NOV 30 - DEC 6, 2021
Inbound control measures tightened
In view of the latest global developments of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Hong Kong has tightened the boarding and quarantine requirements for travelers arriving from places with Omicron cases detected. Non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in such places within 21 days are not allowed to enter the city. Fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents from these places must undergo compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel for 21 days upon arrival. Effective Dec 8, all passengers who board a flight from overseas places for transit in Hong Kong are required to present at boarding a negative result proof of a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 with specimen collected within 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure.
SEC urged to correct misleading statement
Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui urged (Dec 3) the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to correct its misleading statement, which said that Hong Kong historically has not worked with the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to allow its required inspections. Mr Hui pointed out that the allegation was unfair and ungrounded, stressing that Hong Kong’s legal and regulatory system on auditors has no restrictions preventing overseas regulators from inspecting auditors’ working papers located in Hong Kong, as evidenced by past examples of the board’s own inspections on Hong Kong auditors.
Hong Kong contributes to green goal
With the wide-ranging expertise to emerge as a green finance hub, Hong Kong is well positioned to provide the necessary financial services support and participate actively in the global transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy. It is also in a unique position to connect the flow of green and sustainable funds with the Mainland and the world. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will soon complete an assessment report on the feasibility of developing Hong Kong into a regional carbon trading center and explore opportunities presented by the carbon emission markets in the Mainland and overseas. It will also promote co-operation between the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and the Guangzhou Futures Exchange in areas such as clearing, technology, product development and marketing to drive the development of a green and low-carbon market in the region.
Committed to implement BEPS 2.0
Hong Kong is fully committed to implementing BEPS 2.0 in accordance with international consensus and will continue to uphold its inherent advantage, including its simple, low and fair tax system, a clean and efficient administration and a level playing field. Speaking at the 2021 Hong Kong Chartered Tax Adviser Conference (Dec 3), Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the adaptation of the BEPS 2.0 rules into domestic regulations would not compromise the simplicity of Hong Kong’s tax system. While the various preferential tax regimes that Hong Kong has put in place will lose some momentum as a result of BEPS 2.0, they will continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises, Mr Chan added.
Promoting intellectual property trading
Hong Kong will capitalize on the support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan in developing into a regional intellectual property (IP) trading center, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the opening session of the Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum (Dec 2). The HKSAR Government will implement a series of initiatives to promote IP trading, including further promoting and developing the “original grant patent” system, exploring with the Mainland authorities on broadening the scope of application of the Patent Cooperation Treaty to cover the “original grant patent” system, and extending other major international IP treaties to Hong Kong. Hong Kong will also strengthen its IP system and industry talent, while boosting IP promotion and collaboration beyond Hong Kong.
Contactless e-Channel service launched
The Contactless e-Channel service was launched (Dec 1) at the Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Shenzhen Bay control points, providing faster, more convenient travel and a more hygienic immigration clearance service for Hong Kong residents. The clearance procedure only takes around seven seconds. Residents can still continue to use fingerprint verification technology or traditional counters for immigration clearance.
  • The value of total retail sales in Oct, provisionally estimated at US$3.9 billion, grew 12% year-on-year, as the entrenched economic recovery and disbursement of the second batch of electronic consumption vouchers enhanced consumption sentiment.

  • In the third quarter of 2021, total port cargo throughput decreased by 12.4% year-on-year to 55.5 million tonnes. During the same period, the port of Hong Kong handled 4.64 million TEUs of containers, representing a year-on-year decrease of 1.2%.
  • Total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to US$593.2 billion as at Oct 31. This is US$12.1 billion higher than that at the end of Sep. Foreign currency assets increased by US$11.6 billion and Hong Kong dollar assets increased by US$448 million.

  • Expenditure for the Apr – Oct 2021 period amounted to US$47.1 billion and revenue US$32.8 billion, resulting in a cumulative year-to-date deficit of US$14.3 billion. Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves stood at US$104.6 billion as at Oct 31. 
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: Is the Hong Kong National Security Law in line with the rule of law?
A: Rule of law is one of the core values that Hong Kong treasures and protects. 
Article 5 of the Hong Kong National Security Law provides that the principle of the rule of law shall be adhered to in preventing, suppressing, and imposing punishment for offences endangering national security; a person who commits an act which constitutes an offence under the law shall be convicted and punished in accordance with the law; and no one shall be convicted and punished for an act which does not constitute an offence under the law.
Establishing the mechanism for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR will not undermine or replace Hong Kong’s existing legal system, and our judicial system continues to be protected by the Basic Law. Apart from providing that the principle of the rule of law shall be adhered to, Article 5 of the Hong Kong National Security Law also provides for the presumption of innocence, the prohibition of double jeopardy, and the right to defend oneself and other rights in judicial proceedings that a criminal suspect, defendant and other parties in judicial proceedings are entitled to under law. (Article 5 of the Hong Kong National Security Law)

Follow us