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MAY 16 - 22, 2023

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e-HKD pilot program launched

Hong Kong launched (May 18) its e-HKD Pilot Programme, with a total of 16 selected firms from the financial, payment and technology sectors participating. The pilots will take deep dives into potential use cases in six categories, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions and settlement of tokenized assets. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Eddie Yue said the program served as a tremendous opportunity for the HKMA to collaborate with the industry in exploring innovative use cases and maximizing the city’s readiness for a potential e-HKD.

Talent list expanded

Hong Kong has expanded its Talent List from 13 to 51 professions, to attract more high-quality talent to come and meet Hong Kong’s development needs. The updated list is divided into nine industry segments, namely business support; creative industries, arts and culture, performing arts; development and construction; environmental technology services; financial services; healthcare services; innovation and technology; legal and dispute resolution services; and maritime services. It immediately applies to the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, the General Employment Policy and the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents & Professionals.


Hong Kong students’ reading literacy at best tier

Hong Kong students ranked second among 43 countries or regions in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2021, reaching the best tier and staying in the global top three for a fourth straight cycle since PIRLS 2006. Hong Kong students achieved an average test score of 573 in the latest study, which is much higher than the average international test score of 500. Conducted every five years, PIRLS assesses the mother tongue reading literacy of students aged 9 to 10 in the fourth grade.


Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development to attend APEC meeting in Detroit

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting (May 25 – 26). During the two-day meeting, Mr Yau will participate, with trade ministers of other member economies, in discussion sessions. On the margins of the MRT Meeting, Mr Yau will meet with other trade ministers to exchange views on regional co-operation and issues of mutual interest.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics addresses APEC session

Speaking at a session (May 16) at the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Detroit, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung highlighted how the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and local airlines had swiftly taken measures to meet the challenges and market demand during the pandemic. That led to the Hong Kong International Airport being recognized by the International Air Transport Association as a Partner Airport of its Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics.


Unemployment rate falls to 3%

Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3% in February - April 2023, from 3.1% in the previous three-month period. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods. The labor market should improve further in the coming months alongside the ongoing economic recovery.

Consumer prices increase

Overall consumer prices rose 2.1% in April year-on-year, larger than the 1.7% increase in March. Netting out the effects of the government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.8%, slightly larger than March’s 1.7%. Looking ahead, domestic cost pressures may increase alongside the economic recovery. Overall inflation will likely pick up in the rest of the year, though remaining largely moderate.


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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