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DECEMBER 13 - 19, 2022

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Hong Kong illuminates New York Times Square

Iconic scenes of Hong Kong lit up the giant LED screen at New York Times Square (December 18), showcasing the energy, diversity and vibrancy of the city. The video launch is also a prelude to the upcoming New Year’s Eve Countdown performance by Hong Kong artists at New York Times Square on December 31. Under the theme “Fusion, Motion, Inspiration - Hong Kong Rocks!”, performing arts group TS Crew, world champion harmonica player CY Leo, and erhu virtuoso Chan Pik-sum will kick off this year’s countdown celebration with a music and dance extravaganza against a brand new medley arranged by legendary jazz pianist and composer Ted Lo. Hong Kong’s iconic fashion designer Vivienne Tam has also designed a limited-edition scarf for the audience at New York Times Square to celebrate this momentous event.


COVID-19 restrictions eased for incoming travelers

Good news for international travelers to Hong Kong! Arrivals who test negative for COVID-19 can now immediately visit venues across the city, following the lifting of the three-day Amber Code restriction from December 14. Requirements to enter public venues have also been simplified, while vaccine proof is still required for entry to certain premises such as restaurants and bars. The testing requirements for inbound travelers remain unchanged. 


Stock Connect expansion welcomed

The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission announced on December 19 the in-principle approval for expanding the scope of eligible stocks under Stock Connect. The measure signifies another milestone after the inclusion of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in the mutual access program in July, further enhancing Hong Kong’s role as the bridge connecting Mainland and overseas investors. The measure also offers more diverse investment choices to Mainland and overseas investors, thereby injecting impetus into cross-boundary market liquidity.

Asia’s first crypto futures ETFs launched

Asia’s first crypto futures ETF listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on December 16. The listing of CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF and CSOP Ether Futures ETF provides investors with greater choice and paves the way for the development of the virtual asset market. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui said the successful listing of the first crypto futures ETFs listing marks the beginning of a new phase of well-regulated virtual assets products available in Hong Kong.

Passage of taxation bill welcomed

Following the passage of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (Taxation on Specified Foreign-sourced Income) Bill 2022 on December 14, Hong Kong’s tax regime will be strengthened to better combat cross-border tax avoidance arising from double non-taxation. It puts in place an economic substance requirement and nexus requirement to safeguard against possible exploitation by shell companies to achieve double non-taxation in respect of foreign-sourced passive income. To take effect on January 1, 2023, the bill also fulfills Hong Kong’s commitment to the European Union in 2021 to amend its tax law. 


Global I&T Summit concludes with great success

The Global I&T Summit concluded on December 15, attracting over 600 participants and underscoring Hong Kong’s accelerating development of I&T locally and globally. It brought together 30 world-class academics, scientists, presidents of renowned institutes and industry leaders from local and around the world to share their incisive insights into the latest I&T issues and trends, highlighting Hong Kong’s role as an international I&T center. Among the renowned science experts who delivered keynote speeches was the Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center of Columbia University, Professor David Ho, who spoke on how new technologies and scientific breakthroughs help combat emerging and new viruses.


Unemployment rate falls to 3.7%

Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in September - November 2022 from 3.8% in the previous three-month period. The unemployment rate decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with a more distinct decrease observed in the foundation and superstructure sectors. The underemployment rate decreased from 1.7% to 1.6% in the same comparison period.


Tan Dun named cultural ambassador

Internationally renowned composer, musician and conductor Tan Dun has been appointed as Hong Kong’s Ambassador for Cultural Promotion for five years starting January 1, 2023. He will initiate large-scale arts projects in Hong Kong and invite local artists to participate in order to promote international cultural exchanges and co-operation. He will also help establish platforms for young artists in the city to equip them with global perspectives through in-person mentorship or promoting exchanges and collaborations among local tertiary institutions.

Pop culture center in the works

Leveraging on its pop culture, including its kung fu icons, Chinese martial arts and police action films and Cantopop music, Hong Kong will host its first annual Pop Culture Festival in 2023, with plans to establish a pop culture center in the long run. Separately, Hong Kong will host the third Museum Summit in March, with Italy's Gallerie degli Uffizi as the international partner. In 2024, the inaugural Greater Bay Area Arts Festival will make its debut and Hong Kong will host the first Hong Kong Performing Arts Market. 


Gold and silver medals for Hong Kong swimmer

Congratulations to Hong Kong swimming athlete Siobhan Bernadette Haughey, who successfully defended her title, winning gold in the Women’s 200-meter Freestyle at the 16th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2022 (December 13 – 18) in Melbourne, Australia. She had earlier won the silver medal in the Women’s 100-meter Freestyle event.


Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It provides the guarantees to maintain our existing way of life, including socio-economic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas. The Basic Law was put into effect on July 1, 1997.


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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