MAY 24 - 31, 2022
Hong Kong ranks No. 3 in Smart Centres Index
Hong Kong has jumped two places to rank No.3 globally, following New York and London, in the latest Smart Centres Index compiled by London-based commercial think tank Z/Yen. The city is the only Asia-Pacific commercial centers in the top 10 among the 131 centers researched. The ranking, which examines the ability of global commercial centers to harness technology and science, tracks three dimensions related to innovation and technology: innovation support, creative intensity and delivery capability.
InnoHK launched
InnoHK, a major innovation and technology (I&T) initiative in Hong Kong to promote global research collaboration, was officially launched on May 25. Located at the Hong Kong Science Park, the InnoHK consists of two research clusters, namely Health@InnoHK, focusing on healthcare technologies, and AIR@InnoHK, focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies. They will host a total of 28 research laboratories, involving seven local universities and research institutions, as well as over 30 institutions from 11 economies, and pooling around 2,000 researchers locally and from all over the world. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that there will be a promising path for the development of I&T in Hong Kong.
Testing rules for arrivals fine-tuned
Starting Jun 1, Hong Kong will fine-tune nucleic acid testing arrangements for inbound travelers. While travelers must hold a negative result of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based nucleic acid test for COVID-19 taken within 48 hours before their flight departure time, they no longer have to show documentary proof of the laboratory’s accreditation. Pre-departure PCR-based nucleic acid tests will not be required for transit passengers and inbound children under the age of three. However the young children will still be subject to PCR-based nucleic acid tests, as per existing arrangement, upon arrival in Hong Kong. Passengers who have previously contracted the virus 14 to 90 days prior to boarding for Hong Kong and have recovered will be allowed to board a flight if they provide documentary proofs and the negative result of a rapid antigen test conducted within 24 hours prior to boarding. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said these are part of the anti-epidemic measures as Hong Kong moved steadily forward along the path to normalcy
Two more designated quarantine hotels enlisted
Hong Kong has added two more hotels to the list of designated quarantine hotels. They will be in service from early June, providing about 600 additional rooms. As of May 25, there are 64 quarantine hotels in Hong Kong, providing around 23,000 rooms.
Stock Connect to include ETFs
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission have reached an in-principle agreement to include eligible exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Stock Connect. Welcoming the decision, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the implementation of mutual access of ETFs will further strengthen Hong Kong’s role in connecting financial markets in the Mainland and the rest of the world. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that the ETF Connect will offer more diverse asset allocation choices to Mainland and overseas investors, and promote liquidity as well as sustainable development of ETF markets in the two places. A separate announcement will be made on the official launch date of relevant trading. 
Invest Hong Kong launches investment guidebook
Invest Hong Kong has launched (May 26) a comprehensive investment guidebook aimed at foreign companies setting up or planning to set up in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) via Hong Kong. The guidebook presents the latest developments in the GBA - particularly in the areas of innovation and technology, financial services, business and professional services, lifestyle and creative industries, and aviation. It outlines the dynamic landscape of the GBA and the winning strategies to succeed in the region via setting up in Hong Kong. It also sets out tips on government policies and advice on facilitation measures, supported by case studies. The full report can be downloaded here.
Regional arbitration center opens
The AALCO Hong Kong Regional Arbitration Centre, under the auspices of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), officially opened on May 25, consolidating Hong Kong’s status as an international legal hub and dispute resolution center, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. It will also help bring together global expertise in the legal and dispute resolution community, and develop synergy between the legal, dispute resolution and business communities. Adding to the five existing regional arbitration centers in Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran and Kenya, the Hong Kong center will act as a coordinating agency in the AALCO dispute settlement system, aiming to promote the growth and effective functioning of arbitration institutions and other alternative dispute resolution services including online dispute resolution services.
Legal collaboration MOU signed
Hong Kong and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) signed (May 27) a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the administrative arrangements for collaboration relating to private international law and international commercial law. It is the city’s second MOU concluded with UNIDROIT, following the signing of the first one in May 2021, which put in place the arrangements for seconding Hong Kong legal professionals to the UNIDROIT Secretariat. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, SC, said that the MOU opened a new chapter in the close co-operation between Hong Kong and UNIDROIT, and laid the foundation for enhanced collaboration in the field of private international law. 
Vision 2030 for Rule of Law International Symposium held
The Vision 2030 for Rule of Law International Symposium, jointly organized by the Hong Kong’s Department of Justice, the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council and the Asian Academy of International Law, was held on May 26 in a hybrid format, bringing together officials and renowned legal experts and academics from all over the world to examine the understanding and practice of the rule of law under various jurisdictions. Addressing the event, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, SC, said that the rule of law remains the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s success. Also speaking at the event, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the rule of law underpins the economic development of Hong Kong and the city’s enviable way of life. She added that Hong Kong boasts an independent judiciary and fundamental rights and freedoms fully protected under the Basic Law.
April exports value up 1.1%
The values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases in April, at 1.1% and 2.1% respectively. Exports to the US and the EU posted visible growth while those to Mainland fell. A trade deficit of US$4.69 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month. Looking ahead, while the worsened global economic outlook would continue to weigh on Hong Kong's export performance in the near term, the stable local epidemic situation should be conducive to the gradual revival of cross-boundary land transportation, alleviating some of the pressures facing the external sector. 
Financial results for the month ended Apr 30
In the first month of the current financial year, Hong Kong recorded expenditure of US$10.2 billion and revenue of US$4.26 billion, resulting in a deficit of US$6.01 billion. The deficit was mainly due to the fact that some major types of revenue including salaries and profits taxes are mostly received towards the end of a financial year. Separately, the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to US$565.44 billion as at Apr 30.
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: Does the HKSAR enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers?
A: Yes. The National People’s Congress authorizes the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers, including that of final adjudication. The Chief Executive heads the HKSAR and the Government of the HKSAR. The Executive Council, consisting of members appointed by the Chief Executive, assists the Chief Executive in policy making. The legislature, which is constituted by election, enacts legislation, while the judiciary exercises judicial power independently free from interference. (BL Articles 2; 16; 17; 19; 43; 54; 55; 66; 68; 73; 85)

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