Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York
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What’s New in Hong Kong 2018

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Butterflies add colour to HK

The mild climate of Hong Kong makes it a perfect home for more than 200 butterfly species. Follow Tam Kin-chung of the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department to learn about these colourful creatures and their survival skills. Video here.

  Butterflies add colour to HK
     
HK’s spending on R&D sees 8% jump in 2017

The gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) in 2017 amounted to US$2.73, an 8% increase YoY, according to the newly released “Hong Kong Innovation Activities Statistics” report. With the introduction of new initiatives to promote I & T such as enhanced tax deduction for R & D expenditure, the level of GERD is expected to further increase in the coming years. Details here.

  HK’s spending on R&D sees 8% jump in 2017
     
HK: the IP Trading Hub

The first study dedicated to Intellectual Property manpower in HK revealed that nearly 25,000 of the workforce were engaged in IP trading/management work while legal services play a pivotal role in providing intermediary services. HK’s robust IP protection framework has also provided a favorable environment for various industry groups, such as the creative industry, to flourish. Details here.

  HK: the IP Trading Hub
     
Hongkong Post to issue "Year of the Pig” philatelic products

To herald the arrival of the Year of the Pig in 2019, Hongkong Post will release a set of stamps portraying the Chinese zodiac animal in different art forms, namely, cloth art, woodcarving, ceramic and jade. The special stamps, together with associated philatelic products, will go on sale on January 12. Overseas philatelists can place order online here.

  Hongkong Post to issue "Year of the Pig” philatelic products
     
Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres commenced operation

The Hong Kong Identity Card Replacement Exercise has started with the opening of nine registration centres across the city (Dec 27). Holders of existing smart HKICs will be invited to one of the Centres, according to their year of birth, to have their cards replaced at specified periods. They are advised to make appointment for the replacement through the website, mobile app or hotline of the HK Immigration Department before visiting the Centres. HK residents who live or study overseas can apply for the new ICs within 30 days of their return to the city. Details here.

  Smart Identity Card Replacement Centres commenced operation
     
HK 5G provider applications open

Preparing for the roll out of 5G mobile services as early as April 2019, the Office of the Communications Authority is inviting applications for the assignment of spectrum in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands. Interested parties should submit their applications to the OFCA by 5.30pm on January 25, 2019. Details here.

  HK 5G provider applications open
     
HK: World's #1 IPO venue in 2018

With 209 companies listed in the HKSE as of Dec 20, raising US$35.8 billion, HK is once again the world's top IPO fundraising market, according to HKEx Chief Executive Charles Li. A total of 28 new economy companies have gone public in HK, including smartphone company Xiaomi and food delivery online service Meituan Dianping, raising US$17.4 billion so far and accounting for nearly half of total IPO fundraising amount. Details here.

  HK: World's #1 IPO venue in 2018
     
Re-appointment of HK representatives to APEC’s business advisory group

The Government has re-appointed Dr Allan Zeman of Lan Kwai Fong Group and Dr Jonathan Choi of Sunwah Group as HK representatives to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Business Advisory Council (ABAC) until the end of 2020. ABAC was established in 1996 as a permanent business advisory body to provide advice to APEC on business sector priorities. HK has appointed three representatives to ABAC. Esquel Group’s Marjorie Yang is the other representative. Details here.

  Re-appointment of HK representatives to APEC’s business advisory group
     
HK opens its first children's hospital

The first hospital specialized for children in HK, focusing on rare and complex cases, opened its doors on Dec 18, providing services in its specialist outpatient clinics for oncology, nephrology and metabolic medicine. Other outpatient clinics and inpatient services will be commissioned gradually in phases in 2019. Located at the Kai Tak development area, the US$1.7 billion children's hospital consists of two 11-storey towers, with a planned capacity of about 500 day and night beds. Details here.

  HK opens its first children's hospital
     
Applications to HK Gov’t Summer ’19 Internship open

Hong Kong students currently studying in the US can apply for the Administrative Service Internship Programme. The government internships offer tertiary students the opportunity to get relevant hands-on experience in the Administrative Service. The applications for HK students studying at overseas tertiary institutions must be sent on or before Jan 25, 2019. Details here.

  Applications to HK Gov’t Summer ’19 Internship open
     
Public service broadcasting RTHK celebrates 90 years on air

To mark RTHK's 90th year in public service broadcasting, HK Heritage Museum and RTHK have jointly organized an exhibition to celebrate this developmental milestone. News.gov.hk spoke to the museum curator Judith Ng about the exhibits and special programs that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city's rich broadcasting history. Video here.

  Public service broadcasting RTHK celebrates 90 years on air
     
Zero tariffs for HK-origin goods imported into mainland

A new agreement has been signed (Dec 14) between HKSAR Gov’t and China’s Ministry of Commerce under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) that consolidates and updates the commitments on liberalization and facilitation of trade in goods. Starting Jan 1, 2019, goods of HK origin imported into the Mainland will enjoy zero tariffs through the enhanced arrangement for rules of origin. Details here.

  Zero tariffs for HK-origin goods imported into mainland
     
Smarter future empowered by AI: S for I&T

With an increasingly vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem, HK has nurtured and attracted the best research talents in AI, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang addressed an audience at the HK Applied Science and Technology Research Institute’s summit (Dec 14). He mentioned the Gov’t is providing further incentives for R&D, including the super tax deduction for qualifying R&D activities of 300% for the first US$256,000 of qualifying activities and 200% for the remaining amount. Details here.

  Smarter future empowered by AI: S for I&T
     
Smart departure system wins pioneer award

HK Immigration Department's self-service departure system has won the Radiant Pioneer Award from the Asia Pacific Smart Card Ass’n (Dec 12). The smart system using face recognition tech was rolled out at HK Int’l Airport in Oct 2017 and extended to other control points end of last year. Details here.

  Smart departure system wins pioneer award
     
Police celebrates 175 years in service in 2019

The HK Police Force will hold a series of activities to mark the Dodransbicentennial, including open days of police stations, guided tours at historic police buildings, exhibitions and a charity concert. Hongkong Post will issue “Our Police Force” special stamps on April 30, 2019. Details here.

  Police celebrates 175 years in service in 2019
     
HK to enter 5G era as early as April ’19

HK will be one of the world's earliest adopters of 5G tech. The Communications Authority announced (Dec 13) it will assign the first batch of 4,100 MHz of spectrum that can be used for 5G as early as April for deployment. The fifth generation mobile services represent more than 8X the existing amount of 552 MHz of spectrum being used for 2G, 3G and 4G services in HK. Details here.

  HK to enter 5G era as early as April ’19
     
Exponential growth in Regional HQs: InvestHK survey

HK has continued to attract leading overseas and Mainland companies as well as entrepreneurs from around the globe setting up leading edge and innovative businesses. The number of companies setting up RHQs showed a robust growth of 8.3% to 1,530. Enterprises with parent companies located outside HK climbed 6.4% to 8,754 in 2018. Increases were recorded for all the top five economies having set up operations in the city. They are: Mainland China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore . Details here.

  Exponential growth in Regional HQs: InvestHK survey
     
HK values tourism exchange

An int’l tourism convention has been beld to explore ways to leverage the tourism potential of the Belt Road countries and the Greater Bay Area cities. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said central to tourism development is multilateral co-operation and HK will continue to embrace people-to-people bonds. In the same occasion, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said HK has continued to be the world’s No. 1 destination for 8 years in a row, handling nearly 60 million visitors per year – eightfold of HK’s population. Details here.

  HK values tourism exchange
     
IMF commends HK’s robust macroeconomic frameworks

The International Monetary Fund has commended HK in its latest assessment (Dec 12), adding that many years of prudent macroeconomic policies endowed the city with strong buffers to navigate through challenges and ensure continued stability despite increasing risks confronting global growth. Details here.

  IMF commends HK’s robust macroeconomic frameworks
     
HK on track to meet carbon emission targets

From 2013 to 2016, HK’s total carbon emissions reduced by about 5% to 41 900 kt, Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said in LegCo (Dec 12). To meet the 2020 and 2030 carbon emission targets set in the HK Climate Change Report 2015, the Gov’t will continue to optimize the fuel mix, promote wider use of renewable energy. He predicted HK's carbon emissions will peak before 2020. Details here.

  HK on track to meet carbon emission targets
     
Meng holds only one valid HKSAR passport at any one time: CE

Due to lingering doubts despite repeated Immd’s statements, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has sought to further clarify that Madam Meng held only one valid Hong Kong SAR passport at any point in time. “She has been issued a few passports over a period since she has obtained the Hong Kong Permanent Resident status because of the specified circumstances that I have explained,” she said in a routine media briefing before ExCo meeting (Dec 11). Video here.

  Meng holds only one valid HKSAR passport at any one time: CE
     
New HK$1,000 banknotes set to debut tomorrow

The 2018 New Series HK$1,000 notes and HK$500 notes will be launched in Hong Kong and made available in the banks on Dec 12 and Jan 23, 2019 respectively. The other three denominations of HK$100, HK$50 and HK$20 will enter circulation between mid-2019 and early 2020. Together with the 2018 Series, all other banknotes currently in use will continue to be legal tender. Details here.

  New HK$1,000 banknotes set to debut tomorrow
     
Exhibition to mark 40 years of China’s reform and opening up

The “Joint Development · Shared Prosperity” Exhibition organized by the Gov’t Information Services Department at the History Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui has been opened (Dec 11), featuring interesting artefacts and multimedia displays that depict different elements of the unique relationship between HK and the Mainland over the past four decades. “The exhibition traces the remarkable journey of our country and our city, a journey of exploration and collaboration not just in business and finance but also in culture, sports and much more," said Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Details and admissions info here.

  Exhibition to mark 40 years of China’s reform and opening up
     
Special measures help HK exporters, SMEs to tide over tariffs

HK Export Credit Insurance Corporation has launched special measures to strengthen protection for HK exporters affected by US tariffs, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Dec 11) at the 2018 HK Awards for Industries event. A total of 84 local companies were recognized for their innovation and adaption to advanced technology. Details here.

  Special measures help HK exporters, SMEs to tide over tariffs
     
One valid passport at one time: S for S

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders can only hold one valid passport at any one time; and the occasion when one may be using both old and new passports will be when the old passport contains a visa which remains valid, despite the cancellation of the old one, said Secretary for Security John Lee (Dec 10). Details here.

  One valid passport at one time: S for S
     
Full system in place to ensure passports being issued effectively and accurately: ImmD

In response to media enquiries related to a Hong Kong permanent resident holding more than one HKSAR passport, the Immigration Department (ImmD) has reviewed the relevant records and confirmed that the assessment, issuance and cancellation of the passports of the person concerned had been performed strictly according to the relevant laws and regulations. It reiterated that any HKSAR passport holder shall possess only one valid HKSAR passport at any time. A HKSAR passport holder may apply for a replacement upon expiry, but under some circumstances such as loss or damage etc., holders may apply for replacement before expiry.

December 10, 2018 

December 9, 2018 

  Full system in place to ensure passports being issued effectively and accurately: ImmD
     
U.S. researchers win 2018 Yidan Prize for Education Research

The world’s largest education prize, Yidan, has held its 2018 presentation ceremony (Dec 9) in HK. Chief Executive Carrie Lam presented the Education Research award to Prof Larry Hedges of Northwestern University in recognition of his groundbreaking statistical methods and evaluation of education policy; and the Education Development award to Prof Anant Agarwal of MIT, founder of edX, for making learning more accessible to people around the world via an online open-source platform. Selected from nearly 1,000 nominations from 92 countries, each laureate will receive US$3.87 million in recognition and support of their work. Details here.

 
     
HK architects honored with International Architectural Award

The Passive & Low Energy Architecture Conference was held in HK for the first time (Dec 10) to promote bioclimatic design and sustainable architecture. In its 34th edition, more than 300 academics, researchers, professionals and students from over 50 countries and regions participated in the 3-day conference at CUHK. One of the awards was jointly received by Ada Fung Yin-suen (Former Deputy Director of Housing) and John NG Cheuk-yee (Former Chief Architect of the Housing Department) for their contributions to provide and improve low-cost, low-energy public housing. Details here.

  HK architects honored with International Architectural Award
     
Joint concerted efforts to improve air quality

Some 150 manufacturing enterprises, mostly run by Hongkongers, in Guangdong Province have been recognized for their efforts in pursuing cleaner production as the environmental officials of HK and the province met to discuss and review the environmental protection progress of 2018 in Guangzhou on Dec 7. Both sides will promote the use of cleaner production and offer incentives for enterprises to reduce pollutant emissions. Details here.

  Joint concerted efforts to improve air quality
     
HK excels in innovation and IP protection

The growth of patent applications in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been phenomenal, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the Business of IP Asia Forum (Dec 6). It outnumbered the combined total of Tokyo, New York and San Francisco bay areas last year. She cited two home-made innovations that have gained patents. They’re a spectacle lens designed to slow the progression of myopia in children; and an automated system, the world’s first, for integrity checking of airfield ground lighting. , said HK also ranked top ten within 140 economies in IP protection. Details here.

  HK excels in innovation and IP protection
     
Revitalised textiles factories open to applied creativity and innovation

The Mills, a landmark industrial buildings revitalization project in Tsuen Wan, has opened to the public with the aim to connect young arts and fashion creators with HK’s rich history of enterprise and the textile manufacturing heyday. With a floor area of over 24,000 m², The Mills houses an art gallery, a textile industry museum, a start-up incubator and fashion studios. At its opening ceremony (Dec 6), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it set a good example of the government’s revitalization scheme for industrial buildings to meet HK’s changing social and economic needs. Details here.

  Revitalised textiles factories open to applied creativity and innovation
     
HK's robust fiscal position helps withstand headwinds: FS

Hong Kong’s strong fiscal position will help us withstand economic headwinds while investing in the future, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at a luncheon for world's business leaders (Dec 5). Details here.

  HK's robust fiscal position helps withstand headwinds: FS
     
Postal services to US subject to delay

Hongkong Post announced that, as advised by its US counterpart, , Dec 5 had been designated as a National Day of Mourning and mail delivery services would be suspended for one day.

  Postal services to US subject to delay
     
HK remains vigilant despite truce: FS

Hong Kong will stay vigilant over market volatilities that may arise from uncertainties in the upcoming talks between the Mainland and the US in the 90-day truce, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Dec 3. Meanwhile, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said the temporary truce was a relief for the short term, adding that the Gov’t would closely monitor the development in medium term while planning long term remedial measures.

  HK remains vigilant despite truce: FS
     
Public art wins DFA Awards

The public art project "City Dress Up: Seats.Together" has won three awards at the annual Design for Asia Awards. It comprises a total of 20 sets of public artworks in the form of aesthetically appealing and functional furniture specifically made to echo with the environment and the characteristics of the respective locations in 18 districts. All will be displayed till July 2020. Details here.

  Public art wins DFA Awards
     
HKU joins hands with Harvard on precision medicine lab

HKU’s Faculty of Engineering and the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science have signed a pact (Dec 2) to jointly set up a lab in HK to develop instruments for precision medicine and drug delivery. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government is committed to attracting world-leading research institutions to carry out collaborative research. Details here.

  HKU joins hands with Harvard on precision medicine lab
     
New e-waste control measures to take place Dec 31

The Environmental Protection Department has reminded the recycling industry that starting Dec 31 HK landfills and other designated waste disposal facilities will no longer receive and handle regulated e-waste such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, computers, and monitors. Import and export of such waste will need to obtain a permit issued by the department. Details here.

  New e-waste control measures to take place Dec 31
     
UChicago opens HK campus

The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus, which was opened Nov 30, will be the Asian base for Chicago Booth offering a two-year EMBA program. It will also feature a social innovation program that offers scholarships, social entrepreneurship workshops, and training for NGO professionals. Details here.

  UChicago opens HK campus
     
HK universities’ AI researches among top three in the world

Universities in HK ranked No. 3 globally in terms of producing the most highly cited and impactful research on AI, according to citation database Scopus. Speaking at the Hong Kong International Artificial Intelligence Summit (Nov 30), Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang said the city was well positioned to transform itself into a regional AI hub. Details here.

  HK universities’ AI researches among top three in the world
     
HKO x Facebook “1-Minute Weather” video contest

The HK Observatory is hosting a first of its kind time-lapse video competition, calling for interesting weather videos through Instagram. Submission deadline is Jan 31, 2019. Details here.

  HKO x Facebook “1-Minute Weather” video contest
     
WTO commends HK's free trade regime

WTO Members commended HK again for its free and open trade regime at the WTO Trade Policy Review meeting in Geneva (Nov 28). HK’s liberal approach to trade and investment has enabled it to obtain some of the highest rankings in major world indicators of competitiveness, economic freedom and ease of doing business, said chairperson of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, Ambassador Eloi Laourou. Details here.

  WTO commends HK's free trade regime
     
More Nordic startups in HK

Located in Central’s creative hub, PMQ, the Nordic Innovation House in HK has been opened Nov 28 aiming to attract more Nordic startups to set up their business in Asia and in the Greater Bay Area. Welcoming the new platform, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said HK was one of the top five fastest-growing startup centers globally, with I&T a Gov’t policy priority. Details here.

  More Nordic startups in HK
     
Gov’t assisting HK enterprises in weathering China-US trade conflicts

The Gov’t has rolled out a number of measures to assist SMEs affected by the trade friction, including alleviating their financial burden through the Financing Guarantee Scheme, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau told legislators in HK (Nov 28). Meanwhile, HK will continue to establish stronger bilateral ties with like-minded trading partners and deepen economic integration with different parts of the world. Details here.

  Gov’t assisting HK enterprises in weathering China-US trade conflicts
     
HK suspends import and sale of California romaine lettuce

The import and sale in HK of romaine lettuce grown in California has been suspended with immediate effect, HK’s Centre for Food Safety announced Nov 27. It came after the U.S. authorities notified that the produce from California might have been contaminated with E coli. Details here.

  HK suspends import and sale of California romaine lettuce
     
World Men bowling tournament first held in HK

Attracting about 300 top-flight bowlers from far and wide, the 2018 CGSE · Million Tinkle World Men Bowling tournament is being held in HK for the first time.The world-class bowling championship, running for 11 days until Dec 5, has been accorded the "M" Mark, or Major Sport event, status. Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung spoke on the Gov’t resource allocation to a matching grant under the "M" Mark System with a view to encouraging the business sector to sponsor large-scale sports events. Details here.

  World Men bowling tournament first held in HK
     
Finance & auditing professionals discuss measures against money laundering

HK's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime have been significantly enhanced over recent years, said Josephine Kwan, PwC audit partner in HK, during a forum hosted by the Financial Services Development Council and the Open University of HK (Nov 23). Details here.

  Finance & auditing professionals discuss measures against money laundering
     
Caution urged for travelers to Istanbul and Ankara

Travelers to Turkish cities Ankara and Istanbul have been advised to stay alert in view of threats. The Security Bureau adjusted (Nov 23) the travel alert from red, which denotes a significant threat, to amber, which calls for caution. Details here.

  Caution urged for travelers to Istanbul and Ankara
     
Skip romaine lettuce amid E coli concerns: food safety authorities

HK’s Centre for Food Safety has warned the public to avoid consuming romaine lettuce from the United States and Canada because of possible E coli infection. The centre also held all romaine lettuce imported from the two countries starting from Nov 22 for testing. Details here.

  Skip romaine lettuce amid E coli concerns: food safety authorities
     
The University of Law to open first int’l campus in HK

The University of Law from the UK has opened an office (Nov 22) in preparation for the establishment of its first int’l campus in HK slated for opening next year. HK’s legal education and training landscape has grown rapidly while maintaining its English common law origins, said the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Andrea Nollent. Details here.

  The University of Law to open first int’l campus in HK
     
CE: HK a global logistics hub

Hong Kong is well-placed to provide world-class maritime services thanks to the city’s strong foundation in the logistics sector and adaptability to the changing market, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the opening of 2018 Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference (Nov 20). There’re over 8,700 overseas and Mainland companies in various sectors. Among them over 1,500 are regional headquarters and some 2,400 are regional offices. Details here.

  CE: HK a global logistics hub
     
Gov’t determined to foster and attract talent

HK has recently invested heavily in education, with an expenditure increased by almost 10 per cent per annum across the board in the past two years, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam. While she’d try to get more details about the World Talent Ranking report, e.g. its survey cut-off date, she said the ranking would push us to do better. She was commenting on the report published by IMD Business School which saw HK’s ranking drop by six places this year to 18th. Details here.

  Gov’t determined to foster and attract talent
     
Karolinska Institutet’s Lau Centre celebrates 2nd anniversary

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said as the first overseas branch for the prestigious medical school, the Lau Centre had brought HK's potential in biotechnology R&D to the international stage. He was speaking at the 2nd anniversary of Karolinska Institutet Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine (Nov 20). The centre originated from Sweden focuses on accelerating research in stem cell biology, biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine. Details here.

  Karolinska Institutet’s Lau Centre celebrates 2nd anniversary
     
CE underscores free trade benefits at APEC

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2018 Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea (Nov 18), highlighting HK’s unique role in int’l trade and the "One Country, Two Systems” arrangement. Mrs Lam said the city would continue to promote free trade, including expanding the FTA network. Details here.

  CE underscores free trade benefits at APEC
     
Stricter liquor law to close retail loophole

Any alcohol retail outlets including websites, or social networking apps will have to display signs about the new law that takes effect Nov 30. Those who sell or supply alcohol to under-18s will face a max. fine of US$6,410. Stores that do not display the bilingual signs will face fines up to US$3,205. Details here.

  Stricter liquor law to close retail loophole
     
Guinness World Records Attempt: Most Nationalities in Tai Chi Class

Make it the most diverse Tai Chi class ever: people of 60 nationalities participated at the Int’l Social Service HK Branch’s 60th anniversary Tai Chi class (Nov 18), cherishing the traditional Chinese exercise and HK’s diversity and inclusiveness. Details here.

  Guinness World Records Attempt: Most Nationalities in Tai Chi Class
     
Maritime Week 2018 draws on HK’s strength

At the opening of the HK Maritime Week 2018 (Nov 18), Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said maritime, trading and logistics have all along been the pillar industry of HK. Through tax benefits and other measures, the Gov’t will gear up support to grow high value-added maritime services such as ship leasing, marine insurance, and related business activities. Details here.

  Maritime Week 2018 draws on HK’s strength
     
CE refutes US report on Hong Kong

Speaking to the media in HK prior to departing for APEC meeting (Nov 15), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the recent US Congress report (issued by the US-China Economic & Security Review Commission) had made unfounded accusations against HK. She noted that while “one country, two systems” principle had been successfully implemented, the US had a US$34.5 billion trade surplus with HK and any change to US trade policy would not only be unfair but would also affect US interests. Details here.

  CE refutes US report on Hong Kong
     
HK’s Q3 GDP grows 2.9%

HK has posted a 2.9% economic growth in the third quarter despite the growing trade tension between China and the US, boosted by steady consumer spending. The jobless rate remains at 2.8% in Aug - Oct, same as that of Jul - Sep. The latest economic report forecasts slower growth in coming quarters given the Sino-US dispute. Details here.

  HK’s Q3 GDP grows 2.9%
     
First civic organization formed to advocate cultural understanding

With over 260,000 non-Chinese ethnic minorities, the Federation of HK Ethnic Communities was formed (Nov 16) to foster cultural understanding. Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung congratulated the Federation, stressing that the Gov’t is committed to building an inclusive and caring society. Details here.

  First civic organization formed to advocate cultural understanding
     
Three historic HKU buildings declared monuments

The Gov’t has declared the exteriors of Fung Ping Shan Building, Eliot Hall and May Hall at the University of Hong Kong as monuments, meaning that the buildings will be permanently preserved. Eliot Hall, named after its first Vice-Chancellor, was opened in 1914 as the second student residential hall. Details here.

  Three historic HKU buildings declared monuments
     
Hong Kong, Australia agrees on FTA

Hong Kong has reached a deal with Australia on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and an Investment Agreement (Nov 15). Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau hailed the agreements for bringing bilateral trade and investment ties to a new height. Details here.

  Hong Kong, Australia agrees on FTA
     
Call to contain conflicts thro. dialogues: SCED

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau has called on APEC members to redouble efforts to contain the escalating trade conflicts through constructive dialogue, at a plenary session of the 30th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Papua New Guinea (Nov 15). Details here.

  Call to contain conflicts thro. dialogues: SCED
     
“Godfather of HK politics” Chung Sze-yuen dies at 101

HK’s political heavyweight Dr Chung Sze-yuen, Convener of the first Executive Council of the HKSAR, has passed away (Nov 14) aged 101 years. Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Dr Chung. Referring to his years of outstanding public service, Mrs Lam said that with distinguished achievements in areas including politics, education, medical care and engineering, he earned deep respect from members of the public. Details here.

  “Godfather of HK politics” Chung Sze-yuen dies at 101
     
HKSARG responds to US-China Commission report

In response to media enquiries, HK Gov’t has made a response (Nov 14) to a report issued by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The Gov’t reiterates that it has all along been handling HK affairs strictly in accordance with the “one country, two systems” principle, the Basic Law and the laws of HK. Foreign legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR. Details here.

  HKSARG responds to US-China Commission report
     
Liquor sale law to take effect late this month

The new legislation prohibiting the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor (more than 1.2% ethyl alcohol by volume) to minors under 18 years old will take effect Nov 30. The law applies to face-to-face distribution, online distribution as well as sale in vending machines. It carries a max. fine of US$6,410. Details here.

  Liquor sale law to take effect late this month
     
Defending freedoms is my obligation: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reiterated her constitutional obligation to safeguard civil liberties in HK. Respondng to media questions on the recent Tai Kwun’s venue decision (Nov 13), Mrs Lam said the Gov’t had no involvement in the incident. Details here.

  Defending freedoms is my obligation: CE
     
Illicit import of cannabis a criminal offence: HK Customs

The Customs and Excise Department has reminded members of the public that illicit import of cannabis is a criminal offence in HK. It carries a max. penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of US$641,026. Illicitly possessing, or smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting dangerous drugs is subject to a maximum prison term of seven years and a fine of US$128,205. Details here.

  Illicit import of cannabis a criminal offence: HK Customs
     
HK playing to its strengths in China’s opening up

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng in Beijing (Nov 12) along with the 160-plus-strong HK delegation in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up of the country. Mrs Lam said that as the doors of the country's reform and opening up will be opened wider and wider, HK's role as the gateway and the hub connecting to the world will become even more prominent and the city's advantages under "one country, two systems" will be even more notable. Video here.

  HK playing to its strengths in China’s opening up
     
Day-long events to celebrate Cantonese Opera

Cantonese opera has been added to the Unesco representative list of intangible cultural heritage. With the landmark Chinese opera venue, Xiqu Centre, to open at West Kowloon cultural hub(Jan 20, 2019), the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will hold the 16th Cantonese Opera Day on Nov 25 (Sunday) at the HK Cultural Centre and the HK Space Museum featuring excerpts and operatic songs; talks; demonstration workshops on Cantonese opera stylized movement and posture. Details here.

  Day-long events to celebrate Cantonese Opera
     
Boosting cooperation

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has met with senior reps of several int’l organizations in Geneva (Nov 7-9) to update them on HK's developments. In a meeting with WHO Assistant Director-General and Chef de Cabinet Bernhard Schwartlander, Cheung stressed HK’s close ties and cooperation with the WHO on public health issues. Cheung also called on the Director-General of the Int’l Labour Organization Guy Ryder and briefed him on HK’s efforts in enhancing employees' benefits. Details here.

  Boosting cooperation
     
5th China Int’l Circus Festival - HK performance to be staged at Cultural Centre Piazza

World-class circus artists will perform in the 5th China International Circus Festival - HK performance next Tuesday (Nov 13) from 2pm to 3.30pm at the Cultural Centre Piazza, featuring exciting acrobatics and entertaining circus acts. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Details here.

  5th China Int’l Circus Festival - HK performance to be staged at Cultural Centre Piazza
     
HK hosts Asia’s largest digital media conference

More than 40 speakers from major news and social media outlets, including Facebook, Google, New York Times, Reuters, and Wall Street Journal, have shared their experience and insights in Digital Media Asia held in Hong Kong. In the three-day event ending Nov 9, over 400 top executives and thought leaders took part in masterclasses and shared views on case studies and best practices pivotal for editorial and strategic decision-making. They also recognised, in the Asian Digital Media Awards, publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strategies to cater to changes in how people consume news and information. The awards were jointly presented by WAN-IFRA-World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and Google. Details here.

  HK hosts Asia’s largest digital media conference
     
HK implements UN Sanctions on South Sudan

HK has adopted the United Nations sanctions against South Sudan imposed by the UN Security Council. The law prohibition against the supply, sale, transfer or carriage of arms or related materiel to the country in East-Central Africa took effect on Nov 9. Details here.

  HK implements UN Sanctions on South Sudan
     
Top-notch R&D centers to be set up for collaboration

Hong Kong and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have signed an MOU to set up a CAS-affiliated institution in the city (Nov 8). The world-class institution, with research clusters on healthcare technologies, AI and robotics, will be set up at the Hong Kong Science Park. Details here.

  Top-notch R&D centers to be set up for collaboration
     
West Kowloon Mediation Centre opens

The West Kowloon Mediation Centre (WKMC) has opened (Nov 8) with a pilot scheme for small claims launched at the same time. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng hoped more cases could be handled by mediation which is less costly than a court hearing and focuses on the interests of those concerned in search for a solution. Various mediation schemes had been administered by non-profits and they have recorded up to a 89% settlement rate. Details here.

  West Kowloon Mediation Centre opens
     
Cyberport continues to attract startups and nurture HK unicorns

There’s a record number of over 1,200 tech companies and startups operating in Cyberport, said Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang at the opening ceremony of Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (Nov 8), the annual two-day event of the I&T hub. Amount the tech companies, 25 startups have attracted over US$497 million of investment funding during the first half of 2018-19 fiscal year. The Gov’t will be a strong backer and delighted to see more unicorn successes such as home-grown Klook, an online travel agency, having landed US$200 million in its latest Series D funding and looking to hit the US$1 billion bookings this year. Details here.

  Cyberport continues to attract startups and nurture HK unicorns
     
HK premiere of FDF-subsidized film "Napping Kid" 《逆向誘拐》

“It’s not a movie, it’s a game,” said film director Amos Why (Ho-Yin Wong) of “Napping Kid” (2018), a Film Development Fund-subsidized film that has premiered in HK (Nov 8). Starring David Siu, Ng Siu-hin and Cecilia So, the movie is about a blackmail case in which the blackmailer sends a ransom email to an international investment bank and threatens to disclose its clients’ confidential files to the public if the bank refuses to pay the ransom. Details here.

  HK premiere of FDF-subsidized film "Napping Kid" 《逆向誘拐》
     
Customs and lifestyle of Chaoshan region showcased

A rare exhibition featuring the Chaozhou woodcarving craftsmanship will open at the HK Museum of History on Nov 8. With about 120 displays, the “Gilded Glory: Chaozhou Woodcarving” exhibition will reveal the practical uses and artistic qualities while giving a taste of the customs and humanistic spirit of Chaoshan people in Guangdong. Chaozhou woodcarving has been inscribed onto the first national list of intangible cultural heritage. Details here.

  Customs and lifestyle of Chaoshan region showcased
     
Classic cops-and-gangsters films selected for screening

The HK Film Archive of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department has selected five classic cops-and-gangsters films produced in the 1980s for its flagship programme “100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies”. The screening will take place in North District Town Hall in December. Details here.

  Classic cops-and-gangsters films selected for screening
     
Condolence point set up to mourn Dr Louis Cha

Remembering “Jin Yong,” the renowned wuxia novels writer and veteran journalist, Dr Louis Cha, who passed away Oct 30, the HK Heritage Museum will set up a condolence point outside the Jin Yong Gallery from Nov 12 to 30 for members of the public to pay tribute to the legend. Details here.

  Condolence point set up to mourn Dr Louis Cha
     
Human rights in HK fully protected

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Matthew Cheung, has reiterated at the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review meeting in Geneva (Nov 6) the full protection of human rights in HK enshrined in the Basic Law, HK Bill of Rights Ordinance and other laws. The rule of law, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech are amongst the city's core values. Details here.

  Human rights in HK fully protected
     
RTHK celebrating 90 years of public service broadcasting

Since June 1928, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) has been providing public service broadcasting to serve the people of HK and beyond. A special exhibition "90 Years of Public Service Broadcasting in HK" will be open to the public at the HK Heritage Museum on Nov 7. Details here.

  RTHK celebrating 90 years of public service broadcasting
     
World's first cross-border fintech event, ends on high note

Packed with presentations and panel sessions covering all key aspects of financial technology (fintech), the five-day HK Fintech Week has drawn to a successful close in Shenzhen (Nov 2). The 3rd HK Fintech Week drew more than 8,000 attendees from over 50 economies, more than 260 world-class speakers, 100 exhibitors, and 60 start-ups. Financial Secretary Paul Chan highlighted the rapid growth of HK's fintech sector while startups enjoy the Government's strong backing. Details here.

  World's first cross-border fintech event, ends on high note
     
HK's experiences shared at China Int’l Import Expo

Jointly organized by the HK Government and the HK Trade Development Council, a seminar to explore the unique role of HK as the gateway to China's Import and Export has been held at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai (Nov 6). Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau cited historic moments that demonstrated HK strengths in tapping the Mainland Chinese market in the country’s opening and reforms. He was robust in HK’s active role in the Belt and Road Initiative and development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Details here.

  HK's experiences shared at China Int’l Import Expo
     
Import of poultry meat and products from Stearns County, Minnesota, suspended

In view of a notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of low-pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in Stearns County, Minnesota, the HK Centre for Food Safety has instructed the trade to suspend the import of poultry meat and products, including poultry eggs, from the county with immediate effect to protect public health. Details here.

  Import of poultry meat and products from Stearns County, Minnesota, suspended
     
Strategic gateway role showcased at inaugural China Int'l Import Expo

HK will continue to be the strategic gateway for Mainland China and the rest of the world. Participating in the inaugural China International Import Expo, the city is showcasing its unique role and as the ideal platform for helping Mainland enterprises to "go global" and assisting international companies to enter the Mainland market. Details here.

  Strategic gateway role showcased at inaugural China Int'l Import Expo
     
Going the distance

The Government’s bold infrastructure investments including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the HK Section of the Express Rail Link and the ongoing construction of a Three-Runway System at the city's international airport, provides a catalyst for sustainable growth in trade, logistics, commerce and tourism. It also establishes HK as a major connection point in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, creating attractive opportunities for overseas investors. Details here.

  Going the distance
     
Providing quality elderly care through I&T

Hong Kong is adopting a multipronged approach to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. In addition to introducing elderly-friendly policies and initiatives, the Government will use gerontology, which integrates elderly services with innovation & technology. A new US$128 million I&T Fund will provide subsidy for eligible seniors and rehab services to test and procure or rent technology products.The city also welcomes technology collaborations with other cities and institutions to build a smart and liveable city, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan (Nov 2). Details here.

  Providing quality elderly care through I&T
     
Converting food waste into energy

More than 100 HK organizations have pledged (Nov 1) to deliver food waste to O∙PARK1, the city's first organic resources recovery center located in North Lantau. The largest self-sustainable food waste recycling facility in Asia, O∙PARK1 can generate about 14 million kWh of surplus electricity, equivalent to energy consumption by about 3,000 households. It can also reduce some 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said this exemplifies the Government’s commitment to reduce waste and carbon emissions. Details here.

  Converting food waste into energy
     
Pivotal gateway to China: FS

Hong Kong will continue to play a pivotal role connecting the Mainland and the rest of the world, serving as China's international financial, trade, shipping and innovation and technology center, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at a forum (Nov 1). The Government will play the role of "promoter" and "facilitator," diversify the economic base, remove supply-side constraints in land and manpower, and deepen economic co-operation with the Mainland. Details here.

  Pivotal gateway to China: FS
     
Ranked among top business-friendly cities

Hong Kong is ranked fourth globally on the ease of doing business, moving up one place from last year, according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 Report (Oct 31). HK came in first for tax efficiency and for businesses to obtain construction permits. Details here.

  Ranked among top business-friendly cities
     
Ideal launch pad for FinTech firms

With more than 300 fintech start-ups at Cyberport and HK Science Park and over 150 other fintech companies flourishing in the private co-working spaces, HK is undoubtedly the ideal fintech launch pad for companies that are looking to tap into the huge market of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the opening of the third and largest edition of HK FinTech Week (Oct 31). Details here.

  Ideal launch pad for FinTech firms
     
First blockchain-based trade finance platform launched

HK Monetary Authority and 12 major HK banks have launched a blockchain-based trade finance platform. The eTradeConnect aims to improve trade efficiency, build better trust among participants, and reduce risks and facilitate trade counterparties to obtain financing. The eTradeConnect will collaborate with its European counterpart, we.trade. Details here.

  First blockchain-based trade finance platform launched
     
2019 HK Arts Festival showcases new works and Asian premieres

World class international performing groups will join local talents in an outstanding array of performances at the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival, set to run Feb 21 to Mar 23, 2019. The five-week long festival features more than 1,700 artists in 166 performances. Themed "At Every Stage", the Festival presents artists at different stages of their careers. Highlights include the Asian premieres of Zhou Long's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera “Madame White Snake”, Oper Leipzig's staging of Richard Wagner's romantic opera "Tannhäuser" and The Hamburg Ballet's "Beethoven Project", choreographed by its long-time artistic director John Neumeier. More information on advance booking and overview of the 500+ performances and educational activities can be found here.

  2019 HK Arts Festival showcases new works and Asian premieres
     
Recital by acclaimed HK pianist Cheng Wai

Cheng Wai, who has been described as a "piano poetess", will perform in a recital at Hong Kong City Hall in December. After graduating from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) and the Curtis Institute of Music, Cheng went to obtain her master's degree at Yale University and a doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has performed around the world, including at Carnegie Hall in New York and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. "Piano Recital by Cheng Wai" is part of the "City Hall Virtuosi" Series. Details here.

  Recital by acclaimed HK pianist Cheng Wai
     
New private university: Hang Seng University of HK

The Hang Seng Management College has been granted approval to become a private university. To be called “The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong”, it would add diversity to the city's higher education system. Details here.

  New private university: Hang Seng University of HK
     
CE spotlights HK’s unique role in China's economic reform

Hong Kong will continue to leverage on its strengths and play a key role in China's further reform and opening up, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a seminar (Oct 29). The city has contributed and benefited from China's economic transformation in the last 40 years. Details here.

  CE spotlights HK’s unique in China's reform and opening up
     
Postal services to US return to normal

Mail delivery services from Hong Kong to North Carolina, South Carolina, southwest Virginia (postcodes 27000 to 29999 and 23000 to 23999) and Florida (postcodes 32300 to 32499) that were previously affected by a hurricane have returned to normal. Details here.

  Postal services to US return to normal
     
HK signs wine pact with Bordeaux

Hong Kong and Bordeaux signed an agreement on cooperation in wine-related education and manpower training (Oct 27) to strengthen education and training with possible areas of collaboration include networking, student and staff exchange programs, scholarships and study missions. Details here.

  HK signs MOU with Bordeaux on wine-related education
     
New fuel regulations for ocean-going vessels

Effective Jan 1, ocean-going vessels (OGVs) that are using heavy fuel oil (with an average sulfur content of 2.6%) are required to switch to compliant fuel before entering HK waters. The master and owner concerned of any vessel using non-compliant fuel within the waters of HK will be liable to a maximum fine of US$25,500 and imprisonment for six months. Details here.

  New fuel regulations for ocean-going vessels
     
International Culinary Institute opens to groom hospitality talents

With more than 15,000 restaurants calling HK home, the International Culinary Institute has opened (Oct 26) to nurture the city's culinary talents. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Institute's opening underlines the government's support for vocational training education. Details here.

  International Culinary Institute opens to groom hospitality talents
     
HK Wine & Dine Festival returns with biggest edition yet

Drawing tens of thousands of foodies every year, the 4-day HK Wine & Dine Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary with two new zones: International Street Eats and Coffee Fiesta. At the opening ceremony (Oct 25), Financial Secretary Paul Chan noted that HK imported more than US$76 million worth of wine from all over the world, a jump of 9% y-o-y. Top three wine importers were France, Australia and the United Kingdom. Details here.

  HK Wine & Dine Festival returns with biggest edition yet
     
13th Eco Expo Asia spotlights "Waste less, save energy"

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing has officiated the 13th Eco Expo Asia (Oct 25) where he stressed HK’s commitment to a low-carbon society. The Gov’t has released the Climate Action Plan 2030+ earlier to echo the Paris Agreement, with the target to reduce HK’s carbon footprint by as much as 70%. Details here.

  13th Eco Expo Asia spotlights "Waste less, save energy"
     
Mega bridge opens

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will foster the flow of people, goods and capital in the prosperous Greater Bay Area, and transform HK’s role from a connector to a more proactive participant, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a ceremonial opening officiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Zhuhai on Oct 23 (HK time). Open to 24-hour traffic now, the 55-km jaw-dropping bridge is already billed one of the modern world’s seven marvels. The main deck curve design resembles a snake. And there’re three distinctive designs of the towers above the bridges, depending on where they span: dolphins for Jianghai, Chinese knots for Qingzho

  Mega bridge opens
     
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opens to boost connectivity

The world’s longest sea crossing bridge will open a new chapter in enhanced connectivity among Hong Kong, Macao, Zhuhai when it opens to traffic on Oct 24. Attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and other officials, a ceremony to mark its commissioning has been held in Zhuhai (Oct 23). The bridge puts major cities in the Pearl River Delta within a three hours' commute from Hong Kong.To learn more about public transport options, driving information and vehicle insurance tips, visit the new website by the Transport and Housing Bureau.

  Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opens to boost connectivity
     
Young Cantonese opera talents to re-run classics with veterans

Promising Cantonese opera actors will collaborate with HK Cantonese opera performers in the re-run of two acclaimed works, "A Fan to Remember" and "The Cosmic Mirror", in December and January. For details, visit the program website. Details here.

  Young Cantonese opera talents to re-run classics with veterans
     
HK filmmaker pays tribute to Fellini's 8 1/2

Veteran filmmaker Teddy Robin’s latest directorial work, “Lucid Dreams”, had its premiere in Hong Kong on Oct 23. He said the film was his lifelong hope to pay tribute to the legendary Italian director Federico Fellini. It was subsidised by the Film Production Grant Scheme under the Film Development Fund. Details here.

  HK filmmaker pays tribute to Fellini's 8 1/2
     
HK to contribute US$10 million to help low-income countries in Asia

As a member, HK will contribute US$10 million to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s funding which supports low-income countries in their infrastructure projects such as power distribution system upgrade. Details here.

  HK to contribute US$10 million to help low-Income countries in Asia
     
World’s longest sea bridge set to open

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world’s longest bridge-cum-tunnel sea crossing, is set to open to traffic on Oct 24. Totaling 34 mile, it will be a 45-minute drive from HK to Zhuhai and link the two SARs of HK and Macao to the Western Pearl River Delta. The Bridge will enhance the flow of people, goods and capital and technological collaboration in the region. Details here.

  World’s longest sea bridge set to open
     
Hong Kong among top 10 competitive economies

Hong Kong has been ranked 7th in the latest version of the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum. The index measures 140 economies against 12 pillars or drivers of productivity, using new methodology to take into account technological change. Hong Kong came out top in macroeconomic stability and health. Details here.

  Hong Kong among top 10 competitive economies
     
Hong Kong celebrates closer ties in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed today (October 17, 2018) as “Hong Kong Day” to recognize the strong ties between Hong Kong and the Bay State. Over 100 guests, including business and government leaders, along with Senate staffers, attended a celebratory reception at the State House, which was co-organised by the HKETONY, The Asian Caucus of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts. Earlier in the day, Hong Kong Commissioner Eddie Mak called on the Speaker of the House Robert A DeLeo and exchanged views on mutual trade relations. The reception also featured a performance by Hong Kong Baroque recorder player Jasmine Ho. Details here.

  Hong Kong celebrates closer ties in Massachusetts
     
Xiqu Centre to open in January

Xiqu Centre, the first landmark performing arts venue at West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), will officially open its doors on Jan 20 next year, with a performance of the Cantonese opera classic“The Reincarnation of Red Plum”. Designed by Bing Thom Architects (now Revery Architecture) and Ronald Lu Architects, the Centre features a 1,073-seat main theatre, a 200-seat tea house theatre, arts education and rehearsal facilities, and an atrium. Details here.

  Xiqu Centre to open in January
     
CE hosts DNA Nobel laureate James Watson

Chief Executive Carrie Lam hosted the molecular biologist James Watson, Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 at the Government House (Oct 15). Lam and the Nobel laureate who co-discovered the structure of DNA exchanged views on HK’s latest development in I&T. Details here.

  CE hosts DNA Nobel laureate James Watson
     
HK athletes register best-ever results in 2018 Asian Para Games

The heroes are home. Team HK won a record-breaking 48 medals, comprising 11 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 21 bronze medals in the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. Stunning successes include winning the first gold medal in boccia and breaking the Asian Para Games record and the Asian record in swimming. Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah welcomed the athletes at HK Int’l airport (Oct 14) as Chief Executive Carrie Lam extended her congratulations. Details here.

  HK athletes register best-ever results in 2018 Asian Para Games
     
HK students shine at the “Oscars of the ICT”

The delegation led by the Government Chief Information Officer Victor Lam brought home 19 awards among 260-plus entries (Oct 13), best-ever showing for HK at the 18th Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Alliance (APICTA) Awards. The annual conference is hosted by member-economies and was held in Guangzhou, China this year. Projects designed by HK students and young professionals competed in 10 categories, comprising innovative ideas such as multilingual AI customer service. Details here.

  HK students shine at the “Oscars of the ICT”
     
Kids’ colourful view of HK’s future sets Guinness records

Seven talented primary school children aged between 8 and 12 have created a Guinness World Records-breaking 14m work of art under the theme of "Future Hong Kong” at UBS Mega Art Project (Oct 12). Congratulating the young artists, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung reiterated government’s resolve and funding commitment to education as key to HK’s future. Details here.

  Kids’ colourful view of HK’s future sets Guinness records
     
Alan Kwan and friends to host jazz lecture demo series

Locally groomed and US-trained jazz guitarist Alan Kwanwill host a lecture demo series entitled “Jazz Classics: Let's Listen, Let's Jam!” in the next two months. In a series of six lectures, Kwan will talk about the influences behind and share some interesting stories about various modern jazz masters. Tickets and details here.

  Alan Kwan and friends to host jazz lecture demo series
     
HK to revitalize high-end manufacturing

Joined by German Consul General to HK Dieter Lamlé, Chief Executive Carrie Lam officiated at an unveiling ceremony of "A Great Leap Towards Industry 4.0 – Now & Beyond" (Oct 11) where she pledged support for HK enterprises in producing innovative smart products and services. By setting up a US$25.5m Re-industrialization Funding Scheme, the Gov’t will subsidize manufacturers to set up smart production lines in HK. Details here.

  HK to revitalize high-end manufacturing
     
Policy Address gives impetus to I&T: S for IT

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang called upon the public (Oct 11) to support Government's efforts to gear up I&T, including expediting re-industrialization, promoting R&D and technology transfer, building HK as a smart city, and developing the Greater Bay Area into an international I&T hub. Details here.

  Policy Address gives impetus to I&T: S for IT
     
Research funding boost to drive I&T goals: SED

Elaborating on the Policy Address measures, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said (Oct 11) additional research funding -- US$2.55bn to be injected the Research Endowment Fund to help attract and retain talents -- will help drive forward HK’s potential as a global innovation and technology center. Details here

  Research funding boost to drive I&T goals: SED
     
CE identifies land supply, economic diversification as priorities in policy blueprint

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has delivered her 2nd annual policy address (Oct 10) entitled “Striving Ahead, Rekindling Hope,” mapping out the current-term Government’s priorities. The administration will ease the housing shortage by boosting land supply through reclamation, revitalization of industrial buildings, and conversion of brownfield sites. On the growing US-China trade friction, the Government will provide support for affected enterprises. Details here.

  CE identifies land supply, economic diversification as priorities in policy blueprint
     
Number of overseas and Mainland companies in HK continues to grow

The number of business operations in HK with parent companies overseas and in Mainland China climbed to 8,754 in 2018, compared to 8,225 a year ago. By sector, import/export trade, wholesale and retail topped the list (3,950), followed by financing and banking (1,806), and professional, business and education services (1,262). Details here.

  Number of overseas and Mainland companies in HK continues to grow
     
Top court gets new judge

Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, the Chief Judge of the High Court, has been appointed as a permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal with effect from Oct 25. Meanwhile, Justice Robert Tang Ching has been appointed as a non-permanent Hong Kong judge of the top court for a term of three years with effect from the same date. Details here.

  Top court gets new judge
     
Policy Address set for Wed

Chief Executive Carrie Lam will release her 2018 Policy Address in the Legislative Council at 11am on Wednesday (Oct 10) (Hong Kong time). People can tune into the live broadcast of the speech, the subsequent press conference and the TV forum. Details here.

  Policy Address set for Wed
     
Contractors suspended to bid for government works

The Government has banned Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd. from bidding for any major construction projects for a year, due to its work on the MTR's Shatin-Central Link. The other joint venture partners, Samsung C&T Corp. and Hsin Chong were given four months' suspension while China State Construction Engineering (HK) Ltd. banned for three months. Details here.

  Contractors suspended to bid for government works
     
Core values of freedom of expression and reporting safeguarded: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reiterated that freedom of expression, freedom of reporting are core values in Hong Kong. “As the Chief Executive, I and the HKSAR Government will safeguard all these rights as enshrined in the Basic Law," she added. Responding to media questions on Oct 9, she dismissed the link of the visa row to a recent talk as “pure speculation”. Details here.

  Core values of freedom of expression and reporting safeguarded: CE
     
Multi-functional smart lampposts to be installed

The Government will progressively install about 400 multi-functional smart lampposts in the next three years in four urban locations, to enhance the collection of real-time city data, including traffic flow, concentration of pollutants in the air, and improve the 5G and WiFi network coverage. The first 50 smart lampposts are expected to come into operation in Kwun Tong and the Kai Tak Development Area before mid-2019. Details here.

  Multi-functional smart lampposts to be installed
     
HK to promote design thinking

Joined by IDEO partner Tom Kelley, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau officiated the Hong Kong Design Centre’s 4-year propelling design thinking programme (Oct 6), aiming to unleash the potential of HK as a creative city through the promotion of design thinking across different sectors. Details here.

  HK to promote design thinking
     
Full 47th HKAF line-up revealed

The 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival is set to run from Feb 21 to Mar 23, 2019. Advance ticket bookings with 15% discount will open on Oct 11. The full lineup for HK's leading arts festival presenting theatre, dance, classical, jazz and world music is here.

  Full 47th HKAF line-up revealed
     
Logistics and shipping sector embraces technology

The logistics and shipping sectors have embraced innovation and technology, which enhances efficiency in customs clearance and saves transshipment time. One of them was the adoption of a cross-boundary single e-lock system, developed by the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre (LSCM) in collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department in 2016. The government-supported LSCM is developing a trade facilitation platform and an e-arbitration cloud service platform, said Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the LSCM Logistics Summit 2018 (Oct 5). Details here.

  Logistics and shipping sector embraces technology
     
Enhanced relief measures for SMEs

SCED Edward Yau has unveiled a raft of enhanced measures to help SMEs tie over the foreseeable hardship amidst the heated US-China trade dispute. They included extension of the maximum loan guarantee period and increase of guaranteed loan ceiling. Details here.

  Enhanced relief measures for SMEs
     
Hong Kong's efforts to tackle tax evasion and avoidance recognized

Recognizing Hong Kong's efforts to tackle tax evasion and avoidance through its participation in the OECD's Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the European Union has amended and updated its watch list on tax co-operation, effective Oct 2. Details here.

  Hong Kong's efforts to tackle tax evasion and avoidance recognized
     
CE congratulates winners of 2018 Lui Che Woo Prize

Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam has led the chorus of praises for the 2018 recipients of Lui Che Woo Prize, a home-grown international award. She congratulated the Pratham Education Foundation, for the Positive Energy Prize; the World Meteorological Organization, for the Welfare Betterment Prize; and Mr Hans-Josef Fell, recipient of the Sustainability Prize. Their singular contributions to the elimination of illiteracy, the reduction of the impact of natural disasters, and the development of renewable energy respectively, have helped point to a brighter as well as more inclusive and caring future for all. Details here.

  CE congratulates winners of 2018 Lui Che Woo Prize
     
Chicago-premiere of “The Concerto of the Bully” draws crowd

The romantic comedy “The Concerto of the Bully” (2017) has opened to an enthusiastic audience in its premiere screening in Chicago (Oct 2). Director Fung Chih Chiang and art director Chet Chan who attended the HKETONY-sponsored screening shared their creative process. Mr Fung said the tranquil seaside and the transcending power of music had inspired him to write and direct the movie. Details here.

  Chicago-premiere of “The Concerto of the Bully” draws crowd
     
Seizing new opportunities: CE

Hong Kong has been a “contributor” and “beneficiary" in China's reform and opening up. We'll continue to reinforce and enhance our global competitiveness by proactively seizing opportunities arising from the development of the Belt and Road and the Greater Bay Area, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the National Day Reception in Celebration of the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China (Oct 1). Details here.

  To seizing new opportunities: CE
     
HK Observatory taking global role

Hong Kong Observatory has signed an MOU with the World Meteorological Organization to further strengthen regional and international meteorological cooperation. As the designated Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for Nowcasting in Asia, the HKO will provide information and forecast in predicting severe weather. Details here.

  HK Observatory taking global role
     
New animated video for Hongkongers travelling abroad

Ahead of the fall and Christmas travel season, a new animated video has been released to help Hongkongers travelling overseas know more about consular protection and outbound travel safety. The video was a joint publicity effort by the Immigration Department and The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. The latter provides consular protection services for Hong Kong people abroad. Details here.

  New animated video for Hongkongers travelling abroad
     
Postal services to United States subject to delay

Hongkong Post announced that, as advised by the postal administration of the United States, due to the impact of a hurricane, mail delivery services (including Speedpost, parcels and letter post items) to North Carolina, South Carolina and southwest Virginia with postcodes from 27000 to 29999 and 23000 to 23999 are subject to delay.

  Postal services to United States subject to delay
     
Speedy recovery in Hong Kong

On the second day since the battering of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Hong Kong is well on the way to resume fully normal with trunk roads open and rail lines running, after a nonstop territory-wide cleanup of fallen trees and debris. All schools are expected to resume classes on September 19. The two landmark infrastructures - the Express Rail Line and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge – have withstood the heaviest storm ever recorded in Hong Kong’s history. Funding is available for those most affected for emergency relief and repairs to schools and common facilities.

  Speedy recovery in Hong Kong
     
Hong Kong Arts Centre is 40

The Hong Kong Arts Centre is celebrating its 40th anniversary with “Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense”, an exhibition featuring 20 artists from Hong Kong or who are intimately connected with the city. The exhibition also marked the reopening of the center after nearly three years of renovation. Details here.

  Hong Kong Arts Centre is 40
     
Law sector to embrace IT

Besides fintech, lawtech is becoming increasingly important, noted Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Sep 28) at the opening ceremony of a Belt and Road conference organized by the Law Society of HK. The conference focused on the development and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the legal sector and its impact on multijurisdictional transactions. Digital transformation has been essential for practitioners as they handle highly confidential information on a daily basis. Mrs Lam said she was excited to see the debut of Innotech Law Hackathon, an IT application that enhances information security and access to justice in B&R jurisdictions. Details here.

  Law sector to embrace IT
     
Application for HKETONY-ACC Fellowship Program opens

Hong Kong art professionals keen to expand their horizons through cultural exchange in New York are invited to apply for the HKETONY-ACC Fellowship Program. This marks the third time the HKETONY is partnering with the Asian Cultural Council to offer this unique opportunity for the city's artists. HKETONY-ACC Fellow and new media artist Otto Li, who recently returned to Hong Kong after completing the six-month residency program in New York, will share his experience with potential applicants at the ACC Hong Kong office on Oct 15. The application is now open till November 16 (Hong Kong time). For applications: www.asianculturalcouncil.org.hk/

  Application for HKETONY-ACC Fellowship Program opens
     
Hong Kong bears strong testimony to benefits of free trade: SCED

Free trade promotes growth and benefits the world, and Hong Kong bears strong testimony to this as the 7th largest merchandise trading entity in the world despite its small size, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said at a luncheon during his visit to Washington, DC (Sep 26). He also underscored that HK is well positioned in the evolving global economic and trade architecture and the era of innovation and the digital economy. Details here.

  Hong Kong bears strong testimony to benefits of free trade: SCED
     
New emergency service to be launched

The Fire Services Department will launch a new service on Oct 4 to provide post-dispatch advice and help personnel of the call centers in providing callers with immediate, comprehensive and appropriate advice on more than 30 types of injuries and sicknesses. The same protocol developed by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch has been adopted by some 3,000 emergency mobilizing centers in more than 40 regions, including mainland China and the United States. Details here.

  New emergency service to be launched
     
HK welcomes overseas doctors

Over the years, Hong Kong has developed a highly efficient healthcare system and achieved impressive health outcomes for its population. During a talk in London (Sep 26), Chief Secretary for Administration Mr Matthew Cheung highlighted new opportunies for overseas doctors to work in HK, including the Hong Kong Children's Hospital set to open later this year, a vibrant biomedical technology community, and career opportunities in the Department of Health. Details here.

  HK welcomes overseas doctors
     
Hong Kong schools recognized for going green

A number of primary and secondary schools have been recognized for promoting green education and practicing the habit of “use less, waste less”, and adopting reusable food containers to serve a balanced meal to students. Details here.

  Hong Kong schools recognized for going green
     
Hong Kong to continue to be open market: SCED

The strong tradition of the rule of law, low level of corruption, highly efficient business environment, a world-class infrastructure and highly professional services, they make Hong Kong an ideal platform for US business and investment, said the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau in a bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (Sep 25). Mr Yau also emphasized Hong Kong has long been and will continue to be an open market and that the Government will defend the multilateral trading system. Details here.

  Hong Kong to continue to be open market: SCED
     
Food truck pilot scheme to extend

The Government has decided to extend the Food Truck Pilot Scheme for two more years to February 2, 2021, aiming to add fun and vibrancy to Hong Kong's tourist attractions. Currently, 15 food trucks are operating at different venues while the Tourism Commission arranges for food trucks to operate at designated mega events. Details here.

  Food truck pilot scheme to extend
     
SCED promotes HK’s strengths in DC

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau has met with experts from the Peterson Institute for International Economics to exchange views on global economic and trade relations on his first day of visit in Washington, DC (Sep 25). He also met with senior US government officials, think tank members and business leaders over dinner hosted by the HKETO, Washington, DC. The US was Hong Kong's second-largest goods trading partner, while Hong Kong ranked 9th-largest among US goods exports destinations. Details here.

  SCED promotes HK’s strengths in DC
     
HK ranked as world's freest economy again

Fraser Institute has once again ranked Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world in the Economic Freedom of the World 2018 Report (Sep 25). Singapore retained the 2nd place, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland. Among the five areas of assessment, Hong Kong was ranked top in “Freedom to Trade Internationally” and “Regulation”, and was ranked high in “Size of Government” (4th). The Government welcomed the Fraser Institute's recognition and stated that the hard-earned results vividly reflected the administration’s steadfast commitment to building a free economy with a level playing field. Details here.

  HK ranked as world's freest economy again
     
Information sharing website launched to buttress cyber security

Companies and organizations that manage electronic communications networks in Hong Kong, irrespective of size, are eligible to participate in a newly launched government cyber security scheme that promotes cyber security and information exchange. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer has launched (Sep 24) the Cybersec Infohub (Cybersechub.hk), a two-year pilot programme to be used for free among public and private sectors and the community. It is the first cross-sector cyber security information sharing and collaborative platform in Hong Kong to share advice and expert insights on topics such as mitigation measures and best practices with cyber security experts from different industries. Details here.

  Information sharing website launched to buttress cyber security
     
XRL HK Section opens to vast opportunities

Chief Executive Carrie Lam together with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui took a ride on the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link after jointly hosting an opening ceremony of the 88.23 mile-long high speed rail (Sep 22). Mrs Lam said the Hong Kong Section, linking up the most rapidly developing leading cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, strengthens synergy among the cities and creates more development opportunities. Details here.

  XRL HK Section opens to vast opportunities
     
Condolences pour out to Prof Charles Kao

Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other Principal Officials have poured out condolences and their deep sorrow over the passing of Professor Charles K. Kao (高錕), the esteemed “Father of Fiber Optics” and revered “Pride of Hong Kong People” (Sep 23). Professor Kao (1933-2018) was a pioneer in the development and use of fiber optics which had revolutionized the world's modern communication technology. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009, and received Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2010, the highest award under the HKSAR honours and awards system. He had been the vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1987 to 1996, defining the higher education landscape and the nurture of the next generation. His selfless decision not to use his invention to make money but to share it with the world, allowing everyone to enjoy the fruits of scientific researches, has won wide applause.

  Condolences pour out to Prof Charles Kao
     
CE meets Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of UK Parliament

Chief Executive Carrie Lam met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament, Mr Tom Tugendhat, in Hong Kong (Sep 21) on the latest development and the SAR’s active role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Details here.

  CE meets Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of UK Parliament
     
New air ticket rules set to enhance transparency

Airlines will need to provide the final price of air tickets and the price breakdown at all times when selling them at their direct sales outlets from Nov 1. The Civil Aviation Department (Sep 21) mandated the breakdown has to show all “must pay” elements of the ticket fare in each quotation or transaction, including the applicable airfare, the passenger fuel surcharge (if levied by the relevant airline), Air Passenger Departure Tax, Passenger Security Charge and Airport Construction Fee. Details here.

  New air ticket rules set to enhance transparency
     
HK well positioned as Green Finance Hub

Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended the 2018 Hong Kong Green Finance Forum and setting up of Hong Kong Green Finance Association (Sep 21), announcing that the Government is planning a HK$100 billion (USD 12.8 billion) sovereign green bond issuance programme. She added that HK is well positioned to offer needed financial services as Green Finance Hub when it comes to green bonds, crafting domestic green bond frameworks and encouraging issuers to tap the market. At the launching event, chairman and president of HKGFA Dr. Ma Jun explained green finance can play a critical role in containing global warming and improving the environment. Details here.

  HK well positioned as Green Finance Hub
     
Term of non-permanent CFA judges extended

The Chief Executive has accepted the recommendations of the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal to extend the term of two non-permanent judges of the Court of Final Appeal for a period of three years. The two judges are the Hon Mr Justice Syed Kemal Shah Bokharyand The Right Honourable the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers . Details here.

  Term of non-permanent CFA judges extended
     
HK to implement UN Sanctions on ISIL and Al-Qaida

HK has endorsed the United Nations sanctions against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaida imposed by the UN Security Council. The law that bars entry into or transit through the HKSAR by individuals associated with ISIL or Al-Qaida took effect on Sep 21. Details here.

  HK to implement UN Sanctions on ISIL and Al-Qaida
     
SCED to visit United States and Canada

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau will embark on duty visits to Washington DC, and Ottawa and Montreal from Sep 23 to 29 to consolidate and strengthen economic ties between Hong Kong and the US and Canada. Mr Yau will also officiate at an event to celebrate the inaugural direct flight between Hong Kong and Washington DC. Details here.

  SCED to visit United States and Canada
     
Clean up work continues apace in wake of Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Government departments and their contractors will continue their clean up work over the weekend following the passage of Super Typhoon Mangkhut. They include repairing badly damaged facilities and removing debris and fallen trees with a view to restoring full public services on various fronts. Details here.

  Clean up work continues apace in wake of Super Typhoon Mangkhut
     
Pact signed to enhance I&T collaboration

Hong Kong and Mainland China signed co-operation agreements, further cementing scientific and technological collaboration between the two places in six key areas, including scientific research and incubation of I&T industry (Sep 20). Home-grown unicorn SenseTime Group was also named to move forward the national development and planning for the next generation of artificial intelligence. Details here.

  Pact signed to enhance I&T collaboration
     
Fostering a caring society

Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged Hong Kong’s business sector to embrace “creating shared value” that will benefit both the companies and society. Speaking at the Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum (Sep 20), she pointed out that the city had made great strides, ranking 25 out of 139 in 2017 “World Giving Index” and, placing 5th out of 39 in this year’s inaugural “Global Philanthropy Report”, published by the Harvard Kennedy School. The government is committed to fostering a caring society, with some 60% of recurrent budget spent on education, social welfare and medical services. The city’s spending on social welfare surged 86% in the past six years. Details here.

  Fostering a caring society
     
More support measures for HK firms amid heated trade war: SCED

The Government will keep up dialogue with business chambers and increase insurance coverage and credit support for Hong Kong companies while the US-China trade dispute has escalated, said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau. China will impose a 5 to 10 per cent levy on US$60 billion worth of American goods, following an announced 10 per cent tariff levied on Chinese imports worth US$200 billion by the US. Details here.

  More support measures for HK firms amid heated trade war: SCED
     
Hong Kong works round-the-clock to speedy recovery

Hundreds of civil servants, volunteers and contractors have been working around-the-clock to get the city back to normal after super Typhoon Mangkhut battered the city with wind speeds of up to 250 km/h over the weekend. Mangkhut, the most powerful typhoon since records began in 1946, caused widespread damage and flooding across the city blocking roads and railways. The Hong Kong Spirit shone through with emergency and essential services rising to the huge challenge to remove some 1500 fallen trees, clear roads, clean up debris and get the city back on its efficient feet as quickly as possible. To all those frontline emergency workers who braved the storm, and all those who have been working tirelessly to get the city back to normal - a big "Thank You!" Details here.

  Hong Kong works round-the-clock to speedy recovery
     
Chief Executive lauds typhoon efforts

Super Typhoon Mangkhut has caused more than 600 roads in Hong Kong blocked while more than 500 locations were reported to have fallen trees and other obstacles such as signs and smashed windows. Schools will close for another day (Sep 18). The HK International Airport runways will be open 48 hours to clear flights. The Hurricane Signal No. 10 — the strongest alert under Hong Kong’s storm warning system — was in force for about ten hours on Sunday (Sep 16), during the onslaught of the most intense storm in Hong Kong’s history. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Government has been mobilizing resources and working with relevant organizations to clear roads and repair damaged facilities with a view to returning the city back to normal as soon as possible. Details here.

  Chief Executive lauds typhoon efforts
     
HK preps for super typhoon Mangkhut

The Government has mobilised and taken all necessary precautionary measures to get Hong Kong prepared for the onslaught of Super Typhoon Mangkhut and to minimize disruption and potential casualties when it approaches the city on Sunday (Sep 16). The typhoon, which carries the strength of a Cat. 5 hurricane, is the strongest to hit Hong Kong since records started 50 years ago. Measures being taken included the evacuation of residents from vulnerable coastal towns such as the Lantau fishing village of Tai O, and the opening of dozens of emergency shelters throughout the city. Airliners have urged passengers to change flights.

  HK preps for super typhoon Mangkhut
     
New Fintech initiatives in the pipeline

Hong Kong will launch a raft of initiatives to propel the city to be one of the world’s Fintech hubs, said Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam at the launch reception of the Hong Kong FinTech Week (Sep 12). In the pipeline are the Faster Payment System to connect banks and stored value facility operators and a common QR code standard for mobile payment. Licenses for virtual banks will be issued by the first quarter of 2019. To nurture the city’s own talent pool, the Chinese University of Hong Kong has just introduced an undergraduate program in Fintech while the University of Hong Kong has launched Asia’s first Fintech open online course. Details here.

  New Fintech initiatives in the pipeline
     
Secretary for the Civil Service starts North America visit

Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law started the first leg of his North American visit in Boston (Sep 11) visiting renowned institutes including the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While in Boston, he met with Hong Kong students studying in Boston to learn about their school and daily life. In New York (Sep 12), Mr Law met with government officials of the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services to exchange views on the management and training of the civil service. Details here.

  Secretary for the Civil Service starts North America visit
     
New Bay Area Web portal launched

A thematic website on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development has been launched. It includes a lot of timely, useful information in areas such as infrastructure, business facilitation measures and education. The Greater Bay Area comprises the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. It has a combined GDP of US$1.5 trillion (comparable to that of New York Metropolitan Area) and a land area about three times the size of San Francisco Bay Area. For new investment, business, job opportunities, click here.

  New Bay Area Web portal launched
     
Co-location Ordinance comes into effect

The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Co-location) Ordinance came into effect on Sep 4. This dovetails with the opening of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) on Sep 23. Hong Kong and the Mainland will co-operate to jointly implement the co-location arrangement for maximum convenience for future high-speed rail passengers. The XRL will connect Hong Kong to the national high-speed rail network, enabling passengers to travel among Hong Kong and various Mainland cities in a breeze and offer a speedy, convenient and comfortable transport alternative. Details here.

  Co-location Ordinance comes into effect
     
HK students excel at International Olympiad of Metropolises

Eight Hong Kong students have achieved outstanding results in the 3rd International Olympiad of Metropolises, winning three gold medals and five silver medals, as well as a gold award in the team competition. Covering the subjects of physics, mathematics, chemistry and informatics, the event was held in Moscow September 2-7, with about 260 students from 33 cities of 26 countries taking part. Congratulating the team, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung said the Education Bureau will continue to support and promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to further develop and nurture the potential of the city's students in these disciplines. Details here.

  HK students excel at International Olympiad of Metropolises
     
Outstanding achievements at Asiad

The Hong Kong athletes have scored their best Asian Games results, winning eight gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze medals in the Indonesian host cities of Jakarta and Palembang (Aug 18 – Sep 2). Besides performing well in traditional sports that HK excels, the team won golds for the first time in rugby sevens and in equestrian. The other golds won were in track cycling women’s keirin, track cycling women’s sprint double, track cycling men’s madison, men’s gymnastic vault, men's squash singles and women’s team squash. Details here.

  Outstanding achievements at Asiad
     
Hong Kong cyclists bag more golds

Hong Kong cycling athletes Sarah Lee Wai-sze, and the duo of Cheung King-lok and Leung Chun-wing won two gold medals at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia (Aug 31). Lee blazed into first place in the Women's Sprint event while the pair stormed into victory in the Men's Track Madison event. Details here.

  Hong Kong cyclists bag more golds
     
Co-investment Partner of ITVF named

Radiant Tech Ventures Fund has been selected as a co-investment partner (CP) of Hong Kong's Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (Aug 30), joining five other funds announced earlier. The six CPs are expected to invest in local start-ups and recommend investments to the Government. The ITVF, with funding of US$256 million from the Government, aims to encourage investment in local start-ups. For more information, please visit the ITVF webpage.

  Co-investment Partner of ITVF named
     
Talent List to attract quality people

The Hong Kong Government released the first Talent List of Hong Kong today (Aug 28), highlighting 11 specific professions needed most for Hong Kong's economic development. In order to attract relevant world talents to Hong Kong, immigration facilitation is provided to eligible persons under the Talent List through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). Successful applicants under the QMAS are not required to have secured an offer of local employment for settlement in Hong Kong. For more details,
click here.

  Talent List to attract quality people
     
Hong Kong seeks exclusion from US aluminum tariff

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau has called on the US to exclude Hong Kong from the US tariff increase plan for imports of aluminum products. Calling the proposed tariff “totally unjustified,” Mr Yau said these minimal exports would not threaten the US national security nor the viability of the US domestic industries.  He raised the request at a meeting with the US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau Kurt Tong (Mar 15). In 2017, the US had a surplus of US$32.5 billion in merchandise trade with Hong Kong, making it the economy with which the US has the highest trade surplus. Details here.

  Hong Kong seeks exclusion from US aluminum tariff
     
Hong Kong Ranked World’s Freest Economy for 24th Consecutive Year

The Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Clement Leung, welcomed the report's findings which reaffirm Hong Kong's commitment to free trade and open markets. "Hong Kong's adherence to free market principles, buttressed by the rule of law, has enabled our city of 7.3 million people to prosper and become an internationally competitive business and financial center. Hong Kong will continue to proudly fly the flag of economic freedom," Mr. Leung said. Details here.

  Hong Kong Ranked World’s Freest Economy for 24th Consecutive Year
     
Hong Kong Remains World’s Freest Economy

Clement Leung, Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, welcomed the publication of the 2017 Economic Freedom of the World report which once again ranks Hong Kong as the world leader in economic freedom. The report is co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute of Canada and more than 70 think tanks around the world. It measures economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of privately owned property, rule of law, etc.) by analyzing the policies and institutions of 159 countries and territories. “The report affirms Hong Kong’s commitment to upholding free market principles and the rule of law which sustain a healthy business environment,” said Mr. Leung. Details here.

  Hong Kong Remains World’s Freest Economy
     
Secretary for Justice explains legal basis in jailing of activists

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said that the review of sentence was dealt with strictly in accordance with the law. He reiterated that the defendants were convicted and sentenced for their unlawful conduct, not for their political ideas. In a published op-ed (Aug 24), Mr Yuen outlined and explained the different stages of the legal and judicial process, emphasizing that Hong Kong upholds judicial independence and the city’s Judiciary is recognized for its independence and professionalism. He called on the public and the international community to continue to respect Hong Kong's judicial independence and refrain from baseless attacks. Details here.

 

Allegation of "political interference" in prosecution and court decision unfounded and groundless

   
Allegation of "political interference" in prosecution and court decision unfounded and groundless

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam rejected claim of political interference in Hong Kong's courts, adding that the rule of law and judicial independence are vital to the city's stability and prosperity. In response to the procession on the case of the sentence review, the Government has issued a statement (Aug 21) stating that the decisions to prosecute and appeal were made in accordance with the Prosecution Code, applicable laws and relevant evidence, as clearly pointed out by the Department of Justice earlier, and that there is absolutely no political consideration involved. Further, allegations that the Court is under political interference are totally unfounded and groundless. The Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong have pointed out the errors in these allegations in a joint statement.

 
     
MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node opens permanent space for collaborations

As the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s first innovation node in the world, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node offers new opportunities to study and practice methods of accelerated innovation. “In Hong Kong we nurture a positive environment for innovation, technology and entrepreneurship to flourish…We have all the ingredients to succeed in this area…The government will spare no effort in realizing Hong Kong’s potential…I wish the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node every success in its new home…I am confident that in partnering with MIT, our future is very bright,” said The Honorable Mrs. Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administration Region, in her speech as the ceremony’s Guest of Honor. Details here.

  MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node opens permanent space for collaborations
     
HKUST develops hydrogels that could enhance material biology and biomedicine

A research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has created a new protein-based, stimuli-responsive smart hydrogel that could open doors for future material biology and biomedical applications. For details, click here.

  HKUST develops hydrogels that could enhance material biology and biomedicine
     
Hong Kong ranked world's most competitive economy

Hong Kong has been crowned the world's most competitive economy for the second consecutive year, according to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017. Among the four competitive factors, the IMD highly recognized Hong Kong on its government efficiency and business efficiency while the city's ranking in 'infrastructure' also showed an improvement. Financial Secretary Paul Chan welcomed the ranking saying the ranking is a clear recognition of the city's steadfast fiscal discipline, as well as the incessant effort put into building a favorable business environment and a robust financial system. Details here.

  Hong Kong ranked world's most competitive economy
     
Hong Kong's Advantages in Belt and Road Initiatives

Hong Kong, with its unique advantages, can make an important contribution to the Belt & Road initiatives - a visionary, long-term initiative launched by the Chinese government to foster closer economic, political, cultural, and social links across Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. As a "superconnector" and an international trade and business center, Hong Kong can leverage its strengths in financial and professional services, transport and logistics, legal services and dispute resolution. For more information on Hong Kong's advantages, click here.

  Hong Kong's Advantages in Belt and Road Initiatives
     
Safeguard HK App

For travelers and students outside Hong Kong, you would find the new app "Safeguard HK" useful. It provides useful information on safety and assistance in handling emergencies that may occur during travels outside of Hong Kong, e.g. major emergency incidents happening around the world, outbound travel alerts, contact information for Chinese consulates in host countries, etc. 
The app is available for free from Google Play and Apple App Store. For more information: https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/news/mobileapp/index.htm

  Safeguard HK App

 


    
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