Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York
Hong Kong

What’s New in Hong Kong

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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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