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DECEMBER 28, 2023 - JANUARY 2, 2024

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Thank you, 2023, and welcome, 2024!

2023 was a fruitful year for the Hong Kong Economic and Trade office, New York – it all started when “Hong Kong Rocks!” kicked off the stage of the countdown celebration at New York Times Square with festive dance and music extravaganza. A series of notable highlights include the US premiere of Hong Kong Ballet’s ingenious adaptation of “Romeo + Juliet”, which transported the audience in New York and North Carolina to the captivating streets of 1960s Hong Kong. The glamour of the fashion came alive at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, where Hong Kong-raised international fashion icon Vivienne Tam brought the metaverse streets of Hong Kong to the runway. Through 20 locally produced films, the magic of Hong Kong’s creative industries was brought to the US audience at New York Asian Film Festival and the Chicago’s Asian Pop-up Cinema, which were graced by A-list celebrities including Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok and Anson Kong. Also in the Windy City, we supported the first North American solo exhibition of ink paint master Lui Shou-kwan, the pioneer of the New Ink Painting movement in Hong Kong in the 1960s, at the Art Institute of Chicago.


One of the core objectives of our office is to promote and strengthen the economic and trade links between Hong Kong and the US East. In the past year, we renewed and strengthened our ties with the business, finance and academic sectors in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia through in-person visits, receptions, seminars and luncheon events. In 2023, the Hong Kong Association of New York, which our office has long been supporting, celebrated its 35th anniversary of establishment, symbolising the long-standing and strong ties between Hong Kong and US since 1988.


As international travels have fully resumed, we welcomed Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Eddie Yue, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Nicolas Aguzin and the Head of Policy Research of Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council Dr Rocky Tung to New York and arranged exclusive luncheons for them to meet with top bankers, financiers, business leaders and academics, providing them with first hand updates of Hong Kong’s continued strengths and opportunities and building continued partnerships.

On the international level, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau and Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Detroit. Mr Yau also attended a roundtable dinner in New York during which he updated interlocutors on the latest development of Hong Kong.


Last but not least, a total of over 300 teams and 80,000 revelers rejoiced as our office supported the successful Hong Kong dragon boat festivals in New York, Atlanta and Boston, uniting communities and promoting Hong Kong and Chinese tradition. To raise Hong Kong’s profile as a major sports hub, we sponsored the Professional Squash Association World Championships, and invited our contacts in the mid-west region to attend the matches and other relevant activities to support our players.


We are grateful to our many partners for their support in sharing the best of Hong Kong’s arts and culture along with the myriad of business opportunities with the US audience this past year. At the start of 2024, we look forward to continuing our mission in fostering even stronger ties and friendships with the US East Coast. Stay tuned!

Spectacular fireworks illuminated Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong welcomed 2024 with the city’s biggest and grandest New Year Countdown Fireworks Musical. Themed “New Year, New Legend”, the 12-minute pyromusical attracted hundreds and thousands of celebrating revellers on both sides of Victoria Harbour to see the dazzling spectacular extravaganza that illuminated the skies against the city’s iconic skyline.


Banking amendment rules to implement Basel III reforms gazetted

Hong Kong gazetted (Dec 29) the Banking (Capital) (Amendment) Rules 2023, the Banking (Disclosure) (Amendment) Rules 2023, the Banking (Exposure Limits) (Amendment) Rules 2023, and the Banking (Liquidity) (Amendment) Rules 2023 to complete the implementation of the latest capital standards and associated disclosure requirements promulgated by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision under the Basel III reforms. The compliance will further bolster the resilience of Hong Kong’s banking system and reinforce the city’s status as an international financial centre. Both amendment rules will be tabled at the Legislative Council on Jan 10 and take effect on Apr 1, 2024, and Jan 1, 2025, respectively.


November exports value up 7.4%

The value of Hong Kong’s total exports increased to US$49.6 billion in November, up 7.4% year-on-year. The value of goods imports increased 7.1% to US$53.2 billion for the same period, resulting in a trade deficit of US$3.6 billion, or 6.7% of the value of imports. The value of merchandise exports recorded a year-on-year increase due to a low comparison base. Exports to the US grew modestly. Looking ahead, the challenging external environment will continue to weigh on Hong Kong’s export performance in the near term.


Skewed remarks rejected

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the fact-twisting remarks and baseless smears by foreign countries in the name of so-called “Media Freedom Coalition” members against press freedom in Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government emphasised that Hong Kong people enjoy freedom of the press and freedom of speech as protected under the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, adding that Article 4 of the Hong Kong National Security Law stipulates that such freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents shall be protected in accordance with the law in safeguarding national security in the city. It added that the media landscape in Hong Kong is as vibrant as ever and a total of 213 media organisations are now registered with the Government’s news dissemination system.


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: Do Hong Kong residents have the right to vote and to stand for election?

A: Yes. Persuant to Article 26 of the BL, permanent residents of Hong Kong have the right to vote and stand for elections in accordance with law. The National People’s Congress (NPC) made the Decision on Improving the Electoral System of the HKSAR (the Decision) on 11 March 2021 and laid down the fundamental principles for amending Annexes I and II to the Basic Law, including “upholding HKSAR permanent residents’ right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law”. The Standing Committee of the NPC had made careful consideration and balance of these rights in amending Annexes I and II to the Basic Law, in order to establish a political structure that upholds the “one country, two systems” principle, reflects the actual situation of Hong Kong and ensures “patriots administering Hong Kong”. It should be noted that the right to vote as safeguarded by Article 26 of the Basic Law should be construed with other relevant provisions in the Basic Law in their entirety, in particular Articles 45, 68 as well as Annexes I and II of the Basic Law. Articles 45 and 68 provide that the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light of the “actual situation in the HKSAR” and in accordance with the “principle of gradual and orderly progress”. The design of electoral system and the right to vote should be implemented in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR. (BL Articles 26; 45; 68; Annexes I and II)

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