March 9 - 15, 2018

Trade

Seeking exclusion from tariff list

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau has called on the US to exclude Hong Kong from the US tariffs 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.

NYETO Events

Secretary for Labour and Welfare’s first US visit

In his first US visit since assumption of office last July, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong attended the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York as part of the Chinese delegation (Mar 13-16). At the sidelines of the meeting, he met with the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity of New York City Matthew Klein and exchanged views on poverty alleviation policies.  He also met the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration and the Department of Homeless Services Steven Banks.

At a luncheon (Mar 13) held by HKETONY and supported by several women’s business groups, Dr Law spoke on the policy direction and initiatives to empower women in Hong Kong to further unleash their potential. The talk was well attended by about 100 guests who comprised women leaders in their own businesses and professional fields. Joining him was a delegation of HK Federation of Women, who included 12 high school students with award-winning short films on gender equality.

Finance

Bolstering financial prowess

To maintain the growth momentum of the financial services industry, the Hong Kong government will play the role of a facilitator and promoter that is proactive in enacting laws to protect investors without stifling innovation, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at a financial regulatory forum (Mar 14). Key government initiatives included enhancing listing regulations, establishing a robust and comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime, broadening the city’s financial markets through stronger connectivity with Mainland markets, as well as Fintech and green finance.    

Green finance certification program launched

The launch of the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency’s Green Finance Scheme (Mar 12) is timely as green bonds, sustainable finance and responsible investing are increasingly gaining popularity and market traction, said Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Lau. With global and national trends pointing towards responsible investing and the development of green industries, the government is fully committed to its development as the premier green finance hub in Asia, with plans to launch a green bond to finance green public works projects.

Business & Economy

Irish Deputy Prime Minister visits Hong Kong

Chief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Simon Coveney, who was in town (Mar 12) on a trade mission. Noting the recent introduction of direct flights between Dublin and Hong Kong as a sign of greater ties to come, Mrs Lam encouraged Irish companies and talent to explore business opportunities in the city, in particular in IT and creative industries, the two sectors that Hong Kong is keen to develop.

Technology

Cars of the future

The first solar car to drive on a Hong Kong highway – SOPHIE IV – developed by teachers and students from Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) is on display at the Hong Kong Science Museum through Sep 12. Since 2009, the IVE coterie has been developing a series of solar cars which can run more efficiently on solar energy. SOPHIE IV placed fourth in the 3,000-km GoPro Adventure Class race in Australia in 2015. The latest sixth-generation SOPHIE VI is also on display.

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: Has the Central People’s Government or any Mainland province interfered in the administering of the HKSAR Government?

A: No. Hong Kong has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since its return to the Motherland on July 1, 1997. In accordance with the Basic Law, the CPG has scrupulously upheld the principle of 'one country, two systems' and the promise of 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong'. No department of CPG and no province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the CPG has interfered in the affairs which the HKSAR Government administers on its own in accordance with the Basic Law. (BL Articles 2; 12; 22)

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