March 9 - 15, 2021
Expansion of vaccination program
Hong Kong residents aged 30 and above can make a booking online from Mar 16 to receive COVID-19 vaccines as part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s efforts to expand the scope of the priority groups to allow more people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Two more priority groups – domestic helpers and students aged 16 or above studying overseas – will be included in the vaccination program as well. With the expansion, the vaccination priority groups will cover more than 5.5 million people, accounting for more than 80% of the population aged 16 or above. Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan appealed (Mar 15) to the public to receive the vaccination as soon as possible. “It would be of the best interest, not only of the individuals, but also of all the sector to get vaccinated. It is because with vaccination, with more people getting vaccinated in Hong Kong, the faster we will be able to get herd immunity, and the faster we will be able to get our normal daily life and our economic situation back on track,” she said. To date (Mar 15), a cumulative total of about 206,000 persons have received their first vaccination dose.
Travel restrictions remain in place
As the global COVID-19 epidemic situation remains severe, Hong Kong continues to maintain the boarding restrictions for places with severe epidemic situation and 21-day compulsory quarantine arrangements for inbound travelers from overseas. People arriving from the US have to present proof of a negative result of a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure of the aircraft. The HKSAR Government will continue to monitor closely the situation, including the developments of the epidemic situation both globally and locally and changes in the volume of cross-boundary passenger traffic, and will adjust the boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from other high-risk places when necessary.
NPC’s decision welcomed
The HKSAR Government welcomed (Mar 11) the passage of the decision on improving the electoral system by the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC). Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the initiative aims to ensure that Hong Kong can stay true to the original aspiration in implementing the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” and get Hong Kong back on the right track. The expanded and broadly representative Election Committee, which should reflect the overall interest of Hong Kong, is the core element of the improvement to the electoral system. The Decision also stipulates the establishment of an eligibility vetting mechanism for the different elections of the HKSAR to provide a robust systemic safeguard for implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the city’s political system.
Government supports national plan
The HKSAR Government welcomed (Mar 11) the National 14th Five-Year Plan, saying it will proactively integrate Hong Kong into national development. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Plan is the blueprint and action agenda for the social and economic development of the country in the next five years, noting that it has incorporated many concrete proposals put up by the HKSAR Government, demonstrating the central government’s unwavering support for Hong Kong. The Plan continues to support Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international financial, transportation and trade center; strengthen its status as a global offshore renminbi business hub, an international asset management center and a risk management center; establish itself as a center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region; and promote service industries for high-end and high value-added development. It also raises for the first time the support for Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international aviation hub, to develop into an international innovation and technology hub and a regional intellectual property trading center, and develop into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. 
Advisory body briefed on national plan
Members of the Trade & Industry Advisory Board showed unanimous support for the 14th Five-Year Plan and the National People’s Congress’ decision on improving Hong Kong's electoral system. Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau briefed (Mar 14) the advisory body on the two initiatives which are timely, positive and important to Hong Kong’s development. He said the 14th Five-Year Plan supports the city’s future development in various key areas, demonstrating the central government’s unwavering support for Hong Kong. The members agreed that the plan is key to the city’s development. The Government will press ahead with measures to bolster Hong Kong’s competitiveness in relevant sectors. Members also welcomed the plan’s support for Hong Kong in fostering ties with countries and regions around the world. The bureau will continue to establish close economic and trade relations with other economies and forge free trade and investment pacts.
Hong Kong irreplaceable as international legal hub
Hong Kong’s success as an international legal hub is built on strong foundations, including a stable business environment, the free flow of capital, a low and simple tax system, and a reliable legal system. In her blog (Mar 10), Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote that Hong Kong’s legal infrastructure consists of a well-tested common law system, an open, transparent and independent judiciary, and also a pool of legal talents. Hong Kong law is well-known for its predictability and certainty and has been chosen as the applicable law in many international commercial transactions. Highlighting the opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative and in the Greater Bay Area, Ms Cheng said, “Hong Kong will be an ideal place for people and businesses to connect and excel. In summary, Hong Kong is irreplaceable because of its financial and legal infrastructure, the business opportunities and the pool of talents.”
Building a secure and reliable cyber environment
With innovation and technology playing a prominent role in driving economic growth, improving the quality of life and in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic effectively, the HKSAR Government attaches great importance to cyber security, said Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit at the opening of the Information Security Summit 2021 (Mar 9). Mr Sit highlighted the key aspects of the government’s multi-pronged strategy, including building a secure and reliable cyber environment, strengthening information security level, nurturing local talent and attracting global experts. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team participate actively in computer emergency incident response organizations, and closely connect with the cyber security organizations in the Mainland and the Asia-Pacific region to share cyber security intelligence swiftly and prevent cyber attacks in a timely manner.
M+ set to open end 2021
M+, the first global museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia, is set to open to the public at the end of 2021, following the completion of construction of its museum building in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. The 65,000 square-meter M+ building will provide a permanent space dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. M+ will house 17,000 square-meters of exhibition space across 33 galleries and also include other facilities such as cinemas, multi-use space, shops, F&B outlets and a Roof Garden. The building is designed by a global team of the world-renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in partnership with TFP Farrells and Arup.
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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