JULY 20 - 26, 2021
First Olympic fencing gold for Hong Kong
Hong Kong fencer Cheung Ka-long won the gold medal in the Men’s Foil Individual of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Jul 26). This is the first medal for Hong Kong at the Tokyo Olympics, and the first-ever Olympic fencing medal in Hong Kong’s history. Extending her congratulations to Cheung, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said his excellent result is testimony to the capability of Hong Kong athletes and makes all Hong Kong people proud. She also hopes Hong Kong, China delegation will continue to unleash their potential in the other events and achieve outstanding results. (Photo credit: Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China)

Most social distancing rules maintained
Hong Kong will maintain most of the social distancing measures currently in place at least until Aug 4. Under the latest plan, specified events such as meetings, forums, symposiums, exhibitions and ceremonial and celebratory occasions, including weddings and business meetings, can be conducted subject to the adoption of relevant infection control measures. Itineraries for cruises to nowhere can resume from Jul 30 subject to cruise operators’ compliance with a set of infection control measures, including the adoption of a maximum 50% of the passenger capacity on a cruise ship and all crew members and passengers must be fully vaccinated, with some exceptions with valid medical proof. Existing restrictions and requirements on catering businesses, bars and pubs and other scheduled premises will be maintained. The current prohibition on group gatherings of more than four people in public places, as well as the mask-wearing requirement will also continue. To date (Jul 26), over 5.3 million doses of vaccines have been administered to the public in Hong Kong, with more than 2.2 million people fully vaccinated.
Leveraging technology in virus fight
Aside from the concerted community efforts to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, Chief Executive Carrie Lam also credits the wide application of innovation and technology in different areas such as virus testing, supporting mandatory quarantine measure and contact tracing, information dissemination, enhancing personal and environmental hygiene and research and development of vaccines. Mrs Lam noted that the epidemic situation has rebounded in different parts of the world over the past month, and many of the cases involved mutant virus strains. Therefore, Hong Kong has to keep up its guard against the importation of cases. Mrs Lam also urged members of the public to contribute to the global fight against the epidemic by getting vaccinated as soon as possible. If the vaccination rate can be maintained at a high level, it can hopefully reach 70% by the end of September, building an initial immune barrier for Hong Kong, with a view to resuming cross-boundary travel gradually.
Financial market stays robust
Financial Secretary Paul Chan said (Jul 22) Hong Kong’s position as an international financial center is as strong as the past and its financial market has remained robust. In addition, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is laying the ground work for the early launch of the cross-boundary 'Wealth Management Connect' scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the Southbound Bond Connect. These new initiatives will further consolidate Hong Kong's position as an international financial center and a global offshore RMB business hub. To seize the opportunities arising from the market of the GBA and green finance, some global financial institutions are already planning to increase investment or expand their operations in Hong Kong, reflecting international investors' confidence in the city. Mr Chan also said that Hong Kong will continue to welcome overseas businesses to set up offices and to use Hong Kong as their regional headquarters or regional offices. At present, about 9,000 Mainland and overseas companies have set up offices in Hong Kong, of which more than 40% use Hong Kong as regional headquarters or regional offices. Hong Kong also ranked the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2020 according to the World Investment Report 2021 released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.  
Tickets for NYAFF’s Hong Kong Panorama available
Critically acclaimed Hong Kong director Ann Hui will receive the “Variety Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award” at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). Celebrating Hui's achievement, NYAFF will screen her early works “The Story of Woo Viet” and “Boat People”, as well as Man Lim-chung’s insightful portrait of the director in “Keep Rolling” under the Hong Kong Panorama series. This year’s festival will also feature “Hand Rolled Cigarette”, a winning film of Hong Kong’s First Feature Film Initiative by new director Chan Kin-long. There will also be a special screening of Hong Kong’s wuxia classic “New Dragon Gate Inn” directed by Raymond Lee and produced by Tsui Hark, on Aug 11 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park to mark the 20th anniversary of the NYAFF. Tickets for the Hong Kong Panorama are now available here.
Phil Your Life - MUSIC x FOOD
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra launches the first season of “Phil Your Life – MUSIC X FOOD”, blending music with the iconic foods of Hong Kong. The new program is designed to brighten up lives in a light-hearted way by fusing music with food, wellness and storytelling and by drawing the amusing connections between music and daily life. Chillax and enjoy the first episode, “Fun Phil Tong Chong Street”, here.
Students shine in international contests
Two teams of Hong Kong students have achieved excellent results at the 51st International Physics Olympiad and the 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad. Congratulating both teams on their outstanding performance, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung said the remarkable results attained in the international competitions not only fully showcase the talents of Hong Kong students in physics and mathematics, but also demonstrate their problem-solving skills and high level of creativity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “The Government has been striving to promote STEM education and to nurture diverse innovation and technology talents for Hong Kong,” he added.

  • The unemployment rate for the Apr to Jun period fell to 5.5%, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points as compared with the previous three month period. Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said the labor market showed further improvement as the economy continued to recover alongside the stabilization of the local epidemic situation and the improved external environment.

  • Overall consumer prices rose 0.7% in June year-on-year, smaller than the 1% growth in May. Netting out the effects of the government’s one-off relief measures, June’s underlying inflation rate went up 0.4% on a year earlier, larger than the 0.2% recorded in May.

  • The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports grew to US$52.1 billion in June, up 33% year-on-year. The value of imports of goods increased 31.9% to US$57.3 billion for the same period, resulting in a US$5.1 billion trade deficit recorded for the month. Exports to the Mainland, the US and the European Union accelerated in growth, while those to other Asian markets also expanded by varying degrees.
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: Is Hong Kong an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?
A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of September 2018, 162 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)

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