SEP 14 - 20, 2021
Hong Kong ranks as freest economy again
The Fraser Institute once again ranked Hong Kong as the world's freest economy in the Economic Freedom of the World 2021 Annual Report. Among the five areas of assessment, Hong Kong continued to rank top in “Freedom to Trade Internationally” and “Regulation”. Hong Kong has held the top rank since the inception of the Fraser Institute’s report. Welcoming the ranking, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government said it affirms the city's long-standing and steadfast commitment to building a free economy with a level playing field.
Southbound bond link set for Sep 24
Southbound Trading under Bond Connect, which will allow Mainland institutional investors to invest in the Hong Kong bond market, is set to be launched on Sep 24. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the launch, completing the two-way connection of the bond markets, set a new milestone for meeting the objectives laid down in the 14th Five-Year Plan, and reinforce Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said this will expand the product suite of the connect family, and further underline the unique function of Hong Kong in connecting Mainland capital and the wide range of products in the international market. Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority Eddie Yue said he was confident that Southbound Trading will further promote the vibrant development of the Hong Kong bond market
Webinar: Hong Kong’s future as an international financial center
More than 120 people from around the world joined a fascinating conversation between Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority Eddie Yue and Co-Chief Operating Officer of KKR Joseph Bae, at a webinar (Sep 15) co-organized by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) and the Hong Kong Association of New York. Mr Yue shared his vision on Hong Kong's future as an international financial center. He highlighted the unique role of Hong Kong as a gateway and connector between Mainland China and the global markets, as well as the forefront development in FinTech, RegTech and green finance in the city. Delivering opening remarks, Director of HKETONY Candy Nip said Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center is buttressed by attributes including its institutional strength, deep liquidity, its status as a leading offshore renminbi hub and a top IPO destination.
Hong Kong welcomed to economic pact
Economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states welcomed (Sep 14) Hong Kong’s interest in seeking accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. They considered that Hong Kong is well placed to add value to the economic partnership, noting that the city has already established free trade agreements with 13 of the 15 participating partnership economies. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau reiterated that Hong Kong’s entrance into the partnership would provide an additional platform for promoting trade and investment between ASEAN and Hong Kong. Bilateral trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN, the city’s second largest trading partner, continued to record robust growth in the face of the pandemic. In the first half of 2021, the value of trade in goods between the two sides jumped by 21% year-on-year, reaching US$75.6 billion.
Recruitment of Administrative Officers
The HKSAR Government is recruiting Administrative Officers to join its rank of public administrators, who are tasked with formulating policies that are in the overall public interest and meet the changing aspirations of the society. Applicants are required to have the requisite Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) and a pass in the Basic Law Test (BLT). Applicants in the US who have not yet possess the requisite CRE results, may also apply and may take part in the upcoming CRE and BLT, tentatively scheduled for Dec 4, 2021 in New York and San Francisco, subject to the latest pandemic situation. Application will close on Oct 8, 2021 (5 pm, Hong Kong time).
Applications open for PhD Fellowship program
Fresh candidates seeking to pursue full-time PhD degrees in Hong Kong, irrespective of their country of origin, prior work experience and ethnic background, are eligible to apply for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme at eight of the city’s universities. The Fellowship offers an annual stipend of US$41,400 and a conference and research-related travel allowance of US$1,730 per year per awardee for a period up to three years. Seize the opportunity and submit your application for the 2022/23 Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme by Dec 1.
World premiere of “The Dishwasher Squad” in Chicago
What happens when two good friends have to save their dishwashing business? Find out at the world premiere of “The Dishwasher Squad”, the directorial debut of Hong Kong filmmaker Shum Shek-yin. This Hong Kong comedy will kick off the drive-in portion of this season’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema film series on Sep 27. If you are in the mood for romance, or prefer watching a drama or a thriller, there is a film in the lineup in this season’s “Hong Kong Cinema Panorama” that suits your taste. Check out the details here and get your tickets now! 
A yummy bite of music
Join Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s cellist Anna Kwan as she introduces her comfort food and one of the most iconic Hong Kong food – Dim Sum. How does the soup dumpling share the complexity in textures and layers with Baroque music? How does shrimp siu-mai remind us of Bach, who is regarded as the “Father of Music”? How do you compare the dainty and elegant Dim Sum to Mozart’s Serenade in B flat, K. 361, Gran Partita? Check out this video to find out!
  • The volume of total goods exports increased 20.1% year-on-year in July, while the volume of goods imports for the month rose 19.5% in the same comparison period. Prices of goods exports and imports increased 5.6% and 5.5% year-on-year for the month.

  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.7% for the period between June and August compared to the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate also dropped to 2.2% during the period.

  • Overall consumer prices rose 1.6% in August year-on-year, smaller than the 3.7% growth in July. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, August’s underlying inflation rate went up 1.2% year-on-year, higher than the 1% recorded in July. 
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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