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NOVEMBER 7 - 13, 2023

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Financial Secretary attends APEC meetings in US

Financial Secretary Paul Chan attended related activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) in San Francisco on Nov 12, including the Finance Ministers’ Retreat, hosted by the US Secretary of the Treasury, Dr Janet Yellen. Addressing the session, Mr Chan highlighted that under the “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong maintains its institutional and locational advantages. With a sound fiscal position, strong financial stability, and a low government debt-to-gross domestic product ratio, Hong Kong is making use of its fiscal policies to promote the development of the economy and key industries. As an international financial center in the region, Hong Kong serves as a high value-added fundraising and professional services platform, providing highly efficient matching for fund flows, project management, risk diversification, and raising potential returns for green transformation, infrastructure projects, etc. Mr Chan will attend the FMM on Nov 13, and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on behalf of the Chief Executive from Nov 15 to 17.


Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit concludes successfully

The Global Financial Leaders' Investment Summit in Hong Kong came to a successful close on Nov 8, with a seminar entitled “Conversations with Global Investors”, during which 20 global leading investors shared their investment insights and latest approaches to navigate a challenging landscape. Overall, the three-day Summit welcomed over 350 participants, including more than 90 group chairmen or CEOs from the world's top financial institutions, representing banks, securities firms, asset owners, asset managers, private equity and venture capital firms, hedge funds and insurers.


Legal Week attracts 11,000 attendees

Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 concluded with over 11,000 participants attended various events in person and online. Prominent legal and dispute resolution experts and academics from around the world gathered to conduct in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics during the five-day event, including international legal co-operation, mediation, arbitration, and opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt & Road Initiative. Speaking at the event’s finale, “Rule of Law for the Future”, Chief Executive John Lee said Hong Kong’s rule of law, firmly enshrined under the Basic Law, protects both businesses and the community, ensuring Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability. Secretary for Justice Paul Lam said the high quality legal services offered by Hong Kong is a manifestation of the high degree of rule of law, based on its common law system.

Director-General of Investment Promotion appointed

Alpha Lau has been appointed Director-General of Investment Promotion. Prior to assuming her post on Nov 8, Ms Lau has served in senior positions in banking and financial institutions, covering areas such as corporate and institutional banking, fintech, credit risk management, business development, as well as merger and acquisition project management. She has been a managing partner in Lobb Consulting Limited since July 2021. She has rich experience in bringing direct investment into Hong Kong and dealing with the relevant authorities and multinational enterprises for business expansion in Asia Pacific.


HKETONY strengthens ties in Atlanta

The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York Maisie Ho paid a duty visit to Atlanta (Nov 8 – 9) to strengthen ties with the local government and business interlocutors. She also attended the AAPI Business Forum (Nov 9) on opportunities in Asia, during which she highlighted Hong Kong’s unique advantages and the abundant opportunities for multinational companies. During her stay in Atlanta, Ms Ho met with local business and government officials to discuss areas of mutual interest. The officials included the Vice President, Global Commerce at the Metro Atlanta Chamber John Woodward, the Deputy Commissioner for International Trade of the Georgia Department of Economic Development Mary Waters; and the Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of International Affairs Vanessa Ibarra.


Hong Kong accepted as observer by international body

The International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) has formally accepted (Nov 9) Hong Kong, China as its observer. This marked an important step for Hong Kong in moving towards the establishment of a registration mechanism of drugs and medical devices based on “primary evaluation” in the long run. An internationally recognized association, the ICH currently has 15 regulatory members comprising drug regulatory authorities from Mainland China, Europe, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The accession to ICH as an observer will lay the foundation for Hong Kong to advance the implementation of the ICH guidelines in Hong Kong so as to strengthen the local capacity of drug approval as well as facilitate software, hardware and manpower development, with becoming an ICH regulatory member as the ultimate goal.


Shaw Prize award presentation held

Four American scholars were among the 7 winners of the 2023 Shaw Prize, an international recognition of remarkable scientific achievements based in Hong Kong. They are West Virginia University’s Professor and Interim Chair of Physics and Astronomy and Associate Dean for Research at Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Duncan Lorimer and Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy Maura McLaughlin (astronomy); Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley Eva Nogales (life science and medicine), and Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago Vladimir Drinfeld (mathematical sciences).


Economy grows 4.1% in third quarter

Supported by inbound tourism and private consumption, Hong Kong’s economy continued to revive in the third quarter of 2023, with GDP growing by 4.1% from a year earlier. The real GDP growth forecast for 2023 as a whole is revised down to 3.2% as the difficult external environment continued to weigh on exports of goods and investment and consumption sentiment. Consumer price inflation stayed moderate in overall terms in the third quarter, with the underlying Composite Consumer Price Index rising by 1.6% year-on-year in the third quarter.

Business sentiment eased

Overall business sentiment among small and medium-sized enterprises eased slightly in October. The current diffusion index (DI) on business receipts decreased from 45.5 in September 2023 in the contractionary zone to 44.8 in October 2023, whereas the one-month’s ahead (i.e. November 2023) outlook DI on business receipts was 48.3.


Misleading remarks rejected

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government firmly rejected (Nov 9) and strongly disapproved of the misleading and slanderous remarks jointly made by 10 foreign Catholic leaders against the law enforcement actions and legal proceedings in respect of the cases involving Lai Chee-ying and their request for his immediate and unconditional release. The HKSAR Government reiterated that Hong Kong is a society underpinned by the rule of law and has always adhered to the principle that laws must be obeyed and lawbreakers held accountable.


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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