NOV 16 - 22, 2021
Financial Secretary addresses American business community
At a webinar on Nov 17, Financial Secretary Paul Chan assured the American business community of Hong Kong's core strengths as an international financial center, its active role in national development and the ample opportunities for American companies. In his keynote remarks, Mr Chan highlighted the long-established relations between Hong Kong and the US in terms of trade and investment. “Our exports to the US are up more than 17% year on year, while imports from the US soared nearly 21%, he said, adding that the US was the sixth-largest source of Hong Kong’s foreign direct investment at the end of 2019. Almost 1,300 US companies called Hong Kong home, ranking third behind only the Mainland and Japan.
Vibrant business environment and competitive economy
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said that the business environment of Hong Kong remains favorable and vibrant. Speaking at the 2021 World Alliance Forum (Nov 19), he highlighted the city’s recent achievements, including being ranked the world's sixth largest merchandise trading economy in terms of total merchandise trade value last year; being ranked the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2020 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development report; first in Asia and second worldwide in the World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2021; and the city's total merchandise trade value hitting a record high of close to US$1 trillion in the first nine months of this year. “Facts speak louder than words. These achievements signify unequivocal affirmation of Hong Kong as one of the most competitive economies in the world,” he said. Mr Yau also pointed out that Hong Kong is seeing significant growth in R&D activities, more talent engaged in the industry, more start-ups, and more venture capital investment, citing the growth of 12 unicorns in Hong Kong.
UN trade law to extend to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is in the process of extending the application of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) to Hong Kong. The Convention, which provides a set of uniform rules governing contracts for the international sale of goods, will be implemented in Hong Kong next year. Speaking at the 2021 Colloquium on International Law (Nov 19), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the application of the CISG will enhance Hong Kong’s legal infrastructure for the international sale of goods and facilitate its long-term trade development. Speaking at the same forum, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng said technological developments and innovation have revamped the online dispute resolution (ODR) scene. Hong Kong has launched a series of initiatives to develop and promote the use of ODR in line with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ODR Framework. The Department of Justice has also set up a platform to keep track of the ODR landscape and develop legal tools to address potential issues. 
Robust green bonds offering
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced (Nov 18) the successful offering of US$3 billion worth of green bonds, denominated in US dollars and euro under the Government Green Bond Programme. The offering comprises US$1 billion 10-year, 1.25 billion euros 5-year and 500 million euros 20-year green bonds. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the strong demand underscored investor confidence in Hong Kong’s economic fundamentals as well as support for the city’s efforts in combating climate change and achieving carbon neutrality. The inaugural euro-denominated offering has also tapped into a new group of investors, drawing their attention to the sustainability journey of and financial opportunities in Hong Kong. 
Fintech growth strategies in place
To strike a better balance between market development and regulation, a Coordination Group on Implementation of Fintech Initiatives will be set up to holistically review and supervise the development of fintech in Hong Kong, said the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui at the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day (Nov 18). The Cyberport will also be commissioned to launch a training program to promote better understanding and encourage more application of fintech by the financial services industry. Earlier, the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021 attracted over 20,000 participants looking for business opportunities for the fintech industry. It also drew more than 4 million online views from 87 economies. The five-day event themed “Scaling FinTech Future Together” was a culmination of a celebration of Hong Kong as an attractive hub for start-ups and scale-ups in the region, and a showcase of exciting fintech collaboration.
Vaccination booster arrangement extended
Members of the Hong Kong public who have received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine six months ago can make reservations for the third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from Nov 23. The third dose vaccination arrangements for immunocompromised persons remain unchanged, with the third dose administered at least four weeks from the second dose. For individuals aged 18 or above in the higher risk population who have received two doses of the BioNTech vaccine, the third dose should be administered at least six months from the second dose. Separately, 1 million extra doses of the BioNTech vaccine for the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccination has arrived in Hong Kong (Nov 19). Together with the 7.5 million doses that had arrived earlier, 8.5 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine were purchased.
  • Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in Aug - Oct from 4.5% in the previous three-month period. Underemployment rate also decreased to 1.9% from 2.1% in the same comparison periods.

  • Overall consumer prices rose by 1.7% year-on-year in Oct, larger than the corresponding increase (1.4%) in Sep. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in Oct was 1.1%, marginally larger than that in Sep (1.0%).
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: Does the HKSAR enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers?
A: Yes. The National People’s Congress authorizes the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers, including that of final adjudication. The Chief Executive heads the HKSAR and the Government of the HKSAR. The Executive Council, consisting of members appointed by the Chief Executive, assists the Chief Executive in policy making. The legislature, which is constituted by election, enacts legislation, while the judiciary exercises judicial power independently free from interference. (BL Articles 2; 16; 17; 19; 43; 54; 55; 66; 68; 73; 85)

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