JUNE 14 - 21, 2022
Hong Kong ranks 5th in world competitiveness
Hong Kong climbs two places to rank as the fifth most competitive economy in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022 published by the International Institute for Management Development. Hong Kong continues to rank favorably in terms of government efficiency and business efficiency, while its rankings in economic performance and infrastructure also improved. On sub-factors, the city continues to top the ranking in business legislation and remains in the top three positions in public finance, tax policy as well as international investment.
Financial Secretary warns about external risks
Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong, with over US$35.9 billion in interbank balance, has enough liquidity and strong buffer to withstand capital outflow as the city’s interest rates rose in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve’s 75-basis point rate hike, under the Linked Exchange Rate System. He cautioned that people should watch out for external risks and asset prices, pointing out that some emerging markets whose economic fundamentals are not as strong, may be subject to additional risks and there would be increased volatility in the financial market. Following the 75-basis point upward adjustment in the target range for the US federal funds rate, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority adjusted (Jun 16) the Base Rate upward to 2% with immediate effect. 

International investment position remains positive
At the end of the first quarter of 2022, both Hong Kong's external financial assets and liabilities stood at a very high level, amounting to US$6,345 billion (17.4 times of GDP) and US$4,345.3 billion (11.9 times of GDP) respectively. Hong Kong's net external financial assets was 5.5 times of GDP, which is one of the largest in the world, providing the economy with a strong cushion against sudden external shocks. Separately, the volume of Hong Kong's total exports of goods and imports of goods in April decreased by 6.2% and 6.6% respectively year-on-year while the prices of total exports of goods and imports of goods increased by 8.2% and 9.3% respectively. Comparing April 2022 with April 2021, the total export volume to the US rose 24.1%, with the total export prices up 7.1%. 
Jobless rate improved in May
Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point to 5.1% for the Mar – May period. The underemployment rate also decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 3.5% during the period. The unemployment and underemployment situation improved alongside the moderated local COVID-19 epidemic and the gradual relaxation of social distancing measures in the latter part of the period. The new round of Consumption Voucher Scheme and the 2022 Employment Support Scheme have also helped the employment market. Looking ahead, provided that the local epidemic remains under control, domestic economic activities and thus labor market conditions should continue to improve in the coming months. The various support measures rolled out by the government will continue to help support enterprises and keep workers in employment.
New government team appointed
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced on June 19 the appointments of 21 principal officials of the sixth-term, led by Chief Executive-elect John Lee. Noting that the next five years will be a crucial time for Hong Kong to advance from stability to prosperity, Mr Lee said both he and his team will rise to the challenges, leading Hong Kong and making good use of the unique advantages under the "one country, two systems" to start a new chapter for Hong Kong together. 
Online assistance form introduced
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department (ImmD) introduced (Jun 21) the online service request form service for residents in distress outside Hong Kong to seek assistance. They may provide brief contact information and the assistance required, either via the ImmD mobile app or its website, or by scanning the QR code. The Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit will contact them as soon as possible to render practicable assistance. Currently, residents in distress or in need of assistance outside Hong Kong can call the ImmD’s 24-hour hotine (+852 1868) or contact them using network data on the ImmD mobile app.
Hong Kong arts fellows complete residency at Yale
Congratulations to (from right) Waillis Lee, Hollis Ngai and Noah Fang, who have completed their six-month residency program at the Yale University. Both Lee and Ngai participated in the program under the auspices of the Hong Kong Arts Activators Fellowship program supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, in collaboration with Yale China Association (YCA). Fang is a YCA arts fellow. The trio presented or will present their respective works at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. In a podcast (Jun 14), Ngai interweaved interviews, stories and memories to present a fresh perspective on cultural identities, while Fang introduced (Jun 17) audience to the rich cultural history of Chinese art songs. On Jun 26, Lee will present “Jazz Orbit – A Mobile Music Platform & Encounter” in downtown New Haven to connect musicians with local communities. 
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: Have Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life been preserved?
A: The Basic Law provides that the capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged. Hong Kong maintains a free and open market economy with a free flow of capital, goods, intangible assets, and a freely convertible currency. People's lifestyle remains the same as before. (BL Articles 5; 112; 115)

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