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Hong Kong Digest

March 18, 2024

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New York ETO celebrates HK conductor Elim Chan's debut with NY Phil

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) hosted a celebratory cocktail reception for Hong Kong conductor Elim Chan at her debut with the New York Philharmonic (NY Phil) at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Centre on Mar 8. Speaking at the event, HKETONY Director Maisie Ho complimented Elim for her talent, skill and passion that inspire many others, adding that Elim’s achievements not only bring immense pride to Hong Kong but also serve as a testament to the boundless talent that the city nurtures. During her debut with the NY Phil, which garnered a resounding standing ovation, Elim led the Philharmonic in performances of Martinu’s First Cello Concerto; the world premiere of Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s “Pisachi”; and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” the piece that earned Elim the title of the first female winner of the prestigious Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014.

Photo credit: Chris Lee

Themed luncheon on women professionals hosted

Coinciding with the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the HKETONY co-organised a luncheon event themed "Navigating Cultural and Professional Challenges: Insights from Chinese Women Professionals in the East and West" on Mar 11 with the China General Chamber of Commerce - USA (CGCC), attracting more than 60 attendees from think tanks, the business community and finance sector in New York. In her opening remarks, the HKETONY Director Maisie Ho said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government attaches great importance to promoting women’s development, adding that women in Hong Kong are well accomplished, and well empowered, in various areas. Joyce Chan, the Commissioner for Women Affairs (designate) of Home and Youth Affairs Bureau of the HKSAR Government, joined the luncheon and introduced the Government’s policies and efforts in promoting the well-being of women in Hong Kong. The luncheon featured a sharing about how women navigate cultural and professional challenges with Vice Chairpersons and Honorary Presidents of Hong Kong Federation of Women, Yu-San Kan Leong and Stephanie Hung; the Director of Corporate Communication and Research of CGCC, Abby Li, and Managing Director of Corporate and Investment Bank of J.P. Morgan, Lu Cao. The Chairman of the CGCC cum President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of China, USA, Hu Wei, also spoke at the event.

Talent admission schemes promoted

The HKETONY hosted career talks at Columbia University (Mar 6) and New York University (Mar 13), introducing the abundant career opportunities and various talent admission schemes in Hong Kong. Speaking at the events, the Deputy Director of HKETONY, William Leung, highlighted that the Top Talent Pass Scheme has attracted 70,000 applicants from around the world since its launch in 2022. The talk at Columbia University also featured the Executive Director of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, Edith Shih, and the Director of HKETONY, Maisie Ho, who shared their experience of working and living in Hong Kong. The one at New York University featured a sharing by a group of young leaders from the Hong Kong Federation of Women. These two events were supported by the Hong Kong Students Association at the two universities.


Study shows HK a wealth hub

According to the Market Study on the Family Office Landscape in Hong Kong conducted by Deloitte, it is estimated that there are over 2,700 single-family offices in the city, reaffirming Hong Kong’s status as one of Asia's major asset and wealth management centres. The study predicts that with the various favourable policy measures introduced by the HKSAR Government and the dedicated efforts of Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong will rise to become the world's premier centre for family offices. Hong Kong had $30.5 trillion assets under its management as of end-2022. It also had more than 12,500 ultra-high net worth individuals in the same year, topping the list of global cities.

Jan export and import increase

The volume of Hong Kong's total exports of goods and imports of goods in Jan 2024 increased by 28.6% and 16.9% respectively, comparing with the same month last year. The prices of total exports of goods and imports of goods increased by 3.8% and 3.9% respectively in the same period. Increases were recorded for the total export volume to all main destinations: Mainland China (47.5%), India (44.2%), Taiwan (38.7%), Vietnam (23.8%) and the USA (6.4%). Increases were recorded for the import volume from the USA (37.4%), Mainland China (33.4%) and Korea (21.7%).


IATA World Cargo Symposium Asia concludes

Hong Kong hosted its first International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Cargo Symposium Asia from Mar 12-14, attracting some 1,900 high-flying industry leaders and professionals from around the world. Speaking at the event, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong, renowned for its strategic location, world-class infrastructure and logistics network, is a global nexus for the international trade and cargo business. In 2023, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) handled around 4.3 million tonnes of cargo, and that would likely place the city as the world's busiest cargo airport again. With the commissioning of the Three-Runway System before the end of this year, Mr Chan said, HKIA will be able to handle 120 million passengers and more than 10 million tonnes of cargo per year by 2035. He added that the HKSAR Government is pressing ahead with green aviation and working closely with sister cities in the Greater Bay Area to better serve as the area’s logistics gateway, and the premier air cargo hub in the region.


SITI boosts I&T ties in Middle East

The Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry Professor Sun Dong led a delegation of innovation and technology (I&T) industry to visit Saudi Arabia (Mar 3-4) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Mar 5-7). Speaking at the LEAP 2024 Technology Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Mar 4), Professor Sun said that Hong Kong, being one of the most international cities of the country, as well as one of the key nodes of the Belt & Road Initiative, has the potential to act as a super value-adder between Mainland China and the rest of the world to enhance mutually beneficial relationships and foster global innovation collaboration. He added that Hong Kong is the best springboard for overseas enterprises to venture into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Mainland China and other Asian markets. In delivering his keynote speech at the business luncheon co-organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Dubai and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in Dubai, the UAE (Mar 6), Professor Sun said Hong Kong’s advantages of free trade policy, robust legal system, simple tax regime, diversified financing channels and comprehensive professional services provide fertile ground for the city to grow into one of the most vibrant innovation hubs in the region. While in the Middle East, Professor Sun also met with local government officials and representatives from I&T industry to exchange views on issues of mutual interests.


IP protection conference concludes

Hong Kong is committed to Intellectual Property (IP) protection and upholds a robust IP protection regime, which is backed by our strong tradition of the rule of law and our continued practice of the common law system under the “one country, two systems” principle, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the Regional High-Level Conference on Intellectual Property Protection (Mar 12). He said that Hong Kong has a multitude of advantages of becoming the regional hub for IP trading, adding that Hong Kong has a deep pool of outstanding legal talent and is also the only jurisdiction in the world that practises common law in both Chinese and English. These and other strengths give Hong Kong a unique advantage in assisting in the resolution of related disputes in the region, said Mr Chan. The three-day conference (Mar 12-14) brought together some 200 high-profile officials and experts from prominent international organisations and law enforcement agencies in the Asia-Pacific region to exchange knowledge, experience, and valuable insights in the field of IP protection and development.

Deputy SJ promotes HK in Riyadh

Being the only common law jurisdiction within China, Hong Kong has unparalleled advantages in offering top-notch legal and alternative dispute resolution services to those doing business in Hong Kong, as well as China, said Deputy Secretary for Justice, Cheung Kwok-kwan, at the thematic event - "Hong Kong and Riyadh: Legal and Dispute Resolution Services for Businesses along the Belt and Road", organised by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) at Riyadh International Disputes Week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Mar 5). He added that Hong Kong has long been recognised as a renowned centre for international arbitration, ranking the third most popular seat for arbitration in the latest 2021 survey. Hong Kong’s home-grown arbitral institution, HKIAC is ranked the third most preferred and used arbitral institution worldwide. With the establishment of the International Organization for Mediation, the world's first intergovernmental international legal body dedicated to settling international disputes by mediation, Mr Cheung said, Hong Kong will further strengthen its role as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. While in Riyadh, Mr Cheung also met with senior officials and industry experts from various regions to discuss the development of dispute resolution around the world.


SED promotes HK education in Australia

Hong Kong is the only city in the world with five publicly-funded universities within the world's top 100, said Secretary for Education, Dr Choi Yuk-lin at the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education 2024 Conference and Exhibition in Perth, Australia (Mar 6). Dr Choi added that the higher education sector in Hong Kong is highly diverse and world-renowned with about one out of five students and two-thirds of academic staff coming from more than 100 countries or places outside Hong Kong, making Hong Kong an ideal destination for further studies. With the double advantages of enjoying the strong support of the Motherland and being closely connected to the world, Dr Choi said, Hong Kong has gathered a pool of talent and plenty of resources, offering many collaboration and exchange opportunities and innovation platforms. She emphasised that the HKSAR Government is sparing no effort to achieve the goal of building Hong Kong into an international post-secondary education hub and fully supports local universities to strengthen collaboration and connection with education institutions around the world on student exchanges and academic research.


Financial Mega Event Week

Global financial professionals, mark your diary! The Financial Mega Event Week will be held in the last week of March, with a series of top-tier international conferences and exhibitions taking place in Hong Kong. These include the highly acclaimed Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit (Mar 27) exclusively for family offices; the inaugural One Earth Summit (Mar 25) co-organised by the Institute of Sustainability and Technology and the Giving to Amplify Earth Action, a World Economic Forum initiative on global climate and the green economy; and the Global Investors' Symposium (Mar 26) organised by the Milken Institute, the first large-scale summit held in Hong Kong by the US-based non-profit think tank since 1998. In addition to the aforementioned large-scale international summits, several international mega events including ComplexCon Hong Kong, Art Basel Hong Kong and Hong Kong Rugby Sevens will be staged from Mar 22 to Apr 7.

Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2024

Lights, Camera, Action! The exciting Entertainment Expo Hong Kong (Feb 24 - Apr 14) is underway for its 20th edition, bringing 10 major events for film fans and creative industry insiders. Covering various sectors from glitzy awards and new releases to financing and content distribution, the Expo highlights include the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), which gathers influential industry players as well as over 750 exhibitors from over 50 countries and regions to network, brainstorm and explore business opportunities; the 48th Hong Kong International Film Festival (Mar 28 to Apr 8), featuring over 190 films from around the world; and the 42nd Hong Kong Film Awards presentation ceremony (Apr 14).

Art@Harbour 2024

Get ready for a new sensory experience along Hong Kong’s waterfront! Art@Harbour 2024 will return (Mar 25 - Jun 2) to light up both sides of Victoria Harbour with multiple outdoor art installations and digital art facades integrating art, science, and technology. Highlights include the “teamLab: Continuous” by international art collective teamLab, which features hundreds of interactive luminous ovoids, and “Voyage with Van Gogh”, a public art initiative featuring an outdoor multi-sensory LED art installation.

Did you know...

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 Organization. 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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