DEC 29, 2021 - JAN 3, 2022
Asian Financial Forum to be held Jan 10 & 11
The premier financial event, Asian Financial Forum, will return in a hybrid format on Jan 10 and 11. Under the theme “Navigating the Next Normal Towards a Sustainable Future”, the main forum will spotlight four of the world’s hottest topics: ESG and sustainability; the global economic outlook; sustainable asset and wealth management; and innovating insurance to combat climate change. Among the more than 100 global business leaders, policymakers, financial experts, investors, entrepreneurs, tech giants and economists speaking at the Forum are the United Nation’s Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney, Founder of Moven and bestselling author Brett King, former President of European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet, and Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bill Winters.
Pilot climate risk stress test results published
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published (Dec 30) the results of its pilot climate risk stress test (CRST). The overall assessment indicated that the banking sector remained resilient to climate-related shocks given the strong capital buffers built up by the banks over the years. However, under extreme scenarios, climate risks could potentially cause significant adverse impacts on the banking sector and that banks need to take early actions to manage them. The HKMA will continue to support the industry in capability building and enhance the CRST framework.
COVID-19 vaccination program expanded
Hong Kong is expanding its COVID-19 vaccination program to offer a third dose for people who have received their second dose of vaccine for six months. Separately, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government stated categorically that it has absolutely no plan to place Hong Kong under lockdown and prohibit people from departing or coming to Hong Kong, or to forbid people from dining in restaurants. Appealing to members of the public to be vigilant against rumors, a spokesperson for the HKSAR Government said the government has all along been transparent with its epidemic control measures and will make announcements as early as possible. The Government has released the list of designated quarantine hotels for the period from Mar 1 to Jul 31, 2022, with a total of 44 hotels providing about 12,500 rooms in the new cycle.
Airmail services to the US suspended
Due to the substantial reduction in flight frequencies or even cancelation of flights by airlines for certain destinations amid the pandemic, all airmail services (including Speedpost) from Hong Kong to Australia, Canada, Mexico and the US have been suspended from Jan 1 until further notice. Airmail services to Belize, Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Norfolk Islands will also be suspended in view of mail transiting via Australia and Mexico. Hongkong Post will continue working closely with air freight contractors for resumption of the impacted services as soon as possible.
Full ban on ivory trade takes effect
The Protection of Endangered Species of Animals & Plants (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 was fully implemented in Hong Kong on Dec 31, banning the import, re-export and commercial possession of ivory. The local ivory trade, except for antique ivory, is now prohibited given that all licenses to possess ivory were already expired. Any individual importing, re-exporting or possessing ivory not in accordance with the law will be liable to a maximum fine of US$1.2 million and 10 years’ imprisonment. The specimens will also be forfeited. All relevant government agencies and departments will remain vigilant and continue enforcement against smuggling and illegal trade of ivory.
HKSAR 25th Anniversary celebration events unveiled
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, a full range of diversified celebratory events will be organized under the theme “A New Era – Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity”. Over 100 events have been planned, with a view to allowing wide participation by the community. The celebration events include the opening of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, several large-scale exhibitions, a series of arts and cultural events, mega sporting events and a number of international forums, conferences and symposiums. Various exciting events will also be staged in major cities across the world by the government's offices overseas and in the Mainland.
Hong Kong welcomes 2022 with Arts Spectacular
Hong Kong’s thriving art scene took the global center stage during the city’s New Year countdown celebrations to ring in 2022 at the iconic Victoria Harbour waterfront. The 215-feet tall LED facade of the new M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in West Kowloon District, was transformed into a countdown clock, showcasing the rich cityscape of Hong Kong. A special edition of the multimedia show “A Symphony of Light”, along with a jubilant performance by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, cast a dazzling array of visual and light effects across the skyline along the entire waterfront. Re-watch these spectacular moments in this highlight reel.
Performing at Museum: Energy X Experience X Music
Join electronic music composer Merry Lamb Lamb as she transforms a science museum into a music performing venue, creating a new song with the use of the sound effects of the facilities in the exhibition hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum as the soundtrack.
  • The value of total retail sales in Nov 2021, provisionally estimated at US$3.9 billion, increased by 7.1% year-on-year. For the first 11 months of 2021, it was provisionally estimated that the value of total retail sales increased by 8.3% year-on-year.

  • Expenditure for the Apr - Nov 2021 period amounted to US$53.9 billion and revenue US$41.7 billion, resulting in a cumulative year-to-date deficit of US$8.4 billion after receipt of net proceeds of US$3.7 billion from the issuance of green bonds. Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves stood at US$110.5 billion as at Nov 30.

  • Total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to US$593.1 billion as at Nov 30. This is US$141 million lower than that at the end of Oct. Foreign currency assets decreased by US$7.5 billion while Hong Kong dollar assets increased by US$7.3 billion.
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: Can foreign enterprises participate fully in Hong Kong’s economy?
A: Yes. Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the participation of foreign enterprises, and provides a level playing field for all. There are no foreign exchange controls in Hong Kong and no restrictions on the trading of gold, securities, futures and the like. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall maintain the status of a free port, pursue the policy of free trade and safeguard the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 112; 114; 115)

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