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JANUARY 3 - 8, 2024

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Hong Kong thrives as prime centre for exhibitions

Hong Kong is expanding its convention and exhibition space in Wan Chai North and on the airport island by more than 40% to over 2,368,060 square feet. Addressing the joint opening ceremony of Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the HKTDC Baby Products Fair 2024 organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (Jan 8), Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the expansion will further stimulate growth for the sector and boost Hong Kong’s status as the prime international MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) centre.

Digital economy development plans underway

Speaking at a digital economy summit (Jan 4), Financial Secretary Paul Chan said that the Government will accelerate digital transformation in a bid to further drive the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong. In particular, it seeks to expand the scale of cross-border data coming to Hong Kong in an orderly and safe manner so as to cement its position as a global data hub. This will help promote local research and developments in artificial intelligence, big data and healthcare, thus enhancing the city’s appeal as a base for the innovation and technology industry. The Digital Economy Development Committee set up by the Government in 2022 will submit its recommendations to the Government shortly.


Hong Kong Tennis Open a roaring success

Thousands of tennis fans at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium were treated to a week of high-powered action at the Hong Kong Tennis Open (Dec 31, 2023 - Jan 7, 2024). Andrey Rublev was crowned singles champion, claiming his 15th career singles title at the sold-out stadium, with Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic winning the doubles. This marked the successful return of Association of Tennis Professionals tennis tournament to Hong Kong since 2002 and the curtain raiser for the 2024 world tour for tennis professionals.

Karate athlete Grace Lau tops world ranking

Hong Kong karate athlete Grace Lau achieved a career high, claiming the world’s number one position in female kata. She also became the first martial artist from Hong Kong to achieve this feat. Congratulating Lau on her achievement, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung said she wrote a glorious page in Hong Kong’s karate history by taking top spot in the world ranking.

Photo credit: SF&OC HK


Boundary town Sha Tau Kok opens to tourists

The historic boundary town Sha Tau Kok, located in Hong Kong’s North District and right next to Shenzhen’s Yantian District, is open to visitors starting Jan 1. Tourists, capped at 1,000 per day, can discover the area’s beautiful scenery, unique attractions and local delicacies. Designated as part of the Frontier Closed Area in 1951, Sha Tau Kok has been accessible only to individuals with a closed area permit. Speaking at the launching ceremony (Jan 6) for the second phase opening-up of Sha Tau Kok, Chief Executive John Lee said this was a milestone in the long-term development of the district. The daily tourist quota includes 700 tour group visitors and 300 individual tourists. Tourists may contact licensed travel agents directly to sign up for tours visiting Sha Tau Kok or opt to apply for a free electronic Tourism Closed Area Permit.

Photo credit:

Hong Kong Tourism Board


November retail sales up 15.9%

Hong Kong’s value of total retail sales in November, provisionally estimated at US$4.4 billion, rose 15.9% year-on-year. After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 12.4% year-on-year increase. Of the total retail sales value in November, online sales accounted for 9.3%.The value of total retail sales increased visibly over a year earlier alongside the revival of inbound tourism. An expected further recovery of inbound tourism should continue to benefit the retail sector. Continued improvement in household income, as well as various promotional campaigns and activities launched by the Government and the industry should also provide support.

Foreign currency reserves up

Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserves rose to US$425.5 billion in December 2023, from US$424.6 billion in the previous month. The reserve assets represent over five times the currency in circulation or about 40% of Hong Kong dollar M3. There were no unsettled foreign exchange contracts at the end of December.


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: Does the HKSAR Government have complete control over fiscal and economic policies and safeguard the free movement of goods, assets and capital?

A: Yes. The HKSAR Government formulates its own economic policies; manages its finances independently; prepares its own budgets; issues its own freely convertible currency; practices an independent taxation system; keeps its low and simple tax regime; formulates its own monetary and financial policies; safeguards the free flow of capital; maintains the status of a free port; pursues a policy of free trade and protects the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 62; 106-119)

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