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DECEMBER 5 - 11, 2023

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WTO commends Hong Kong’s free and open trade policies

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commended Hong Kong for its continued adoption of free and open trade policies and for maintaining strong fiscal and financial fundamentals even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic at the Trade Policy Review meeting (Dec 8) in Geneva, Switzerland. Leading the Hong Kong, China delegation, the Director-General of Trade and Industry Maggie Wong elaborated on the city’s efforts, amongst others, in enhancing intellectual property right protection in the present-day digital environment, adding Hong Kong remained a free port and a separate customs territory as provided for under the Basic Law, while the city’s capitalist system, free economy and common law system were robustly maintained. She also dismissed misleading concerns about Hong Kong’s high-degree of autonomy and updated WTO Members on the city’s latest strategies in fostering its long-term, high-quality development and competitiveness, including efforts in attracting talents and enterprises, implementing the innovation and technology blueprint, fostering an inclusive and sustainable economy that entails green transition and enhanced support for women and small and medium-sized enterprises in exploring business opportunities.


Government proactively driving economy

The 24th Hong Kong Forum, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide, attracting nearly 260 business leaders from 26 countries and regions, concluded successfully last week. Delivering the keynote at the Hong Kong Forum Luncheon (Dec 6), Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong is taking a very proactive and catalytic role in driving its economy. He highlighted the initiatives to attract strategic enterprises to set up in the city by the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises and the various measures to attract talent through the Top Talent Pass Scheme and other admission schemes for different types of professionals. He said Hong Kong will also continue to enhance its competitiveness in financial services including its stock market, bond market, the offshore Renminbi hub, asset and wealth management and the green and sustainable finance sector. The city is also bolstering its innovation and technology sector, especially in artificial intelligence and big data analytics; health science and biotech, fintech; and advanced manufacturing and new energy and new materials. 

Long-term credit outlook affirmed

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed Hong Kong’s long-term issuer rating at Aa3, the fourth highest rating, given the city's significant credit strengths, fiscal buffers and large foreign currency reserves which give it resilience and a significant buffer to weather shocks. However, it changed Hong Kong’s credit outlook to negative on the grounds of tight linkage of credit profiles with the Mainland and the potential spillovers from the developments in the Mainland. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government pointed out that Hong Kong’s deepening and expanding economic and financial ties with the Mainland should not be a rating constraint. The Mainland economy has immense development resilience and potential, and its long-term bright prospects have remained unchanged. The deepening and expanding economic and financial ties with the Mainland will continue to be a positive driver supporting Hong Kong’s long-term economic growth, bringing benefits to the local and international businesses operating in the city.

Green Fintech Competition winners announced

Four companies, namely Cogo, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Allinfra and Diginex, emerged as winners in the Green Fintech Competition, organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The competition looked for market-ready solutions that can help the banking sector address challenges under the following themes: Net-zero Transition or Transition Planning; Climate Risk Management; Green and Sustainable Finance; and Sustainability or Climate-related Disclosure and Reporting. More than 85 submissions from around 70 companies were received. The award ceremony for the competition was held at the conclusion of the Green and Sustainable Banking Conference (Dec 11), which aimed to provide a platform for the banking sector and the technology sector to discuss the role of low-carbon technology and green fintech in the net-zero transition in Hong Kong and the Mainland.


External Direct Investment of Hong Kong in 2022

Hong Kong’s total direct investment (DI) inflow and total DI outflow remained significant at US$122.9 billion and US$119.4 billion respectively in 2022, despite the weakened local economy alongside the epidemic, deteriorated external environment and tightened financial conditions. The stocks of overall inward and outward DI were substantial at end-2022, at US$2,218.8 billion and US$2,186.1 billion (614% and 605% of GDP) respectively, making Hong Kong one of the world’s major destinations for and sources of external DI. This further testifies to Hong Kong’s status as a prominent international financial center and commercial hub, as well as Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a base for multinational corporations to manage their investments and businesses around the world.


InnoHK Summit 2023 a great success

Over 800 world-class academics, scientists, representatives of renowned institutes and industry leaders from Hong Kong and around the world took part in the InnoHK Summit 2023, which aims to showcase the latest innovation and technology (I&T) developments and breakthroughs of InnoHK, Hong Kong’s leading role as a global research collaboration hub, and its strengths in commercialization and talent development. Chief Executive John Lee said the Summit is testimony to the importance the HKSAR Government attaches to international collaboration for knowledge advancement, addressing global issues and transforming scientific findings into innovations that benefit humankind. InnoHK involves seven local universities and research institutions as well as over 30 top-notch institutions from 11 economies, pooling together about 2,500 researchers locally and from all over the world.

Record 20 awards won at APICTA Awards 2023

Hong Kong teams achieved remarkable results, bagging a record-breaking total of seven Winner and 13 Merit Awards among over 250 entries, ranking first among the 16 participating economies in the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2023 (Dec 8). Hosted by Hong Kong, this year’s event brought together over 600 leaders and elites of the information and communications technology industry from across the Asia Pacific region.


Inter Miami heading to Hong Kong

2023 TIME Athlete of the Year and seven-time FIFA world footballer of the year Lionel Messi will lead Inter Miami in a star-studded lineup to Hong Kong on Feb 4, 2024 for a match against the Hong Kong team at the inaugural Tatler XFEST. This groundbreaking football match also marks the first-ever global tour for the team. “Hong Kong has such a great sports scene…we are pleased to be able to bring the team to this fantastic city as part of Inter Miami CF’s debut game in Asia,” said President and co-owner of Inter Miami David Beckham.


Hong Kong's participation in COP28

The HKSAR Government attended the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai as part of the Chinese delegation. Delivering closing remarks at the China Corner’s Side event of the COP28 (Dec 6), Secretary for Environment & Ecology Tse Chin-wan spoke on Hong Kong’s target to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and its decarbonisation strategies, and highlighted how Hong Kong can provide a green financing platform to contribute to achieving carbon neutrality by different parts of the world and to developing a more sustainable future. Speaking at the same event, Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services) Salina Yan said Hong Kong is committed to leading the way in green and sustainable finance, fostering innovation, promoting information flow, and embracing inclusiveness for a greener tomorrow. She highlighted that the volume of green and sustainable bonds arranged in Hong Kong accounted for one-third of the Asian green and sustainable bond market, topping the chart. 


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: Has there been any interference in the independence of the Judiciary?

A: No. Hong Kong's robust and respected court system exercises judicial power independently, free from any interference. The power of final adjudication is vested in the Court of Final Appeal of the HKSAR, which may as required invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal. The principle of trial by jury previously practiced in Hong Kong is maintained. (BL Articles 2; 19; 81; 82; 85; 86)

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