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NOVEMBER 14 - 20, 2023

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Economic growth a key task

Attending the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in San Francisco (Nov 15 – 17) on behalf of the Chief Executive, Financial Secretary Paul Chan joined discussions on strengthening the interconnectivity and mutual co-operation within the region, and improving the inclusiveness and resilience of economic development. Concluding the trip, he said the meetings enabled him to have a better grasp of how various economies see the economic prospects in 2024, noting members agreeing that the first and foremost task in the coming year is to grow the economy and to improve the quality of life of people through development, particularly through a more inclusive development. He also supported the World Trade Organisation in achieving more concrete and practical results in promoting digital trade. The AELM endorsed the Golden Gate Declaration, reaffirming APEC’s determination to deliver a free, open, fair, transparent, inclusive and predictable trade and investment environment, and create a resilient and sustainable future. Mr Chan also discussed climate policies at the AELM as he outlined Hong Kong’s policies to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and said Hong Kong will work to enhance co-operation with other APEC members on achieving high-quality development that is sustainable, green and inclusive.

Financial Secretary meets US company reps

During his stay in San Francisco, Financial Secretary Paul Chan attended a luncheon (Nov 15) with representatives of startups, venture capital firms and private equity firms in Silicon Valley. He stressed that the institutional advantage of the “one country, two systems” principle allows Hong Kong to maintain an excellent business environment, the common law system, a linked exchange rate system and international connections. It also enables the continued free flow of capital, talent, cargo and information, and the convergence of international capital and talent in the city. He asserted that Hong Kong offers a prime option for foreign investors to explore the Mainland and Asia-Pacific markets.

APEC members urged to build resilience through co-operation

Hong Kong is translating the APEC’s collective goal of advancing broad-based prosperity into domestic actions, through actively expanding economic opportunities for all in the community, said the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau at the 34th APEC Ministerial Meeting in San Francisco (Nov 14-15). At a separate plenary session, he said that APEC should further strengthen co-operation on supply chain connectivity to promote economic resilience against future shocks and called for accelerating implementation of the APEC Internet & Digital Economy Roadmap in a comprehensive manner, with bridging the digital divide at the top of the regional body’s digital agenda.


Hong Kong Academy for Wealth Legacy inaugurated

Capitalizing on the thriving family office sector, Hong Kong will continue to facilitate the development of family offices in the city, said the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui at the inauguration of the Hong Kong Academy for Wealth Legacy (Nov 14). The academy will provide a comprehensive talent training platform for the family office sector, asset owners and wealth inheritors, and to facilitate the development of family offices in Hong Kong. Future initiatives include the building of art storage facilities at Hong Kong International Airport for collectors and investors; and the launch of new resources by the FamilyOfficeHK team to help families navigate Hong Kong and make the most of everything the city has to offer. A market study reported that the city achieved the highest AUM (assets under management) growth rate among top booking centers from 2017 to 2022 with a cumulative average growth rate of 13%. Hong Kong is also projected to become the world's largest booking center by 2025.

Stamp duty on stock transfers reduced

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed the Stamp Duty (Amendment) (Stock Transfers) Bill on Nov 15, giving effect to the measure of reducing the rate of Stamp Duty on Stock Transfers to 0.1% as announced in the 2023 Policy Address. The reduction of the stamp duty rate will lower investors’ transaction costs, improve market sentiment and enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s stock market. The amendment ordinance came into operation on Nov 17.


Talent program attracts NBA star

Hong Kong will be home to two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury, who has received approval for residency under the city’s Top Talent Pass Scheme. As an ambassador of InspiringHK Sports Foundation, a charity with a vision of developing better youths through sports, Mr Marbury hopes to contribute to the basketball industry and charity work in Hong Kong. Introduced in 2022, the Top Talent Pass Scheme is one of many talent admission programs, which have attracted over 180,000 applicants in total, with over 110,000 applications approved so far.


Hong Kong Maritime Week 2023 opens

Maritime leaders from around the world gathered for the Hong Kong Maritime Week 2023 (Nov 19 - 25), themed “Recharging the Maritime Industry”. At the opening ceremony, Chief Executive John Lee highlighted Hong Kong’s unique role as a “super connector” and “super value-adder” in the maritime sector under the “one country, two systems” principle. Secretary for Transport and Logistics and Chairman of the Hong Kong maritime and Port Board Lam Sai-hung said Hong Kong is working closely with its peers to promote the overall competitiveness of the region.

Air cargo handling capacity enhanced

Hong Kong’s air cargo handling capacity is significantly enhanced with the expansion (Nov 14) of the DHL Central Asia Hub and the opening of the Kwo Lo Wan Premium Logistics Centre in October. The two logistics facilities, along with the upcoming full operation of the Third Runway System at the Hong Kong International Airport in 2024 will further propel the city to new heights as an international aviation and logistics hub. At its full capacity, the DHL Central Asia Hub’s annual cargo handling capacity is expected to reach 1.06 million tonnes, a 50% increase from before the expansion. The Kwo Lo Wan Premium Logistics Centre is the city’s third largest logistics warehouse. When operating at its full capacity, it is expected to bring a maximum of approximately 1.7 million metric tonnes of additional air cargo volume to the HKIA annually.


World’s first World of Frozen opens at Hong Kong Disneyland

The world’s first Frozen-themed land opened its doors on Nov 20 at Hong Kong Disneyland, welcoming visitors to the enchanting world of Arendelle. The World of Frozen features many of the famous locales from the film including Arendelle Castle, the Friendship Fountain and the Clock Tower. Visitors can enjoy a thrilling high-speed rollercoaster ride on the Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs or a fun boat ride through the North Mountain at Frozen Ever After.

Photo credit: Hong Kong Disneyland


Untruthful remarks rejected

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects the untruthful remarks, slanders and smears against Hong Kong in the 2023 report issued by the US-China Economic & Security Review Commission. An HKSAR Government spokesman said the HKSAR will continue, in accordance with the law, to effectively prevent, suppress and punish acts and activities that endanger national security and to safeguard the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people. Under “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong enjoys the strong support of the motherland while being closely connected to the world. With this unparalleled connectivity, Hong Kong will continue to play its unique role as a super-connector and super value-adder.


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 Chinese the only official language allowed under the Basic Law?

A: No, in addition to Chinese, English is also an official language used by the executive authorities, the legislature and the judiciary of the HKSAR. (BL Article 9)

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