JUNE 1 - 6, 2022
Pilot program for visitors launched
Hong Kong launched (Jun 1) a two-year pilot program to provide immigration facilitation for visitors participating in short-term activities, covering 10 sectors ranging from healthcare and innovation and technology to sports, arts and mega events. Overseas talents invited by authorized host organizations may come to Hong Kong to participate in designated short-term activities as visitors, without the need to apply for employment visas/entry permits from the Immigration Department. In addition, non-local speakers across the board will be allowed to deliver speeches/presentations without the need to apply for an employment visa/entry permit for 14 consecutive days (up from seven days) upon each arrival, and the cap on the number of events will be removed. Details here.
April retail sales up 11.7%
The value of total retail sales in April rebounded visibly by 11.7% year-on-year in April, after two consecutive months of decline, on the back of receding local epidemic and the disbursement of the first batch of consumption vouchers. After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month rose 8.1% year-on-year. Looking ahead, the retail sector should continue to recover provided that the local epidemic situation remains stable. The Consumption Voucher Scheme and other measures rolled out by the government will further support consumption demand.
Further tax concessions for shipping-related activities
The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (Tax Concessions for Certain Shipping-Related Activities) Bill 2022 was gazetted on Jun 2, seeking to provide half-rate profits tax concessions (i.e. at a tax rate of 8.25%) for qualifying shipping commercial principals (i.e. ship agents, ship managers and ship brokers) in Hong Kong. As these businesses serve to facilitate ship ownership and operation, the tax measures will strengthen Hong Kong’s competitiveness in attracting ship agency, ship management and ship broking activities, which will also help attract the setting up of related maritime business establishments in Hong Kong. The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first and second readings on Jun 15. 
Issuance of sovereign bonds welcomed
The Ministry of Finance planned to issue RMB sovereign bonds totaling RMB23 billion in four batches in Hong Kong this year. Welcoming the announcement, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the bonds issuance for 14 consecutive years demonstrates clearly the Central People’s Government’s staunch support of Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center and the global offshore RMB business hub, and is conducive to promoting the sustainable development of the bond market in Hong Kong and attracting more international capital to the Hong Kong market.
Government opposes US report
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government expressed (Jun 3) strong opposition to the unfounded remarks on Hong Kong in the US’ 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom. The HKSAR Government said the National Security Law ensures the resolute, full and faithful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy. The rights and freedoms enjoyed by residents of Hong Kong under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights as applicable to Hong Kong shall be protected in accordance with the law.
Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival to be held Jun 11-12
The 43rd Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will return to the Charles River this weekend (Jun 11 – 12), with 1,000 paddlers from 48 racing teams competing for honors. Supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York (HKETONY), this dragon boat festival is the oldest one in North America. Aside from the dragon boat races, on June 12, the festival will also feature cultural performances from various local and regional community groups. The HKETONY will also set up a game booth and stage a mini-exhibition, featuring works of Hong Kong illustrator Stella So to showcase the cultural heritage of Hong Kong. Come and join us this Sunday!
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: Has there been any interference in the independence of the Judiciary?
A: No. Hong Kong's robust and respected court system exercises judicial power independently, free from any interference. The power of final adjudication is vested in the Court of Final Appeal of the HKSAR, which may as required invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal. The principle of trial by jury previously practiced in Hong Kong is maintained. (BL Articles 2; 19; 81; 82; 85; 86)

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