MAY 17 - 23, 2022
APEC members urged to fully support multilateral trading system
Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said (May 21) APEC member economies should collectively serve as a powerful and running engine behind the multilateral trading system in searching for common ground to bridge differences and forge consensus. At an APEC discussion session (May 22), Mr Yau stressed the importance of international co-operation and regional integration for economic recovery from the COVID-19. He observed that deepening regional economic integration is the foundation for a resilient and prosperous future. Being a staunch supporter of free trade, Hong Kong strongly believes that free and open trade and investment play a significant role in reconnecting the region, and is keen and ready to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to contribute to the building of the wider Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific.
Hong Kong’s unique role to promote green finance 
As an international financial center, Hong Kong is best positioned to provide the necessary infrastructure and connect the flow of green and sustainable funds to promote a green economy, said Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Candy Nip, at the 14th Annual Columbia China Business Conference. Joining the panel “ESG—New Opportunities and Challenges in the Greater Bay Area” (May 20), Ms Nip also highlighted Hong Kong’s climate commitments, world-class regulatory framework and green finance infrastructure, as well as tremendous opportunities in green economy under the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area development.  The business seminar was organized by the Greater China Society of Columbia Business School and hosted virtually from May 19 through May 21, 2022.
Unemployment rate rises to 5.4%
Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 5.4% in February - April 2022. The underemployment rate rose by 0.7 percentage point to 3.8%. While almost all major economic sectors saw an increase in both the unemployment and underemployment rates, the situation somewhat stabilized in the latter part of the period, in tandem with the receding local epidemic and revival of local economic activities. The labor market is expected to see improvement in the coming months, with the improving COVID-19 situation and the progressive relaxation of social distancing measures, together with the new round of Consumption Voucher Scheme, along with other government relief measures.
Hong Kong sees 1.3% inflation in April
Overall consumer prices rose 1.3% in April year-on-year, smaller than the 1.7% increase in March. Netting out the effects of all government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in April’s underlying inflation rate was 1.6%, smaller than the increase rate of 1.7% in March. The smaller increase was mainly due to the slower increases in the prices of basic food. On the other hand, a decrease in housing was recorded. Looking ahead, while external price pressures are expected to remain intensive in view of elevated inflation in many major economies, overall inflation should stay moderate in the near term as domestic cost pressures remain largely mild.
Six more designated quarantine hotels enlisted
In anticipation of the continuously increasing number of inbound travelers, Hong Kong has added another six hotels to the list of designated quarantine hotels. They will be in service from late May, providing about 2,000 additional rooms. As of May 17, there are 62 quarantine hotels in Hong Kong, providing around 22,000 rooms. 
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: Are Mainland laws applicable to Hong Kong?
A: Generally speaking, national laws of the Mainland China are not applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Article 18(2), (3) and (4) of the Basic Law (BL) provide for application of national laws in the HKSAR. Such national laws as applied in the HKSAR shall be listed in Annex III to the BL. Currently, a total of 14 national laws are so listed in Annex III, all of which concern matters outside the limits of the HKSAR’s autonomy. They include national laws on the capital, calendar, national anthem, national flag, national day, national emblem, national security, territorial sea and contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, nationality, garrisoning, diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities as well as judicial immunity of assets of foreign central banks. (BL Article 18; Annex III)

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