JUNE 22 - 28, 2021
Testing requirement and quarantine arrangement updated
Testing requirement for boarding flights from high-risk places including the US has been adjusted from June 26. According to the latest requirement, inbound travelers from the US are required to present at boarding negative result proof of a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft. Results of tests conducted using other testing platforms (e.g. reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification, RT-LAMP) cannot be considered to have fulfilled the boarding requirement. In addition, an antibody test has been included as an additional requirement in the quarantine exemption arrangements for qualified people in financial services sectors. Under the updated arrangements, the compulsory quarantine period for exempted people who are fully vaccinated and with a positive antibody test result is shortened to seven days. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will provide self-paid recognized antibody test for other inbound travelers at the Hong Kong airport within July, subject to the latest epidemic developments. Relevant arrangements will be announced in due course.
Social distancing rules eased
Based on the “vaccine bubble” concept, Hong Kong further relaxed (Jun 24) social distancing measures. Restaurants can operate at 100% of its normal seating capacity if all their staff are fully vaccinated and two-thirds of the customers have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The number of people that can be seated per table in a bar or club will increase to 4 if all staff members and customers have had received the first dose of a vaccine. The current mandatory mask-wearing requirement, and the prohibition on group gatherings of more than four people in public places, unless exempted, remain in force. To date (Jun 28), about 3.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public, with about 1.4 million people fully vaccinated. 
Principal Officials appointed
The HKSAR Government announced (Jun 25) the appointment of three principal officials: Chief Secretary John Lee, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung and Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee. Noting that the three officials have had distinguished performance over the years and possess proven leadership skills, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she is confident that the newly appointed officials would rise to the challenges in serving the community. The former Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said in a statement that he would be glad to continue to serve the community and contribute to the country, should opportunities arise.
Hong Kong - An International Arbitration Center
More than 100 people from around the world learned more about the latest developments in Hong Kong and its role as a global arbitration and dispute resolution center at a webinar (Jun 28) co-organized by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY). Delivering opening remarks, Director of HKETONY Candy Nip said Hong Kong, with abundant opportunities for businesses, is an ideal entry-point for companies wanting to increase their footprints in Asia. With Hong Kong positioned as an international hub in the fast-growing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, there will also be enormous development opportunities for different business sectors in Hong Kong, including the legal services segment. During the discussion led by Patrick Pearsall, Partner at Allen & Overy, Sarah Grimmer, Secretary-General of HKIAC and David Rivkin, Co-Chair of HKIAC and Partner of Debevoise & Plimpton highlighted the successful tradition of HKIAC, supported by Hong Kong’s independent judiciary and legal infrastructure, as well as the ability to adapt quickly to new situations or issues that arise.
HKANY Webinar: Reopening Asian economies
Learn more about latest updates on the reopening of Asian economies at a webinar organized by the Hong Kong Association of New York at 8:30 AM on July 1. Daniel Moss, Asian Economic Columnist at Bloomberg, and Anna Fan, Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, New York, will share information on Asia’s economic recovery from the pandemic and its implications on business and industries during the reopening stage. Register here before it is too late.
  • Overall consumer prices rose 1% in May year-on-year, larger than the 0.8% growth in April. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, May’s underlying inflation rate went up 0.2% on a year earlier, marginally larger than the 0.1% recorded in April. Looking ahead, Hong Kong’s overall inflation should remain largely contained as the local economy is still operating below capacity.

  • The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to US$50.4 billion in May, up 24%. The value of imports of goods increased 26.5% to US$53.7 billion for the same period, resulting in a trade deficit of US$3.2 billion, or 6.1% of the value of imports. Exports to the Mainland and many Asian markets continued to post visible gains, while those to the US and the European Union also grew.

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: Does the HKSAR Government have complete control over fiscal and economic policies and safeguard the free movement of goods, assets and capital?
A: The HKSAR Government formulates its own economic policies; manages its finances independently; prepares its own budgets; issues its own freely convertible currency; practices an independent taxation system; keeps its low and simple tax regime; formulates its own monetary and financial policies; safeguards the free flow of capital; maintains the status of a free port; pursues a policy of free trade and protects the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 62; 106-119)

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