View as Webpage

Hong Kong Digest

June 24, 2024

Follow us:

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn


Hong Kong ranks 5th globally in competitiveness

Hong Kong is the world’s fifth most competitive economy, rising two places from last year, according to the International Institute for Management Development’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2024. Among the four competitiveness factors, Hong Kong’s rankings in business efficiency and infrastructure rose notably to the top 10 globally. The city’s ranking in government efficiency also stayed among the top three, while its ranking in economic performance saw significant improvement, reflecting its economic recovery in 2023. The city topped the rankings in international trade and business legislation, and was among the top five in tax policy, international investment, basic infrastructure, finance and education.

HKEX to trade during severe weather

Starting Sep 23, Hong Kong’s securities and derivatives markets will remain open and operational during severe weather conditions. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui said this will enhance the city’s competitiveness and prevent it from becoming one of the very few places in the world which suspends market trading due to local weather conditions. Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) Bonnie Chan said this is an important step that underscores HKEX’s commitment to supporting the resilience and competitiveness of the city as a world-class financial centre.

Chief Executive hosts reception to welcome foreign investment 

Chief Executive John Lee welcomed over 400 senior representatives from Mainland and foreign companies at an Invest Hong Kong reception (Jun 20), thanking them for their lasting confidence in Hong Kong’s business environment. Mr Lee said Hong Kong plays important roles as a “super-connector” and a “super value-adder” between the Mainland and the rest of the world, serving as a two-way springboard for attracting overseas enterprises and for Mainland enterprises to go global. Hong Kong welcomes enterprises, talent and investment to seize the unlimited opportunities offered by this vibrant international city.


Hong Kong Investment Corporation invests strategically in AI

With solid foundation in both artificial intelligence (AI) and life sciences, Hong Kong is poised to seize the “first mover advantage” in bio-computing, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan. Speaking at the inaugural International Bio-Computing Innovation Summit (Jun 24), he highlighted the city’s advantages, including its robust ecosystem for innovation, and its status as an international financial centre, ranging from a rich private equity and venture capital ecosystem to a deep and wide listing platform. He is confident that more tech companies will choose Hong Kong as their base for research and development, and international co-operation, as well as a platform to explore the broader Asian and global market. At the event, Hong Kong Investment Corporation and BioMap signed a strategic partnership agreement that includes the setting up of BioMap’s first AI for Life Science Hub in Hong Kong at the event.


High speed sleeper train services to Beijing and Shanghai launched

The sleeper trains on the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) plying between Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and Beijingxi Station/Shanghai Hongqiao Station started service on Jun 15. Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung, who took the inaugural XRL sleeper train from Hong Kong to Beijing, described the new sleeper trains as a breakthrough of the XRL service. He said the service will fully capitalise on the advantages of the co-location arrangement. It will also enhance economic and trade co-operation as well as closer personnel exchanges between Hong Kong and a wider range of Mainland provinces and cities.

Shipping safety rules to be updated

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has proposed (Jun 21) amendments to update local regulations on merchant shipping safety to comply with the latest requirements of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of the International Maritime Organization. The proposed legislative amendments aim to provide safety standards for ships that carry industrial personnel and for the personnel themselves, and to address specific risks of maritime operations within the offshore and energy sectors. The proposed legislative amendments will be tabled at the Legislative Council on Jun 26 for negative vetting.


Hydrogen development strategy unveiled

Hong Kong unveiled (Jun 17) its Strategy of Hydrogen Development to capitalise on the opportunities brought about by the recent developments of hydrogen energy in different parts of the world. Outlining the strategy, Secretary for Environment & Ecology Tse Chin-wan said that hydrogen energy is regarded as a low-carbon energy with development potential, as the world is striving to phase out fossil fuels and accelerate energy transition to tackle the challenge of climate change. This will also help Hong Kong strive towards carbon neutrality, develop a new quality productive force and maintain international competitiveness. The roadmap sets out the four major strategies of improving legislations, establishing standards, aligning with the market, and advancing with prudence.

Largest marine park designated

The HKSAR Government gazetted the designation of the North Lantau Marine Park, which will be the eighth and largest marine park in Hong Kong, covering about 2,400 hectares of water. This designation will greatly increase the city’s protected marine habitat from about 6,117 hectares to about 8,517 hectares. The designation of the marine park is also crucial for conservation of the Chinese White Dolphins and the marine environment in North Lantau waters.


Hong Kong Panorama returns to New York Asian Film Festival

With the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, 12 Hong Kong films will be screened at the upcoming Hong Kong Panorama film series of the New York Asian Film Festival (Jul 12 – 28). This year, the festival will honour multi-talented artist Nicholas Tse with the Star Asia Award. It will also recognise legendary actor Tai Bo with the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award. Director Soi Cheang’s Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In, will have its North American premiere as the closing night film.

New agency for creative industries established

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Culture, Sports & Tourism Bureau has been restructured as the Cultural & Creative Industries Development Agency (CCIDA). Addressing the launch ceremony (Jun 24), Secretary for Culture, Sports & Tourism Kevin Yeung said the CCIDA will foster a better environment in Hong Kong and adopt an industry-oriented approach to further promote the industrialisation of arts, cultural and creative sectors. The CCIDA has signed memoranda of understanding with three prominent Mainland cultural and creative brands to advance the partnership in market development, promotion and exchanges. The agency will set up a dedicated team to actively assist the industry in expanding overseas markets and strengthening the promotion of intellectual property creation as well as production, thereby creating more business opportunities for the industry and enhancing the city’s international standing.

International Dragon Boat Races a roaring success

Over 170 teams, comprising over 4,000 athletes from 12 countries and regions, competed in 17 thrilling races at the 2024 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races (Jun 15 – 16), cheered on by thousands of enthusiastic spectators revelling in the festive atmosphere.


Old ID cards to be invalidated

The old form of smart identity cards issued in Hong Kong before Nov 26, 2018 will be invalidated in two phases in 2025. Phase I of the invalidation exercise will cover old ID card holders born in 1970 or after, whose old cards will become invalid on May 12, 2025. Phase II will cover old ID card holders born in 1969 or before, whose old cards will become invalid on Oct 12, 2025. The invalidation order covers all Hong Kong residents, including permanent residents or non-permanent residents who are permitted to take up employment, make investments, reside or study in Hong Kong. Residents still holding old ID cards are urged to make appointments for replacement as soon as possible. For those who are unable to have their ID cards replaced during the specified call-up periods due to absence from Hong Kong, they should replace their cards within 30 days of their return to the city. Members of the public can apply for replacement of new ID cards at designated registration of persons offices.

Government rejects smearing comments

The HKSAR Government said (Jun 14) it strongly disapproves of and rejects smearing comments made by the US and some western countries regarding the specification of absconders and specific measures applicable against them by the Secretary for Security in accordance with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance recently. The Government said the legal framework in safeguarding national security in the city is fully in compliance with the international standard for the protection of human rights. It will continue to unwaveringly discharge its duty in safeguarding national security.

Did you know...

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the 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. Article 23 of the BL stipulates that the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the HKSAR, and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the HKSAR from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies.

Q: Will members of the public commit national security offences inadvertently?

A: In formulating the offence, it precisely targeted acts endangering national security and clearly define the elements and penalties of the related offence. The prosecution also has the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had the actus reus and mens rea of the offence before the defendant may be convicted by the court. Law‑abiding people will not unwittingly violate the law.

X Share This Email
LinkedIn Share This Email