MAR 1 - 7, 2022
Government determined to curb COVID-19
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government reiterated (Mar 5) that it spares no efforts in its fight against the fifth wave of COVID-19 in the city. Led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, various government agencies will continue to work in concert in relevant anti-epidemic work to stabilize the situation early. To cope with the severity of the fifth wave and to ensure the effective implementation of the anti-epidemic measures supported by the central authorities, Mrs Lam has assigned special tasks to 13 directors of bureaux. In addition, the government today launched an online reporting platform for people who test positive for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests, so as to grasp the epidemic situation more accurately as well as to provide more appropriate support for patients with higher risks. 
Consumption voucher program details announced
More than 6.3 million Hong Kong residents who successfully registered for the Consumption Voucher Scheme launched last year will receive the first HK$5,000 (US$641) voucher through their registered stored value facility accounts in April. The vouchers will expire on Oct 31. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the disbursement of the first batch of vouchers will help relieve people’s economic burden. The remaining vouchers will be disbursed together with the vouchers for new eligible registrants in phase two of the program in the middle of the year. The usage and coverage of the consumption vouchers are the same as the arrangement for last year.
Legal Cloud services officially launched 
The Hong Kong Legal Cloud services was launched on Mar 1 to provide safe, secure and affordable data storage services for the local legal and dispute resolution sectors. The Hong Kong Legal Cloud is an advanced and user-friendly online facility that will enhance the capability of the profession to harness modern technology in the provision of relevant services. All the information will be stored in the cloud servers hosted locally, with relevant services provided by the eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre, a non-profit making organization. The Department of Justice also set up a fund to subsidize eligible local legal and dispute resolution professionals for free subscription to the Hong Kong Legal Cloud services for up to three years.
Webinar on Hong Kong outlook this Wednesday
What are Hong Kong’s economic outlook and long-term growth drivers? Do not miss the opportunity to learn more at the upcoming webinar “Hong Kong Outlook with HKETO and HSBC” this Wednesday (Mar 9) at 6 PM ET. In addition to the recently unveiled 2022-23 Budget, HKETONY Director Candy Nip and HSBC Economist Erin Xin will also discuss the latest economic developments and the opportunities ahead. Register here
Hong Kong cinema shines in Chicago
Five exciting Hong Kong films will be featured at the upcoming Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 14 in Chicago. Female director Kearen Pang’s production “Mama’s Affair”, featuring Keung To and Jer Lau of the wildly popular boy band “Mirror” in their film debut, will be screened to a sold-out audience on Apr 2. Also having its US premiere on the same day is the documentary film “Bamboo Theatre”, helmed by Cheuk Cheung, which offers an insight into this unique theatrical architecture and cultural space. Rounding up the selection in the “Hong Kong Cinema” series are Ann Hui’s period drama “Love After Love”, Emily Chan’s romantic drama “Madalena” and an encore screening of “All You Need Is Love” to be screened online from Mar 28 to Apr 3. Reserve your tickets now! 
Online program by HK String Orchestra
Tune in to the online performance of a popular Yunnan folk song “A Horseherd’s Mountain Song” by the Hong Kong String Orchestra. Arranged by Chinese-American composer and Pulitzer Prize winner Zhou Long, the music blends in Chinese and Western characteristic and exudes the scenic beauty of the western Yunnan plateau and the simple lifestyle of herdsmen.
  • The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at US$4.3 billion, rose 4.1% year-on-year. Looking ahead, the retail sector will remain under immense pressure in the near term given the very austere epidemic situation and various restrictive measures in place.

  • Hong Kong’s total port cargo throughput in 2021 fell by 14.3% year-on-year to 213.7 million tonnes. Within this total, inward port cargo and outward port cargo decreased by 20.6% and 0.7% compared with the whole year of 2020 to 134.9 million tonnes and 78.8 million tonnes respectively.

  • Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserves dropped to US$490.9 billion in February from January’s US$492.5 billion. The reserve assets represent over six times the currency in circulation or about 47% of Hong Kong dollar M3.
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: Can foreign enterprises participate fully in Hong Kong’s economy?
A: Yes. Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the participation of foreign enterprises, and provides a level playing field for all. There are no foreign exchange controls in Hong Kong and no restrictions on the trading of gold, securities, futures and the like. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall maintain the status of a free port, pursue the policy of free trade and safeguard the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 112; 114; 115)

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