SEPTEMBER 20 - 26, 2022


Quarantine rules for arrivals relaxed

Hong Kong has further eased entry restrictions, including the lifting of compulsory quarantine requirement for inbound travelers from overseas. Starting Sep 26, visitors to Hong Kong are only required to undergo three days of medical surveillance. Unvaccinated Hong Kong residents can now board a flight for Hong Kong. Non-Hong Kong residents aged 12 or above are still required to be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical exemption certificate. Boarding arrangements for inbound travelers have also been simplified. They are now only required to present a negative result of a self-arranged rapid antigen test (RAT), instead of a PCR-based nucleic acid test, taken within 24 hours of their scheduled departure. After completing a PCR test at the airport upon arrival, they can return home or proceed to any hotel of their own choice immediately without waiting for the test result. Home media surveillance starts when a negative PCR test result is obtained, during which travelers are free to go out but are obliged to comply with Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass. 


Hong Kong ranks 4th in financial centers index

Hong Kong ranked fourth globally, out of 119 financial centers, in the latest Global Financial Centres Index report (Sep 22). The city saw an increase in its overall rating at 725. It also saw improvements in the area of financial sector development, jumping four places compared with the previous issue. According to the report, Hong Kong-based practitioners were the most confident about Hong Kong’s future competitiveness as an international financial center. Hong Kong will continue to roll out new measures with an innovative mindset to attract talent and enterprises, strengthen the impetus for the growth of the Hong Kong economy, and further enhance the competitiveness of the city's financial industry.

US rate hike risks monitored

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said (Sep 22) that while he believes the latest rate hike in US will not pose a risk to Hong Kong’s financial system, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is monitoring the situation. Mr Chan warned that external demand will suffer due to such a rate increase and on account of that, it will harm Hong Kong’s exports performance. Still, he does not believe it will lead to a sharp drop in the city’s property market. Following the latest US rate hike, Hong Kong’s Base Rate was adjusted upward to 3.50% with immediate effect according to a pre-set formula.

August exports value down 14.3%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports fell to US$47.6 billion in August, down 14.3% year-on-year. The value of imports of goods dropped 16.3% to US$49.3 billion for the same period, resulting in a trade deficit of US$1.7 billion, equivalent to 3.4% of the value of imports. The value of merchandise exports saw a widened decline due to the worsened external environment and continued disruptions to cross-boundary land transportation. Exports to the Mainland, the US and the EU continued to fall, while those to other major Asian markets recorded mixed performance. Looking forward, Hong Kong’s export performance will face immense pressure due to the deteriorating external environment, elevated inflation in major advanced economies and interest rate hikes by relevant central banks. Heightened geopolitical tensions and supply-chain disruptions also add to the uncertainties.

Overall consumer prices rose 1.9%

Hong Kong’s overall consumer prices rose by 1.9% in August year-on-year, the same as that in July 2022. Netting out the effects of all government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI in August 2022 was 1.8%, slightly smaller than that in July 2022 (1.9%). Price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; basic food; meals out and takeaway food; transport; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; miscellaneous services; miscellaneous goods and durable goods. A year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for housing. Overall inflation should remain moderate in the near term as domestic cost pressures are still mild.


Hong Kong Sevens to return on Nov 4 - 6

The Hong Kong Sevens – the world's best rugby sevens tournament – is scheduled to return on Nov 4-6. Speaking at the official launch (Sep 23), Financial Secretary Paul Chan pointed out that the Hong Kong Sevens and businesses are intertwined and the return of the Hong Kong Sevens means business is returning too, adding that the momentum to relaunch sporting events in Hong Kong will keep on building despite the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic. “Hong Kong is poised to re-embrace the world, a world of rewarding connections - in business, sports, entertainment and whatever else you have to offer,” he said.

Paddlers donate to New York charities

Paddlers from the 2022 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York continue the festival’s philanthropic tradition, raising a total of US$9,000 for three local New York non-profit organizations – Charles B. Wang Chinatown Health Clinic, Chinatown Partnership and Glow Community Center – that provide services for the elderly, the youth, the underprivileged as well as small businesses. Over the last 30 years, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, along with its racing teams and sponsors, has raised over US$350,000 to support New York-based non-profit organizations. 


Smart ID card replacement set for residents born in 1996 - 2000

Hong Kong residents born in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 or 2000 should apply for a new smart identity card at a smart identity card replacement center from Oct 7 to Dec 10. Bookings can be made online, on the Immigration Department’s mobile app or by calling the 24-hour hotline at +852-2121-1234. Those who have not applied should do so as early as possible to avoid a last-minute rush. Residents who are absent from Hong Kong during their call-up period can apply within 30 days of their return to the city.


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: Is Hong Kong a free port and a separate customs territory?

A: The HKSAR is a separate customs territory. The HKSAR, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. Ships of all nations enjoy access to the ports of the HKSAR, which is a free port, in accordance with the laws of the Region. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)

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