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“Hello Hong Kong” campaign launched

With travel restrictions lifted, many new attractions and hundreds of events coming up, this is a great time to rediscover the beauty of Hong Kong! Under the newly-launched “Hello Hong Kong” campaign, the city is offering 500,000 free air tickets along with special offers, cash vouchers and other goodies to welcome visitors from around the globe. See you in Hong Kong soon! 

Visitor facilitation program expands

Hong Kong has expanded (Feb 1) its Pilot Scheme on Immigration Facilitation for Visitors Participating in Short-term Activities in Designated Sectors to cover the finance and development & construction sectors, with some 400 authorized host organizations. Under the pilot program launched in June 2022, eligible visitors will not need to apply for an employment visa or entry permit to undertake the specified short-term activities in Hong Kong. As of December 2022, the program has benefited more than 800 non-local talent who came to Hong Kong as visitors to take part in various events. 


Economy shrinks 3.5% in 2022

According to advance estimates, Hong Kong’s real GDP declined by 4.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022, after a 4.6% decrease in the preceding quarter. The fall in goods exports widened further, but private consumption resumed growth. For 2022 as a whole, real GDP shrank by 3.5%, after visible growth of 6.4% in 2021. During the year, total exports of goods plunged amid the sharp deterioration in the external environment and disruptions to cross-boundary truck movements. Domestic demand slackened, dragged down initially by the fifth wave of the local epidemic. Looking ahead, the Hong Kong economy is expected to show a recovery in 2023. While softer growth in the advanced economies will continue to pose challenges to the city's exports of goods, expected faster growth of the Mainland economy and the relaxation of cross-boundary truck movement restrictions should provide some support. An expected strong rebound of inbound tourism should underpin a recovery of exports of services. 

December retail sales rise 1.1%

The value of total retail sales in December 2022, provisionally estimated at US$4.32 billion, rose 1.1% year-on-year due to improved economic sentiment and further relaxation of social distancing measures. For the fourth quarter as a whole, there was a small increase of 0.4%. Yet, given the severe impact of the fifth wave of the local COVID-19 epidemic in early 2022, the value of total retail sales fell by 0.9% for the year as a whole. Looking ahead, the return of normal economic activities, following the epidemic, and an expected increase in inbound visitors, should bode well for retail sales performance.

Base rate raised to 5%

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority increased (Feb 2) the base rate to 5% with immediate effect, according to a pre-set formula and in tandem with the 25-basis point upward shift in the target range for the US federal funds rate on Feb 1.


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: Is Hong Kong an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?

A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of January 2023, 168 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)

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