JULY 26 - AUGUST 1, 2022
Dragons roar in New York
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) roared back to full scale at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. A closing bell ringing ceremony was held at the New York Stock Exchange (Jul 29) to mark this special occasion. Over the weekend (Jul 30 – 31), more than 170 teams competed in the two-day races. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) is proud that its dragon boat team, Hong Kong and Friends Dragon Riders, won gold in four open and invitational races, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 25th Anniversary Challenge Race. The team placed second and third, respectively, in two other races. The HKDBF-NY is the largest dragon boat event in the US. In addition to the spectacular races on Meadows Lake, the festival also featured an array of fun-filled activities on shore, including cultural performances, arts and crafts stalls, and international food delights, attracting thousands of participants every year.  
Real GDP falls 1.4% in second quarter
According to the advanced estimates, Hong Kong’s real GDP fell by 1.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, after a 3.9% contraction in the preceding quarter (revised from the earlier estimate of a 4.0% decrease). On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter basis, real GDP rebounded by 0.9%, having declined by 2.9% in the preceding quarter. While the economy improved in the second quarter, the extent of improvement was smaller than expected. Looking ahead, elevated inflation in the advanced economies amid supply-side disruptions and persistent tension in Ukraine, and the stepping up of monetary policy tightening by many major central banks are expected to dampen economic growth significantly. Nonetheless, if cross-boundary land transportation between the Mainland and Hong Kong continues to improve, Hong Kong’s external trade may get some relief.
Hong Kong’s base rate rises
Hong Kong recorded a US$14 billion deficit for the first three months of the current financial year (2022-23), with expenditure of US$25.1billion and revenue of US$11.2 billion. The city’s fiscal reserves stood at US$108.7 billion at the end of June. Separately, the unaudited financial position of the Hong Kong Exchange Fund at end-June 2022, recorded an investment loss of US$18.4 billion in the first half of 2022. Looking ahead into the second half of 2022, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Eddie Yue said the challenging global investment conditions will continue to linger, and this may lead to higher volatility in asset markets. Separately, in tandem with the US Federal Reserve raising the interest rate by 75 basis points on Jul 27, the HKMA raised its Base Rate to 2.75% with immediate effect.
Government objects to unfair criticisms
The HKSAR Government strongly objects (Jul 27) to unfair criticisms from the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The government said any law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law, for the acts of the people or entities concerned, and have nothing to do with their background. Human rights are guaranteed constitutionally by both the Constitution and the Basic Law, and is underpinned by the rule of law and an independent judiciary. The HKSAR Government will ensure that the existing mechanism continues to effectively protect fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, and does not see any need for the establishment of an additional human rights institution.
Hong Kong and its Basic Law
The Basic Law 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: Is Chinese the only official language allowed under the Basic Law?
A: No, in addition to Chinese, English is also an official language used by the executive authorities, the legislature and the judiciary of the HKSAR. (BL Article 9)

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