March 2 - 8, 2018

Women’s policy

Unleashing women's working potential

Hong Kong has been progressing steadily on enhancing women’s rights and new initiatives are on the pipeline to help women reach their full potential. They include increasing maternity leave from 10 to 14 weeks, and relaxing the income limit to subsidize after-school program for lower-income families. The labor force participation rate for women in Hong Kong has increased from about 45% in 1996 to about 51% in 2016 and women's share of managerial positions has also grown from about 20% to 33%. At present, about 14% of the board directors of the city's Hang Seng Index companies are women. Female students account for 54% of total undergraduate enrollment in local universities. 

Trade

Grave concerns over US steel tariffs

Hong Kong has registered grave concern about the US plan to unilaterally raise tariffs on steel and aluminum beyond its bound rates at the WTO General Council Meeting (Mar 7). Hong Kong was named  one of the economies subjected to a proposed 23.6% tariff. Hong Kong Permanent Representative to the WTO, Irene Young, called the measure “inconsistent with WTO agreements,” and urged members to honor their WTO commitments. Hong Kong has filed a formal representation to the US administration to state its opposition, deep concern and regret over the proposed tariffs.

Legal

Hong Kong-Russia arbitration agreement

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has signed an agreement with Russia’s Institute of Modern Arbitration to deepen ties between the two jurisdictions and to promote international arbitration and other dispute resolution options. A 2016 survey by the Russian Arbitration Association highlighted HKIAC as a top institution for disputes involving Russian parties.  In light of this interest, HKIAC has expanded its panel to include 30 Russian-speaking arbitrators.

Education

HKU’s MBA program among top 10 for women

The Financial Times has created a new global ranking of top MBAs for women (Mar 4), taking into account career progression to gender pay gap. The University of Hong Kong placed 6th on the list, and is the second highest ranking program in Asia after Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The survey looked at average female graduate salary, post-MBA salary increase, smallest gender pay gap, and percentage of female students and faculty

Transport & Logistics

HKIA receives medical air cargo certification

Hong Kong International Airport became the 6th airport in the world to receive accreditation from the Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics for handling pharmaceutical goods (Mar 5). Between 2005 – 2016, the sector has grown 5.4% per year, three times faster than overall growth in the air trade. The airport will be setting aside a 5.3 hectare site for a premium logistics warehouse for high-value goods including medicine, and will continue to invest in its cold chain facilities.

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: Are Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy?

A: The National People’s Congress (NPC) authorizes the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to exercise a high degree of autonomy and enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial powers, including that of final adjudication, in accordance with the Basic Law. Except for defense, foreign affairs and other matters for which the Central Authorities are responsible under the Basic Law, Hong Kong people are administering its affairs within its autonomy under the Basic Law. Hong Kongers are not even required to pay taxes to the Central People’s Government (CPG). (BL Articles 2; 12-17; 19; 22; 10)

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