July 7 - 12, 2018

Politics

Government takes on new roles

Noting that any responsible government needs to take on new roles in a highly globalized and competitive environment, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government created the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office to provide a one-stop service for innovative projects from the private sector and from the non-governmental organization, and take forward those projects to further enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness. Speaking at the Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA 20th Anniversary Management Conference (Jul 7), Mrs Lam added that the government is also making strides in identifying opportunities for collaboration, particularly in area of innovation and technology.

Legal

First US visit by Secretary of Justice

On her first duty visit to the US, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, SC is making stops in Washington DC and New York to promote Hong Kong as an international legal and dispute resolution services center and update interlocutors in various sectors on Hong Kong's latest developments. In New York, she will deliver a keynote at a business luncheon, which will focus on Hong Kong as an ideal hub for deal-making in Asia under “one country, two systems”. She will also join a talk hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce on the latest trends in international dispute resolution.

Innovation & Technology

Favorable environment for I&T

Hong Kong is creating a favorable environment for innovation & technology said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the RISE 2018 conference, the largest technology conference in Asia (Jul 9-12). Recent amendments of listing rules have enabled companies from emerging and innovative sectors to list in Hong Kong. The city's vibrant start-ups showcased their products that seamlessly merged technology with creativity. They included a social e-commerce platform to which users can upload photos of clothes to find out where they can be bought, a 3D body measurement scanning device to help consumers buy well-fitting clothes and customized T-shirt service.

Business & Finance

FSDC Chairman named

Laurence Li has been appointed Chairman of the Financial Services Development Council, succeeding Laura Cha. Li is a member of Temple Chambers, one of the leading barristers' chambers in Hong Kong. A banking and financial specialist, he helped to establish the FSDC in 2013 and had worked at the Securities and Futures Commission (1999-2005). Set up by the government in 2013, the FSDC is an advisory body that helps in formulating proposals to help improve the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s financial services industry.

TransferWise to ride on Fintech heat

Fintech company TransferWise started its online international money transfer service in Hong Kong (Jul 6), as part of its ongoing international expansion. Co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann said the firm’s launch is timely, noting Hong Kong’s commitment to boost fintech. The company runs on matching up transfers with other people on the digital platform, using the mid-market rate, which is only a fraction of the rates used by traditional currency transfer operators. Following a successful pilot, TransferWise has been able to drop prices for customers transferring money from Hong Kong by more than 20%.

Transportation & Logistics

Bay Area’s international transport hub

The completion of the three-runway system at Hong Kong International Airport in 2024, along with the imminent completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will further enhanced Hong Kong’s status as the international transport hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a reception celebrating the 20th anniversary of HKIA (Jul 6). Last year, it welcomed 73 million passengers, and handled more than five million tonnes of air cargo, making it the third busiest passenger airport and the world’s busiest cargo airport. It has garnered the “best airport” award more than 70 times.

Immigration

Interim immigration measures

Following the ruling by the Court of Final Appeal (Jul 4), the Department of Immigration has implemented an interim arrangement, that allows a legally solemnized same-sex spouse to reside, work and study in Hong Kong, similar to that of a dependent visa. They will be granted an initial stay of 12 months upon entry or a time frame in line with the condition of the stay of their sponsor.

Environment

New fuel regulations for vessels effective Jan 1

The Environmental Protection Department is requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to compliant fuel while berthing in Hong Kong, effective January 1. This applies to vessels using heavy fuel oil (with an average sulfur content of 2.6 per cent). The new rules aim to improve air quality and reduce health risks. The master and owner concerned using non-compliant fuel will be liable to a maximum fine of US$25,600 and imprisonment for six months.

HKETONY Events

Stephy Tang wins coveted international Rising Star Award

Hong Kong actress Stephy Tang’s head-turning performance in "The Empty Hands" (2017) has added the "Screen International Rising Star Award" to her accolades in the New York Asian Film Festival (Jul 6). She is the first Hong Kong actress to receive the coveted award. Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu said the award was a timely boon as this year marked the 10th anniversary of the collaboration between HKETONY and NYAFF. In the past decade, the festival has welcomed a total of 30 Hong Kong film talents and screened more than 80 award-winning films.

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 the laws previously in force in Hong Kong been maintained?

A: The Basic Law provides that laws previously in force in Hong Kong, that is, the common law, rules of equity, ordinances, subordinate legislation and customary law, shall be maintained and adopted as laws of the HKSAR, except for any that contravenes the Basic Law, and subject to any amendment by the HKSAR legislature. (BL Articles 8; 18; 160)

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