow entry of travelers from Hong Kong into Singapore quarantine-free from Aug 20, adding that it is a step forward in resuming cross-border travel between the two regional aviation hubs and international cities. 
Opportunities for Hong Kong
The National 14th Five-Year Plan will bring vitality and golden opportunities to Hong Kong, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a talk held by the HKSAR Government on the national plan, adding that she was confident in Hong Kong’s implementation of the national plan. The talk also included a dialogue session that covered topics such as Hong Kong’s development into an offshore renminbi hub and an international innovation and technology hub under the National 14th Five-Year Plan backdrop.
APEC food security meeting held
Attending the sixth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting on Food Security via video conferencing (Aug 19), Secretary for Food & Health Professor Sophia Chan exchanged views with leaders of other economies on how to safeguard food security and speed up the post-pandemic economic recovery through innovation and digitalization initiatives and deepening inter-economy co-operation. Professor Chan said Hong Kong is committed to collaborating with other member states to make the food system stronger and more robust in preparation for future challenges.
Olympic athletes welcomed home
Hong Kong Olympic athletes who participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games took part in a bus parade and welcome home reception on Aug 19. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the athletes displayed their extraordinary capability at the Tokyo Games and achieved the city’s best results in history, with a number of them breaking Hong Kong records or their own records in the competitions, thrilling Hong Kong people. She praised all the athletes for their strenuous efforts in the Games and their display of unwavering determination and perseverance as well as Hong Kong's can-do spirit. Producing the best results in Hong Kong history, the delegation brought home a total of six medals, including one gold, two silver and three bronze in fencing, swimming, table tennis, karate and track cycling. The HKSAR Government has been proactively allocating resources to develop elite sports in the past decade or so, and it will make continuing efforts to further its support for sports development.
Science exposition to be held
Teachers and students in the US can learn more about Hong Kong’s research achievements and research opportunities through the “Science Exposition” event this fall. This is part of the “Prelude to the Inaugural Forum” event series, leading up to the inaugural Hong Kong Laureate Forum, to be held in Nov 7-12, 2022. The “Science Exposition” comprises of public exhibition and hybrid seminar,, covering three disciplines: life science and medicine, astronomy and mathematical sciences. Other events planned for this series include “Masterminds, Masterclasses”, “Exploring New Horizons”, and “Wonder Women in Science”.
Overture to color, aroma & taste
Join Wang Liang, Second Associate Concertmaster of Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPhil), as he leads the way to taste Chiu Chow cuisine, presenting an overture to color, aroma & taste! The Chiu Chow snacks platter is just like Bernstein’s “Candide Overture”, allowing audiences and foodies to start off the story with an appetizer, from bland to more flavorful items, a perfect preview to the “main dish”. Food tastes better hot; enjoy the different textures of music and food right now! This is part of HKPhil’s “Phil Your Life – MUSIC X FOOD" program, fusing music with iconic foods of Hong Kong through amusing connections between music and daily life.
  • Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5% in the May-Jul period, from 5.5% in the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate also decreased to 2.4% from 2.5% in the same comparison periods.

  • Overall consumer prices rose 3.7% in July year-on-year, larger than the 0.7% growth in June. Netting out the effects of the government’s one-off relief measures, July’s underlying inflation rate went up 1% on a year earlier, higher than the 0.4% recorded in June. Looking ahead, the underlying inflation should remain largely contained in the near term as the local economy is still operating below capacity.
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: Has there been any interference in the independence of the Judiciary?
A: No. Hong Kong’s robust and respected court system exercises judicial power independently, free from any interference. The power of final adjudication is vested in the Court of Final Appeal of the HKSAR, which may as required invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal. The principle of trial by jury previously practiced in Hong Kong is maintained. (BL Articles 2; 19; 81; 82; 85; 86)

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