JAN 11 - 18, 2022
Hong Kong fencer shines on world stage
Olympic fencing star Edgar Cheung made history for Hong Kong again at the FIE (International Fencing Federation) World Cup in Paris (Jan 15). He beat Italy's Edoardo Luperi at 15-12 in the individual foil final, winning another historic gold for the city. Earlier, he defeated world number 1, Alessio Foconi from Italy, with a score of 15-4 in the semi-final. This was Cheung’s first international competition since the Summer Games, where he clinched Hong Kong’s first-ever Olympic fencing gold medal.
COVID-19 control measures extended
In view of the continuously worsening global pandemic situation due to the Omicron variant, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is extending the suspension of incoming passenger flights from the United States (US) and seven other countries until Feb 4. The suspensions were first introduced on Jan 8. During this period, all passenger flights from the eight places will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong. Separately, Hong Kong International Airport has suspended passenger transfer/transit services for any persons who have stayed in Group A specified places, including the US, from Jan 16 to Feb 15.
More anti-epidemic relief measures launched
The HKSAR Government has rolled out a new round of relief measures with a total funding of about US$457 million to help sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fifth round of the Anti-epidemic Fund consists of two parts: one for premises and individuals directly affected by the latest tightened social distancing measures, and the other for trades which have not seen any business revival as the flow of people between Hong Kong and other places has not yet resumed. Separately, to ease pressure on corporates hard-hit by the pandemic amid the ongoing global supply-chain uncertainties, the repayment period of trade facilities under the Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme has been extended for a further 90-day period until the end of April. 
Speedpost service to US resumed
Speedpost service from Hong Kong to the US resumed on Jan 17, with a weight limit of 4.4 lb (2 kg). Hongkong Post had earlier suspended airmail services to the US and some other destinations due to the substantial reduction in flight frequencies or even cancelation of flights by airlines for certain destinations amid the pandemic.
Renminbi hub reinforced
Hong Kong will undertake a number of initiatives to develop an even more vibrant offshore Renminbi ecosystem, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the Asia Private Equity Forum (Jan 12). These include further building up the offshore Renminbi liquidity pool, enriching the related foreign exchange and interest rate derivative market, increasing the utilization of Renminbi in bonds, loans, equities and other securities products as well as strengthening depository service by developing the Central Moneymarkets Unit into an international central securities depositary in the long term. Hong Kong is also building its financial future on green and sustainable finance.
Trade commitments with Chile enhanced
Hong Kong and Chile signed an exchange of notes to confirm the updated commitments on trade in services under the free trade agreement (FTA), marking a new milestone in trade and investment co-operation between the two economies. At the virtual signing ceremony (Jan 18), Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said since the FTA entered into force in 2014, bilateral merchandise trade has been growing steadily at an average annualized rate of 18.2% from 2015 to 2019, and has remained resilient amidst the pandemic which has brought unprecedented challenges to global trade. Chile is the first FTA partner of Hong Kong in Latin America.
Webinar: Opportunities in Innovation & Technology
One more week to go! Join the webinar “Hong Kong: A World of Opportunities in Innovation & Technology” on Jan 26 (Wednesday) at 6 pm (EST) to learn about the opportunities driving the technology sector in Hong Kong. Global heads of innovation and technology of InvestHK, Wendy Chow and Andy Wong, will give an update on the latest development in the city’s technology ecosystem and how US companies can leverage Hong Kong’s unique advantages to tap into the enormous markets of China and Asia. Nick Cheng of Oracle NetSuite will also join the webinar to share his perspective from an American cloud computing company.
Application for Administrative Service summer internships opens
Overseas Hong Kong students who are interested in pursuing a career in the Administrative Service of the HKSAR are welcomed to apply for the Administrative Service Summer Internship Programme 2022. The program is open to those pursuing full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at recognized tertiary institutions in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, and with a view of obtaining a bachelor's or higher degree by summer 2023 or 2024. The application form, along with details of the program, including the selection criteria and terms of employment, can be found online. Applications have to be submitted by mail or email by Feb 25, 2022.
  • The volume of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased 14.6% year-on-year in Nov 2021 while the volume of goods imports for the month rose 10.3% year-on-year. Prices of goods exports and imports increased 9.5% and 9.2% respectively, year-on-year for the month.

  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Oct – Dec 2021 fell to 3.9% from 4.1% compared to the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.8% to 1.7% during the period.

  • Business sentiment among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improved slightly in December, with the overall diffusion index (DI) rising to 46.0 from 45.5 in the previous month.

  • Foreign assets, representing the external assets of the Exchange Fund, fell by US$2.7 billion to US$521.1 billion in December. The Monetary Base amounted to US$273.2 billion.
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: Have the laws previously in force in Hong Kong been maintained?
A: The Basic Law provides that laws previously in force in Hong Kong, that is, the common law, rules of equity, ordinances, subordinate legislation and customary law, shall be maintained and adopted as laws of the HKSAR, except for any that contravenes the Basic Law, and subject to any amendment by the HKSAR legislature. (BL Articles 8; 18; 160)

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