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Financial Secretary to attend APEC meeting

Financial Secretary Paul Chan will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (Nov 15 – 17) in San Francisco. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has long been participating in APEC as a full and separate member under the name of Hong Kong, China. The city will continue to participate in APEC matters, with a view to contributing to regional economic co-operation by leveraging its advantages under “one country, two systems” and its status as an international trade and financial center. The Financial Secretary would attend on behalf of Chief Executive John Lee, who had personally received the invitation from the host economy but would not be able to join in person due to scheduling issues.


Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit underway

Up to 300 leaders, including more than 90 group chairmen or CEOs from the world’s top financial institutions are in Hong Kong to attend the second Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit (Nov 6 – 9). Themed “Living with Complexity”, industry leaders will examine the trends and changes that have far-reaching implications on the financial industry. Speakers and panelists at the summit include President and COO of Blackstone Jon Gray, Founder and CEO of Citadel Ken Griffin, CEO of Citi Jane Fraser, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs David Solomon, Group Chief Executive of HSBC Noel Quinn, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley James Gorman, and Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bill Winters. The main summit (Nov 7 HK time) and the investment forum (Nov 8 HK time), jointly organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Academy of Finance will be livestreamed.


Moves to foster fintech, enhance economy

Hong Kong has announced (Nov 2) a series of initiatives to foster the co-development of fintech and the real economy during Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023. They include launching a new Integrated Fund Platform; welcoming cross-boundary e-CNY applications; and promoting real economy related applications and innovations by the Virtual Assets and Web3.0 sector; as well as further development of the regulatory framework. Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui said the government will join hands with regulators and major market players to press ahead with the initiatives, with a view to injecting new energy to the growing fintech ecosystem. Also speaking at FinTech Week, Chief Executive John Lee highlighted Hong Kong’s potential and prowess in the finance sector, including its status as a leading green fintech hub. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the government is committed to promoting fintech development in Hong Kong to enhance the competitiveness of its financial services industry and the real economy.

Initiatives to strengthen fintech capabilities

Delivering the opening keynote, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Eddie Yue, shared with the audience key initiatives to strengthen the city’s fintech ecosystem. They include a cross-border mobile payment service allowing users to pay merchants in Thailand and Hong Kong; building on the success of the world’s first tokenised government green bond to expand the tokenisation in the bond market; and expanding the use of e-HKD program. The HKMA will continue to encourage fintech adoption in the banking industry, advancing the Central Bank Digital Currencies and to foster fintech talent in Hong Kong.


Judicial summit kicks off Legal Week

Hong Kong Legal Week 2023, themed “Onward & Forward: Connecting the World”, kicked off (Nov 6) with the 5th UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Judicial Summit - Judicial Conference. In his welcome remarks, Secretary for Justice Paul Lam highlighted Hong Kong’s role in facilitating international co-operation and global connectivity in the post-pandemic world. He stressed that Hong Kong has the distinctive advantages of enjoying strong support from the motherland while being closely connected to the world under “one country, two systems”. The city will take forward the establishment of the International Legal Talents Training Academy, which would leverage Hong Kong’s bilingual common law system and international status to promote exchanges among legal professionals, judges and government officials in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as around the world. More than 600 registrants from over 50 jurisdictions are represented at the five-day Legal Week 2023. Prominent legal and dispute resolution experts and academics from around the world are scheduled to discuss important topics such as international legal co-operation, mediation and arbitration, as well as opportunities brought by the Greater Bay Area and the Belt & Road Initiative.


Hong Kong renews ties with Connecticut

The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) Maisie Ho made her first duty visit to the Constitution State (Nov 3), where she met with leaders from finance, education and nonprofit sectors, updating them on the abundant opportunities in Hong Kong and discussing areas of mutual interests. They included Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Greenwich Economic Forum James Aiello, Assistant Dean of Yale School of Management Xiuling Li, Professor of Accounting at Yale School of Management Frank Zhang, as well as the leadership team of Yale China President John Frisbie and Vice President and Director of Education Programs Leslie Stone. While in New Haven, Ms Ho also met with some Hong Kong students studying at Yale University to learn about their studies and life in the US. Meanwhile, HKETONY Deputy Director, William Leung, attended the opening ceremony of the 2023 World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions to cheer on some 70 Hong Kong students competing at the event.


Economy grows 4.1% in third quarter

Hong Kong’s economy, supported by inbound tourism and private consumption, continued to expand in the third quarter of 2023, registering a 4.1% increase year-on-year. Private consumption expenditure rose 6.5% in the third quarter year-on-year, following a 7.7% increase in the second quarter. Government consumption expenditure fell 4.5% year-on-year, following a 9.8% decrease in the preceding quarter. Over the same period, total goods exports saw a decline of 8.6%, while goods imports fell by 6% year-on-year. Exports of services rose by 24% in the third quarter over a year earlier, compared with the 22.8% increase in the second quarter. 

Interest rate unchanged

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) left its base rate unchanged at 5.75%, tracking a move by the US Federal Reserve to keep rates steady. The HKMA said the city’s financial and monetary markets continue to operate in a smooth and orderly manner, with the Hong Kong dollar exchange rate stable.


US lawmakers’ attempt of coercion denounced

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government strongly condemned (Nov 3) the US lawmakers who put forward a bill in an attempt to include a number of HKSAR personnel as sanction targets, noting that those lawmakers were trying to intimidate government workers who safeguard national security. It said in a press statement that it shall continue to resolutely discharge the responsibility of safeguarding national security. The Hong Kong Judiciary also strongly condemned any attempt to exert improper pressure, including suggestions about imposing sanctions, on judges and judicial officers. Separately, the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR strongly condemned individual US lawmakers for grossly interfering in Hong Kong matters by requesting a bill of sanctions in an attempt to intimidate the HKSAR officials, prosecutors and judges.


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 foreign enterprises participate fully in Hong Kong’s economy?

A: Yes. Hong Kong welcomes and encourages the participation of foreign enterprises, and provides a level playing field for all. There are no foreign exchange controls in Hong Kong and no restrictions on the trading of gold, securities, futures and the like. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong shall maintain the status of a free port, pursue the policy of free trade and safeguard the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 112; 114; 115)

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