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AUGUST 15 - 21, 2023

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New Director of HKETONY assumes office

Maisie Ho assumes the post of Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) on Aug 21, succeeding the outgoing Director Candy Nip. As Director of HKETONY, Ms Ho is responsible for fostering economic and cultural ties between Hong Kong and 31 states in the eastern part of the United States (US). “I am excited to take up this new role in New York,” said Ms. Ho. “I look forward to strengthening the long-standing ties cultivated over years and fostering further exchanges with our partners in the 31 eastern states of the US. I see a lot of opportunities and unique advantages that Hong Kong continues to offer to our partners.”


WTO multilateral trade agreement on fisheries accepted

Hong Kong officially deposited (Aug 21) with the World Trade Organization (WTO) its Instrument of Acceptance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, the second multilateral trade agreement since the WTO’s establishment and the first with environmental sustainability as the core objective. Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau said the agreement is an important outcome of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference, held last year. It marked a milestone achievement as WTO members reinvigorated multilateralism and worked collaboratively to deliver on issues of global importance, he added. The agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, bans support for fishing of overfished stocks, and ends subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas.


Environment chief attends APEC energy ministerial meeting

Secretary for Environment & Ecology Tse Chin-wan attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministerial Meeting, themed “Creating a Resilient & Sustainable Future for All” in Seattle (Aug 15 – 16). Speaking at the opening plenary, Mr Tse shared with other energy ministers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s strong commitment to combat climate change through decarbonization strategies promulgated in Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050, such as setting up of a new Office of Climate Change & Carbon Neutrality and earmarking a dedicated US$30.8 billion climate budget for decarbonization and green projects. At the discussion session “Power Sector Decarbonization”, Mr Tse shared Hong Kong’s strategies and work on decarbonizing the power sector and highlighted plans to install more floating solar power systems at reservoirs and introducing highly efficient storage battery technology. The environment chief pointed out that the HKSAR Government is also exploring collaboration with neighboring regions on zero-carbon energy projects. While in Seattle, he also visited the Microsoft Thermal Energy Center and a carbon reduction company to learn about the latest new energy developments in the US.


1.8% inflation seen in July

Consumer prices rose 1.8% in July year-on-year, slightly down from the 1.9% increase in June. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.6%, also slightly lower than June’s 1.7%. Looking ahead, overall inflation should stay moderate in the near term and that external price pressures should recede further. While domestic business costs could face some upward pressures amid the economic recovery, these should remain largely moderate in the near term.

Unemployment rate drops to 2.8%

Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped 0.1% to 2.8% in the May-June period, compared to the figures in the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.1%. The labor market should improve further in the coming months as Hong Kong’s economic recovery picks up.


Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It provides the guarantees to maintain our existing way of life, including socio-economic development, the rights and duties of Hong Kong people, the rule of law and other areas. The Basic Law was put into effect on July 1, 1997.


Q: Does the HKSAR Government have complete control over fiscal and economic policies and safeguard the free movement of goods, assets and capital?

A: Yes. The HKSAR Government formulates its own economic policies; manages its finances independently; prepares its own budgets; issues its own freely convertible currency; practices an independent taxation system; keeps its low and simple tax regime; formulates its own monetary and financial policies; safeguards the free flow of capital; maintains the status of a free port; pursues a policy of free trade and protects the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 62; 106-119)

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