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OCTOBER 24 - 30, 2023

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Chief Executive pledges to make Hong Kong a better place for all

Chief Executive John Lee delivered (Oct 25) his 2023 Policy Address entitled “A Vibrant Economy for a Caring Community”, setting out about 640 initiatives to revive the economy, create opportunities, reinforce Hong Kong’s strengths and ensure long-term prosperity and stability of the city. His initiatives will further enhance and consolidate Hong Kong’s competitiveness as an international center for finance, commerce and innovation and technology; prioritize efforts to attract talents and enterprises; ease property curbs; and build a caring and vibrant society.

Hong Kong to reinforce market strengths

Chief Executive John Lee, in his 2023 Policy Address, said Hong Kong will continue to reinforce its status as an international trade and financial center. The measures include lowering stamp duties; reforming the Growth Enterprise Market Board with revised listing rules; and strengthening the offshore Renminbi business. The city will also establish a new platform to expand fund distribution; and promote the development of green and sustainable finance. Hong Kong will also develop a “headquarters economy” to attract companies to establish their headquarters or divisional operations in the city. Legislative amendments will be introduced next year to help overseas incorporated companies re-domicile in Hong Kong. A new Industrialisation Development Office will be set up to help strategic enterprises develop their businesses.

Hong Kong Talent Engage Office opens

The Hong Kong Talent Engage (HKTE) office opened on Oct 30 to strengthen the recruitment of and support for talent to pursue development in Hong Kong. Officiating at the opening ceremony, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki said the current-term government has boldly and innovatively formulated an array of measures to trawl for talent. They included the establishment of the HKTE online platform, the newly introduced Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS), and enhancements to various existing talent admission schemes to proactively attract talent around the world to Hong Kong. In the first nine months since the new measures were introduced, over 100,000 applications have been approved, and around 60,000 talented people have got their visas approved to come to Hong Kong. The TTPS will add eight prominent Mainland and overseas institutions to its network for attracting global talent.


Hong Kong Legal Week to be held Nov 6 – 10

Themed “Onward & Forward: Connecting the World”, this year’s Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 will be held Nov 6 – 10. The hybrid event, i.e. held both in-person and online, will address a series of important legal and dispute resolution issues, including international legal cooperation, mediation, arbitration, opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as maintaining and advancing Hong Kong’s rule of law. One of the most high-profile international legal events, this year’s event will see participation from the Mainland, Hong Kong, international and regional government officials, experts, professionals and scholars. Register here.

Hong Kong ranks high in rule of law index

Hong Kong’s overall ranking remains high in the 2023 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index as it continues to rank the sixth in East Asia and the Pacific, and attains the 23rd out of 142 places covered in the index. Hong Kong’s score is higher than last year in terms of order and security and continues to attain the sixth in its global ranking. The city also maintains its ninth-place ranking worldwide in respect of absence of corruption.


Climate action seminar held in Hong Kong

Over 140 representatives from 15 C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group cities in the Asian and Oceania regions shared their climate action plans at the C40 Climate Action Seminar in Hong Kong (Oct 27). Speaking at the seminar, Secretary for Environment & Ecology Tse Chin-wan noted the need to achieve emissions neutrality and highlighted the decarbonization potential of hydrogen fuel. The city will publish the Strategy of Hydrogen Development in the first half of 2024 to support the exploration of hydrogen application in different fields. These include electricity generation and storage, construction equipment and machineries as well as transport, which offers an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the role of hydrogen in driving a low-carbon transition.


Hong Kong athletes’ achievements hailed

The Hong Kong team won a total of 47 medals, comprising eight golds, 15 silvers and 24 bronzes at the Asian Para Games Hangzhou (Oct 22 - 28). The athletes achieved breakthroughs in swimming including breaking several Asian Para Games records and winning all three medals in the same event. The Chief Executive John Lee congratulated the Hong Kong athletes on their outstanding achievements at the event, commending their distinguished performance and noble sportsmanship. He added that the government has significantly increased resources allocated to sports development for people with disabilities in recent years, earmarking US$16.7 million for the 2023-24 financial year, representing an 80% increase compared to five years ago.

Photo credit: China Hong Kong Paralympic Committee


Wine and Dine Festival returns

The four-day mega Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival (Oct 26 – 29), organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), attracted about 140,000 participants from around the world, to enjoy sips and bites from all around the world. The iconic event featured about 300 booths with drinks from 36 countries and regions and snacks from 17 countries and regions. This year’s festival featured a new “Tasting Theatre” that presented a series of wine tasting, cookery and family-friendly workshops. In November, the HKTB will join hands with about 400 restaurants and bars across town to present “Hong Kong Wine & Dine: Taste around Town”, offering exquisite gastronomic experience throughout the whole month.


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: Can Hong Kong conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions or international organizations, and participate in international conferences?

A: Yes. Hong Kong plays an active role in the international arena and maintains close contact with its international partners. The HKSAR may under the authorization of the Central People’s Government (CPG) conclude certain agreements with foreign states or regions, or may on its own, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organizations in the appropriate fields. 

Since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, the HKSAR Government, authorized by the CPG or on its own, has concluded about 600 bilateral agreements in accordance with the Basic Law, including air services agreements, visa abolition agreements, free trade agreements, and cultural co-operation agreements etc. In addition, the HKSAR may, as members of delegations of the People’s Republic of China, or in such other capacity as may be permitted by the CPG and the international organization or conference concerned, or using the name “Hong Kong, China”, participate in relevant international organizations and conferences. (BL Articles 96; 133; 151; 152; 155)

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