February 24 - March 1, 2018

Economy

2018-19 Budget promotes diversified economy, innovation and technology

Diversifying Hong Kong’s economy, grasping regional and global opportunities and promoting innovation and technology (I&T) are the major goals of the new 2018-19 Budget, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan (Feb 28). To that end, US$64 million will be allocated for the development of the financial services industry in the coming five years, supporting bond market development, Fintech, green finance, amongst others. In addition, a three-year Pilot Bond Grant Scheme will be launched to attract overseas enterprises to issue bonds in the city.  Hong Kong’s economy expanded 3.8% in 2017 due to better-than-expected out-turn in the external environment. GDP forecast for 2018 is between 3% and 4%.  The city posted a provisional budget surplus of US$17.6 billion for the 2017-18 financial year.  

Innovation & Technology

Hong Kong forges ahead in smart city development

Innovation & Technology Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang said the US$6.4 billion allocated in the 2018-19 Budget to develop the city’s I&T industry will be used to develop infrastructure, foster R&D collaboration, nurture start-ups and promote industries (Mar 1). Targets for the funding include the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (US$2.5 billion); the Innovation and Technology Fund (US$1.2 billion); setting up two research clusters in the Hong Kong Science Park (US$1.2 billion); the construction of research facilities by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (US$1.2 billion) and Cyberport (US$38 million). Mr Yang said the Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment and determination in accelerating I&T development.

Business & Finance

Fintech deal with Switzerland

The Securities and Futures Commission signed an agreement with the Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority to establish a framework for cooperation on financial technology (Fintech) (Feb 23).  Both agencies will be sharing information on emerging Fintech trends, developments and related regulatory issues, as well as on organizations which promote innovation in financial services. The agreement also provides for a bilateral mechanism for referrals of innovative firms seeking to enter one another’s markets. 

TD Ameritrade opens Hong Kong brokerage

US-based TD Ameritrade Holding has opened a new Hong Kong licensed brokerage in order to leverage the city’s strategic location and status as a financial hub.  The brokerage offers clients the ability to trade stocks, options and futures listed in US exchanges through the “thinkorswim” trading platform. TD Ameritrade Hong Kong Limited CEO Gary Leung said the company is keen to expand their business in the city as it is the gateway to Mainland China and has a well-established financial, legal and regulatory system.  Hong Kong will serve as their regional hub in northeast Asia, particularly in the Greater China region. 

Volvo Race

Runner-up in nail-biting Volvo Ocean Race

Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag placed second in the thrilling sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing to Auckland, New Zealand from its home port Hong Kong. They arrived only two minutes behind the Dutch team, AkzoNobel, and overtook them multiple times in the last 50 nautical miles of the race. Scallywag is now in third place in the overall standings with 5 more legs to go. 

Upcoming Events

Hong Kong musicians Alan Kwan and Patrick Lui to perform in New York

The music scene in New York is bursting with talented musicians from Hong Kong in recent years, and this month you can hear some of it for yourself as award winning jazz musicians - guitarist Alan Kwan and pianist Patrick Lui - perform at underground venues Tomi Jazz (Mar 12) and Bar Next Door (Mar 13). This will be the first time that famed Manhattan jazz club Tomi Jazz will feature solely Hong Kong-born headliners. Kwan graduated with a BA in Jazz from University of North Texas while Lui graduated from the Berklee College of Music and is currently a guest lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong. 

Basic Law

Hong Kong and its Basic Law

The Basic Law (BL) is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Put into effect on July 1, 1997, it enshrines within a legal document the important concept of “One Country, Two Systems". 

Q: What is the role of the People's Liberation Army in Hong Kong under the Basic Law ?

A: The maintenance of public order in the HKSAR is the responsibility of the HKSAR Government. The People's Liberation Army stationed in the HKSAR is responsible for the defence of the HKSAR and does not interfere in the local affairs of the HKSAR. In addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the HKSAR. Expenditure for maintaining these military forces is borne by the CPG. (BL Article 14)

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