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JANUARY 9 - 16, 2024

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Financial Secretary at WEF annual meeting in Davos

Financial Secretary Paul Chan has begun his visit in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting (Jan 15 - 19) themed "Rebuilding Trust". Accompanied by Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau, Mr Chan will attend and speak at several keynote meetings, luncheons and dinners, and meet with political, business and financial leaders, promoting Hong Kong’s new advantages and development opportunities. When meeting with representatives of companies engaged in fintech and artificial intelligence (AI), he said that Hong Kong is pressing ahead with developing digital assets in a prudent and orderly manner. He welcomed stablecoin companies to set foot in Hong Kong to provide more innovative and convenient financial services to the community. Highlighting the city’s strong scientific research abilities and substantial resources to develop AI as an industry, he welcomed companies to make use of Hong Kong as a platform to open up the Asian market.

Asian Financial Forum returns to Hong Kong

The 17th edition of the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) returns to Hong Kong on Jan 24 -25, with more than 100 high-level speakers and over 3,000 participants. Themed “Multilateral Cooperation for a Shared Tomorrow”, the forum will delve into topics that shape the global economy as well as insights into the latest market trends. Participants can connect and explore collaboration opportunities in other integral segments such as “AFF Deal-Making, Fintech Showcase, InnoVenture Salon, and FintechHK Start-up Salon. Among the speakers are President of United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Prof Jeffrey D. Sachs, who will share his views on the post-pandemic global economic environment and the 2022 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Merton H. Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Prof Douglas W. Diamond, who will deliver a luncheon keynote on how to adapt to economic uncertainty and geopolitical risks.


Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN enhanced

Hong Kong signed (Jan 9) a protocol that brings the range of specified product categories to almost 600, to be covered by the city’s free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This will enable the city’s businesses to gain Hong Kong-originating status for an increased number of products more easily and effectively, thereby enjoying preferential tariff treatment for these products when expanding into the growing ASEAN market. The almost 600 specified products fall into various categories of interest to Hong Kong traders and manufacturers, including jewellery, medicaments, food products and textile products. This will help enhance the competitiveness of the products concerned, as well as trade flows, creating more opportunities for Hong Kong businesses in the ASEAN market. Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau said he has full confidence that the implementation of the protocol will further drive growth in Hong Kong’s economic and trade relations with ASEAN member states.

HK proactively plays bridging role between Mainland and the world

During his duty visit to Beijing (Jan 10-11), Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau said Hong Kong will press ahead in building a vibrant economy to enhance competitiveness and give full play to Hong Kong’s distinctive advantages under “one country, two systems” and as an international trade and financial centre. Hong Kong will also proactively play the bridging role between the Mainland and the world to attract overseas enterprises to invest in the Mainland while assisting Mainland enterprises to tap into overseas markets. The Hong Kong Government will continue to assist local and overseas enterprises in tapping the opportunities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Hong Kong will also further deepen collaboration between the broadcasting industries on the Mainland and in Hong Kong as well as strengthening talent and technical exchanges, with a view to promoting the joint development of the cultural industries of the two places. He called on State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong and National Radio & Television Administration Vice Minister Yang Guorui. He also met with Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau Deputy Director-General Li Yanling and Hong Kong residents and businessmen living in Beijing. 


Chinese New Year night parade set for Feb 10

Professional cheerleaders from the United States are among the 16 performing groups who will usher in the Year of the Dragon in Hong Kong at the Cathay International Chinese New Year Night Parade, which makes its grand return on Feb 10. Also performing in the parade are an all-female Japanese dance group Avantgardey; a Dutch circus performance group; and a Spanish puppet theatre troupe and 13 local Hong Kong groups including teams that specialise in artistic gymnastics and professional rope skipping.​ The dynamic performances along with the dazzling floats will welcome an auspicious and prosperous year! 

Talks underway to attract more visitors

Hong Kong is in discussion with the relevant departments on the Mainland on various measures to allow more visitors to visit. These include extending the operating hours of cross-boundary checkpoints as well as increase the number of 24-hour boundary crossings, and a multiple-entry permit scheme said Chief Executive John Lee, who added the ongoing discussions are proceeding smoothly. 


Business sentiment improves

Overall business sentiment among Hong Kong small and medium-sized enterprises improved in December, amid a broadly stable overall employment situation. Looking forward, the business sentiment should be supported by the expected further recovery of consumption- and tourism-related activities, but the challenging external environment and tight financial conditions will continue to be a dampener.


Application opens for summer internship programme

Application for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government's Administrative Service Summer Internship Programme 2024 is now open for Hong Kong students studying in overseas tertiary institutions. The programme provides an early opportunity for them to gain hands-on experience of working with serving Administrative Officers (AOs), as to enrich their understanding of the roles and missions of an AO and facilitate their future career planning. Successful candidates will be assigned to one government bureau or department with similar duties to those of AOs. Students who are currently undergoing full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at a local, mainland or overseas tertiary institution in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years, with a view to obtaining by summer 2025 or 2026 a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications, may apply. Overseas applications have to be submitted by postal mail or email by Feb 28, 2024.


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 a free port and a separate customs territory?

A: Yes. The HKSAR is a separate customs territory. The HKSAR, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organisation. Ships of all nations enjoy access to the ports of the HKSAR, which is a free port, in accordance with the laws of the Region. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)

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