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NOVEMBER 21 - 27, 2023

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Hong Kong rising as international centre for green finance

Speaking at the opening session of the Asia-Pacific Business Forum 2023 (Nov 22 – 23), Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong will rise as an international centre for green finance, pointing out that the total green and sustainable debt arranged or issued in Hong Kong exceeded US$80 billion, a 40% increase year-on-year. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will also devote about US$30 billion to climate-change mitigation and adaptation measures, namely net-zero electricity generation, saving energy in buildings, promoting green transport and waste reduction. The city also aims to be a global market for high-quality, voluntary carbon credits. The HKSAR Government is committed to working with the business sector to realise green transformation in the city and contribute to progress on decarbonisation regionally, he said. 

AstraZeneca expands in Hong Kong

Biopharmaceutical enterprise AstraZeneca is setting up the AstraZeneca R&D Centre and the Hong Kong iCampus in Hong Kong. The centre will focus on research and development of medicines in such key areas as cell therapy and gene therapy. The Hong Kong iCampus is an incubation platform, which assists in the business expansion of startups in related areas and engages in collaboration with Hong Kong universities, scientific research institutions as well as innovation and technology parks. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the establishment of the centre in Hong Kong can reinforce the frontier research of distinguished medical research institutions, experts and scholars of Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to create new momentum for pharmaceutical research and development in the region. He added that Hong Kong is fully capable of becoming a world-class life and health technology cluster, and pharmaceutical enterprises around the globe are welcome to leverage the city’s advantages to expand their businesses. AstraZeneca is a strategic enterprise partner of the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises.

Promotional work by Economic & Trade Offices highlighted

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau highlighted the work of the overseas Hong Kong Economic & Trade Offices (ETOs) and the Mainland Offices in promoting Hong Kong at a reception for some 200 guests, including representatives of consulates, chambers of commerce and major trade associations. Heads of 14 ETOs and five Mainland Offices, who are in Hong Kong for an annual meeting, also attended the cocktail reception. Mr Yau said the HKSAR Government is committed to implementing various measures to assist Hong Kong people and businesses in seizing new opportunities and for the city to return to the centre stage. He thanked colleagues of the ETOs and the Mainland Offices for their efforts in fostering closer bilateral trade ties and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and various economies, and keeping the concerning governments and contacts updated on Hong Kong’s latest developments. He also highlighted that the 17 dedicated teams for attracting businesses and talent set up in the offices have been reaching out to target enterprises proactively, showcasing the city’s opportunities and advantages as well as the various schemes and new policy initiatives for attracting quality enterprises and talent.

Hong Kong backs free trade

Hong Kong remains committed to its superconnector role and will continue to be a steadfast supporter of free trade and multilateralism, advocating for the reduction in trade barriers, and the free flow of goods and services, people and capital, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the Asian Logistics, Maritime & Aviation Conference 2023 (Nov 21). Amid the challenging global economic outlook, the pressing task to combat climate change, and innovation and digital economy, he is confident that the demand for logistics, maritime and aviation services with and within the region will rise. “Given the lingering geopolitics and geo-economic fragmentation such as re-shoring, friend-shoring or even on-shoring, while traditional markets such as Europe and the United States will remain important, the need to diversify will drive people to look for new markets and new sources of supply,” he said.


Increases in exports and imports of goods in October

In October, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 1.4% and 2.6% respectively. The value of total exports of goods rose to US$48.7 billion while the value of imports of goods grew to US$52 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$3.3 billion. While the value of merchandise exports turned to a modest year-on-year increase in October, overall export performance largely remained weak. Exports to the Mainland and the United States rose, while those to the European Union continued to fall notably. The difficult external environment amid heightened geopolitical tensions and tight financial conditions are expected to weigh on Hong Kong’s export performance in the near term.

Inflation at 2.7% in October

Consumer prices increased 2.7% year-on-year in October, a larger rise than that registered in September. Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, lower than that seen in September. Prices of meals out and takeaway food, and clothing and footwear continued to increase visibly over a year earlier. Price pressures on other major components remained broadly in check. Looking ahead, the overall inflation might stay moderate in the near term and that external price pressures are expected to soften further. While domestic business costs could face upward pressures, these are likely to be contained in the near future.


Wushu athletes win 9 medals at World Championships

Hong Kong’s athletes have achieved outstanding performances winning three gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the 16th World Wushu Championships, held in Fort Worth, Texas (Nov 16 - 20). Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung congratulated the delegation. “They showed the demeanor of champions of martial arts on the international stage, promoting the national essence and telling good Hong Kong stories. We are very excited and are proud of them,” he said.

Photo credit: Hong Kong Sports Institute


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: Are Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy?

A: Yes. In accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the National People’s Congress enacted the Basic Law, authorizing the HKSAR to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers, including that of final adjudication, in accordance with the Basic Law. The Central People’s Government (CPG) shall be responsible for the foreign affairs and defense relating to the HKSAR and other matters authorized by the Basic Law. It also authorizes the HKSAR to conduct relevant external affairs on its own in accordance with the Basic Law. The HKSAR shall have independent finances and shall use its financial revenues exclusively for its own purposes. Hong Kong is not required to pay taxes to the CPG. (BL Preamble and BL Articles 2; 12-17; 19; 22; 106)

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