July 20 - 26, 2018

Trade

Going all-out to counter trade spat

HK is adopting a multi-pronged approach to safeguard the interests of local businesses and the city’s status as an international trading hub amid the Sino-US trade war, said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau. In an interview with South China Morning Post, Mr Yau said he would visit Washington DC and other economic forums such as APEC and the WTO to lobby for HK's causes. The Government has created two funds worth US$320 million to help businesses to counter the effects of the tariffs.

Innovation & Technology

Five venture funds named as ITVF partners

Five venture capital funds have been selected (from 14 applicants) as Co-investment Partners of HK’s Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (Jul 24). As the first batch, they are expected to invest in local start-ups and provide investment proposals to the Government. The ITVF, with a seeding fund worth US$256 million from the Government, aims to encourage private investment in local IT start-ups focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence and medical science. 

Funding moves to foster R&D growth

The five major R&D centers in HK could keep the revenue from commercialization of their project results and spend it on technology and market analyses, infrastructure building, staff development or experimental projects, under new funding arrangement. The government will also provide funding support for a pilot Technology Talent Scheme to be introduced this quarter to recruit postdoctoral talents from across the globe.

Business & Finance

New banknotes unveiled

HK’s new banknotes will have five thematic designs that tell the city’s cultural and natural heritage as well as an international financial center. They are international fnancial center (HK$1,000), the UNESCO Global Geopark (HK$500), Cantonese opera (HK$100), butterflies (HK$50), and dim sum and tea culture (HK$20). The three note-issuing banks are HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of China. All new banknotes will come with enhanced security features. The first batch will start circulation in the last quarter of 2018.

Law and Order

Overall crime rate at all-time low

The overall crime rate of HK in the first-half of the year fell 6.2% as compared with the same period last year. This is a new record low since 1977, when half-year crime statistics were first kept. While there was a decrease in the majority of the crimes, the number of deception cases rose by 3% (to 3,671). To beef up enforcement against such cases, the Police has set up a dedicated center to coordinate the efforts in handling suspicious deception cases. Amid concerns over a recent double murder case that involved genuine firearm, Police Director of Crime and Security Li Chi-hang said there was no indication of worsening situation in relation to gun crimes or inflow of firearms.

Health

Earnest support for breastfeeding

The breastfeeding rate in HK has grown steadily in the past 20 years, with the Government’s active measures taken in antenatal education, encouraging friendly workplace, and mandating the provisions of baby-care facilities and lactation rooms in commercial and public transport facilities. The breastfeeding rate on hospital discharge has seen a surge from 43% in 1997 to 87% in 2016. The exclusive breastfeeding rate among 4-month-old babies grew from 6% to 31% in the same period. On Jul 26, the city joined more than 170 countries and jurisdictions to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2018.

Arts and Culture

Youngest HKJC scholarship winner to study in the US

Hard work, talent and determination paid off for Hannah Tam, aged 13, the youngest scholarship recipient in the history of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund. The first HK winner of the 17th international violin competition Kulturstiftung Hohenlohe (in Germany) last year, Tam will pursue her diploma studies in violin in the US this coming September. She joins 12 other scholarship recipients who will study music or dance in HK, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

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: Have Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life been preserved?

A: The Basic Law provides that the capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged. Hong Kong maintains a free and open market economy with a free flow of capital, goods, intangible assets, and a freely convertible currency. People’s lifestyle remains the same as before. (BL Articles 5; 112; 115)

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