APR 19 - 25, 2022
Inbound travel measures adjusted
With the stabilizing COVID-19 situation, Hong Kong will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers from overseas starting May 1. They will be subject to the same boarding, quarantine and testing requirements as Hong Kong residents, including holding a negative result of a PCR-based nucleic acid test taken within 48 hours before their flight departure time and room reservation at a designated quarantine hotel for at least 7 nights. Upon arrival at the airport, the “test-and-hold" time will be shortened with a rapid antigen test (RAT) for each arriving passenger, in addition to the PCR test. So long as the RAT test result is negative, the passenger may transfer to the designated hotel immediately. Separately, the triggering thresholds for the route-specific flight suspension mechanism will also be suitably adjusted with effect from May 1. 
Cautious business sentiment amid rise in unemployment
Business sentiment among large Hong Kong enterprises turned more cautious amid the fifth wave of local epidemic and deteriorating external environment, while hiring sentiment remained largely stable, according to the latest Quarterly Business Tendency Survey. Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 5% for the period between January and March, rising 0.5 percentage points compared with the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate increased to 3.1% during the period. While the labor market will still be subject to pressure in the near term, with the easing local epidemic situation, together with the launch of a new round of consumption vouchers, the business of the consumption-related sectors should gradually improve and thus support employment in these sectors. The various support measures rolled out by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government should also help support business sentiment in the near term.
Inflation rises in March
Overall consumer prices in Hong Kong rose 1.7% in March year-on-year, larger than the 1.6% increase in February. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in March’s underlying inflation rate was also 1.7%, larger than the average increase rate of 1.5% in January and February. Inflation in many major economies may stay high in the near term amid heightened geopolitical risks and supply and transportation bottlenecks. The volume of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods and imports of goods fell by 8.8% and 4.7% respectively year-on-year. During the same comparison period, the total export volume to the mainland of China and the USA both decreased by 12.1%. 
Business Seminar: Hong Kong Still Matters
With the global economic center of gravity shifting east, learn how you can take advantage of Hong Kong, one of the most vibrant international business centers, to grow your business in this business seminar “Hong Kong Still Matters” on May 13 at 10:30 AM (EDT). This hybrid event – an in-person seminar to be held at Metro Atlanta Chamber in Atlanta, GA and simultaneously streamed online – will feature an exciting lineup of Hong Kong experts and Asian old hands. They include: Amb Kurt Tong, former US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau and Partner of The Asia Group; Stephen Phillips, Director-General of Investment Promotion of Invest Hong Kong; and Dr Yawei Liu, Director of China Program at The Carter Center. Moderated by Fred Teng, President of America China Public Affairs Institute, the event is organized by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, together with the Hong Kong Association of Atlanta and Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Webinar: A Closer Look at Global Inflation: Logistics & Supply Chain Disruption
In conjunction with World Trade Week NYC, the Hong Kong Association of New York is hosting a webinar “A Closer Look at Global Inflation: Logistics & Supply Chain Disruption” on May 11 at 8 PM (EDT). During this public online event, the panelists will cover issues and topics relating to the impact of global inflation, how logistics and supply chain disruptions affect the business world, and the opportunities in the new era. Register now and get fresh insights on this topical issue. 
Season finale of “Tiny Galaxy Concerts @ Wontonmeen”
Season two of Hong Kong Sinfonietta’s (HKS) “Tiny Galaxy Concert” series ends with this finale featuring international trumpet and flugelhorn superstar Sergei Nakariakov, who starts the program with the slow movement of Rachmaninov's “Cello Sonata in G minor, Op 19: III Andante”, arranged for flugelhorn. This is followed by Robert Schumann’s “Intermezzo from F-A-E Sonata” and Clara Schumann's “Three Romances for Violin & Piano, Op 22: No 3 Leidenschaftlich schnell”, performed by HKS concertmaster and violinist James Cuddeford and pianist Colleen Lee. Closing the program is Nakariakov playing Schumann's "Adagio and Allegro, Op 70" (Arranged for Flugelhorn).
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 People’s Government (CPG) 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 CPG or on its own, 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 CPG 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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