SEP 28 - OCT 4, 2021
S&P affirms Hong Kong’s credit ratings
Credit ratings agency S&P Global Ratings affirms (Sep 29) Hong Kong’s long-term and short-term issuer credit ratings as “AA+” and “A-1+”, respectively, with a “stable” outlook. The latest report expects the city’s economy to continue to recover and that legislative changes over the past year will not materially affect Hong Kong’s policymaking process or strong economic profile. Hong Kong’s creditworthiness reflects policymaking that has contributed to high per capita income, robust fiscal buffers, and healthy fiscal performance. The city’s strong external balance sheet, low debt level and credible monetary institutions further support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s credit standing.
Second in digital competitiveness
Hong Kong has climbed to 2nd place globally in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2021. The city has made improvements across all three factors assessed for the capacity of markets to adopt and explore digital technologies. Over the past few years, the government has committed over US$14.1 billion to support developments in innovation and technology: from research infrastructure, research & development subsidies, to talent attraction and nurturing. The city has also moved fast to establish 5G telecoms infrastructure and encourage early adoption of 5G technology.
Passage of fund bills welcomed

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui welcomed (Sep 30) the passage of two amendment bills on establishing fund re-domiciliation mechanisms, which would spur the rapid development of Hong Kong’s asset and wealth management business. The amended ordinances establish new fund re-domiciliation mechanisms for existing funds set up in corporate or limited partnership form outside Hong Kong to re-locate their registration and operation to the city. “This would further develop Hong Kong into a preferred fund domicile and drive demand for local related professional services, and in turn strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international financial center,” said Mr Hui.
Digital currency technical whitepaper released
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has released a whitepaper, e-HKD: A technical perspective,” proposing potential technical architecture and design for the infrastructure of a digital Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD). HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue said the whitepaper marks the first step of HKMA’s technical exploration for the e-HKD. The knowledge gained from this research, together with the experience acquired from other central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects, would help inform further consideration and deliberation on the technical design of the e-HKD. The HKMA would continue to collaborate closely with the Hong Kong Centre of the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub and peer central banks to broaden and deepen the research, which could also contribute to the global exploration for using CBDC to expedite cross-border payments.
More opportunities for Hong Kong
Hong Kong has been both a participant in and a contributor to the economic reform of Mainland China, and also a beneficiary in the process, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the National Day reception (Oct 1). She pointed out that the investment and business expansion of these Hong Kong enterprises have also contributed to the evolution of Hong Kong into an international financial, commerce and transportation center, as well as expansion in scope of Hong Kong’s professional services. “With Hong Kong back on the right track of ‘one country, two systems’, and as long as we all remain steadfast on safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and ensuring the principle of ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’, I am sure Hong Kong enterprises, Hong Kong businessmen and Hong Kong people will only have more and more opportunities and scope for development in the Mainland,” she said.
Webinar: Update on Hong Kong’s business environment 
Join Invest Hong Kong’s Director-General of Investment Promotion Stephen Phillips at a webinar on Oct 7 (8:00PM EDT) to hear about the very latest developments in Hong Kong relevant to businesses around the world. Aside from sharing key insights from the recently publishedReport on Hong Kong's Business Environment, Mr Phillips will also share the headline findings of Invest Hong Kong’s annual Regional Headquarters and Startup Surveys, as well as ‘hot off the press’ highlights of interest to business from the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address, to be unveiled on Oct 6. Register here.
Strategies to cope with COVID-19 epidemic
The HKSAR Government will continue to strive to reach “zero infection” and sustain the various stringent and necessary anti-epidemic measures. These measures are part of its anti-epidemic strategy to prevent the importation of cases and the spreading of the virus in the community, in the hopes of creating favorable conditions for the early gradual resumption of cross-border travel with the Mainland and Macao. Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan (Sep 29) reiterated that the strategy has been premised on the overall interest of the Hong Kong community and to resume normalcy in a gradual and orderly manner. 
Chicago award for Hong Kong actor
Hong Kong versatile actor Gordon Lam Ka-tung, the recipient of the Career Achievement Award at this season’s Asian Pop-up Cinema in Chicago, is headlining two screenings at the drive-in session of the “Hong Kong Cinema Panorama” film series, namely the closing night film “Limbo”, the dystopian thriller by Soi Cheang, and the noir crime drama “Hand Rolled Cigarette” by first-time director Chan Kin Long. Lam is also the producer of black comedy “Time”. Check out the Q&A session with this award- winning actor and get your tickets to these movies! 
  • The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to US$55.6 billion in August, up 25.9% year-on-year. The value of imports of goods jumped 28.1% to US$58.9 billion for the same period, resulting in a trade deficit of US$3.3 billion, or 5.7% of the value of imports. Looking ahead, the global economic recovery and vibrant regional trade flows should continue to support the city’s export performance in the near term.

  • August’s total retail sales value surged 11.9% year-on-year to a provisionally estimated at US$3.6 billion. The notable pick-up was attributed to the boost from the Consumption Voucher Scheme, along with the stable local epidemic and improved labor market conditions.

  • The HKSAR Government recorded a US$9.7 billion deficit for the five months ending Aug 31. Expenditure for the period was US$32.3 billion and revenue was US$22.6 billion. Fiscal reserves stood at US$109.2 billion as at the end of August.
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: Can Hong Kong conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions or international organizations, and participate in international conferences?
A: Hong Kong plays an active role in the international arena and maintains close contact with its international partners. The HKSAR may under the authorization of the central government conclude certain agreements with foreign states or regions, or may on its own, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the appropriate fields. Since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the HKSAR Government, authorized by the central government, has concluded about 600 bilateral agreements in accordance with the Basic Law, including air services agreements, visa abolition agreements, free trade agreements, and cultural co-operation agreements etc. In addition, the HKSAR may, as members of delegations of the People’s Republic of China, or in such other capacity as may be permitted by the central government and the international organization or conference concerned, or using the name “Hong Kong, China”, participate in relevant international organizations and conferences. (BL Articles 96; 133; 151; 152; 155)

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