DEC 7 - 13, 2021
Tighter quarantine requirements for inbound US travelers
In view of the detection of the Omicron variant in a traveler from the US under the “test-and-hold” arrangement at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong has implemented more stringent quarantine and testing requirements for inbound travelers from the US. Currently, only fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents are allowed to board flights from the US for Hong Kong. Starting Dec 13, they are required to undergo compulsory quarantine at the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre for the first seven days upon their arrival. They would then be transferred by designated transport to finish the remaining 14 days of compulsory quarantine at the designated quarantine hotels which they have reserved before coming to Hong Kong. They are also required to comply with the compulsory testing requirements. 
Strengthening Hong Kong as insurance hub
Hong Kong is committed to strengthening its growing status as a global risk management center and insurance hub, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan (Dec 7). A number of measures were introduced to enhance Hong Kong’s status, including a streamlined system for the authorization and regulation of special purpose insurers to facilitate the issuance of insurance-linked securities, and the inaugural issuance of a catastrophe bond. The government is working to enhance the tax environment for insurers and broker companies underwriting marine and specialty risks and to expand the scope of risks insurable by captives. To date, 13 of the world's top 20 insurers are authorized to do business in Hong Kong, which is leading the world when it comes to insurance penetration.
Progress in youth internship programs
Around 170 young people have taken up full-time entry-level job opportunities, predominantly in the creative industries, under the Future International Talent program. This youth internship program was launched earlier this year, in collaboration with 14 international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said (Dec 10) the internship program offers global perspective and wider exposure to young people through work and also injects new blood into the industries. In addition, about 200 job vacancies have been created under the Telecommunications Opportunities Programme with telecommunications-related companies, offering young people working and training opportunities in the vibrant telecommunications sector in the 5G era.
Webinar: Opportunities in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY), jointly organized a webinar (Dec 7) with Invest Hong Kong and the Hong King Students and Scholars Society of Columbia University on the myriad of opportunities in Hong Kong. Kicking off the session, Deputy Director of HKETONY Erica Lam, highlighted the fundamental strengths of Hong Kong and the abundant opportunities as part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and under the National 14th Five-Year Plan. Co-founder and CTO of software company PolySentry and director of PushLogic Josiah Adams, from the US, shared his experience as an entrepreneur in Hong Kong while Executive Director of CK Hutchison Holdings Edith Shih spoke about opportunities for young graduates. Assistant Principal Immigration Officer of Hong Kong Immigration Department Glady Wong introduced the different talent admission programs of the city. More than 120 people joined the webinar.
HKSAR Government refutes untruthful remarks
Noting that the political structure of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is the prerogative of the central authorities, the HKSAR Government issued a statement (Dec 10), reiterating that HKSAR is implementing the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, under which “Hong Kong people administer Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy. It pointed out that there are many ways to achieve democracy, with the democratic process of a place determined by its actual circumstances and political development stage. Hong Kong’s various strengths, particularly its rule of law and judicial independence, are as robust as ever, and the business environment has become even more favorable than before.
Arts spectacular at Victoria Harbour to usher in New Year
Hong Kong’s newly opened M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, will be front and center during the countdown extravaganza to ring in the New Year. Its 65.8-meter-tall LED façade, will be part of the grand visual countdown display, amplifying the dazzling lights around Victoria Harbour. Starting the evening on New Year’s Eve, the facade will showcase a sweeping, high-contrast visual tale created by talented local digital artists as an homage to the city’s various landmarks, neighborhoods, and vibrant arts and culture scene. The M+ Facade will then be transformed into a countdown clock during the final minute of 2021 before welcoming the New Year. The city’s flagship orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and other Hong Kong artists will perform for a global audience as the city celebrates the New Year. You can join enjoy the live concert and exciting countdown via livestreaming here.
  • Thanks to the further revival of global economic activity, stable local epidemic situation and additional support to local consumption activities from the Consumption Voucher Scheme, business receipts in value terms of all major service industries increased on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter of 2021. Double-digit increases recorded in business receipts of the transportation (+76.5%), food services (+43.8%), accommodation services (+43.7%), import/export trade (+22.4%), financing (except banking) (+19.2%), warehousing and storage (+18.9%), and wholesale (+15.4%) industries.

  • The official foreign currency reserves of Hong Kong amounted to US$499.5 billion as at the end of November 2021, compared with US$498 billion at end-October. The total foreign currency reserve assets of US$499.5 billion represent about seven times the currency in circulation or 48% of Hong Kong dollar M3.
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems”.

Q: Do Hong Kong residents have the right to vote and to stand for election?
A: Persuant to Article 26 of the BL, permanent residents of Hong Kong have the right to vote and stand for elections in accordance with law. The National People’s Congress (NPC) made the Decision on Improving the Electoral System of the HKSAR (the Decision) on 11 March 2021 and laid down the fundamental principles for amending Annexes I and II to the Basic Law, including “upholding HKSAR permanent residents’ right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law”. The Standing Committee of the NPC had made careful consideration and balance of these rights in amending Annexes I and II to the Basic Law, in order to establish a political structure that upholds the “one country, two systems” principle, reflects the actual situation of Hong Kong and ensures “patriots administering Hong Kong”. It should be noted that the right to vote as safeguarded by Article 26 of the Basic Law should be construed with other relevant provisions in the Basic Law in their entirety, in particular Articles 45, 68 as well as Annexes I and II of the Basic Law. Articles 45 and 68 provide that the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light of the “actual situation in the HKSAR” and in accordance with the “principle of gradual and orderly progress”. The design of electoral system and the right to vote should be implemented in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR. (BL Articles 26; 45; 68; Annexes I and II)

Follow us