November 16 - 29, 2018

TRADE

WTO lauds free trade regime

Hong Kong’s free and open trade policies and its unwavering support for the multilateral trading system were recognized and commended by the World Trade Organization at a WTO policy review meeting in Geneva (Nov 28). Ambassador Eloi Laourou of Benin, Chair of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, praised the city for keeping one of the most open and market-oriented economies in the world, and achieving robust economic growth despite a challenging external environment.

Free trade vow at international forum

Hong Kong will continue to leverage on its advantages under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to promote international free trade, including expanding the Free Trade Agreement networks, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Nov 18).

ECONOMY

Mild growth, property price correction in Q3

Hong Kong’s economy grew a moderate 2.9% in the third quarter, compared with 3.5% in the previous one, due to slower growth in the EU and other Asian economies. The property market cooled off, with apartment prices edging down by 1% amid shrinking transactions. Amid geopolitical tensions such as the US-China trade dispute, rising interest rates, and a stronger US dollar, the economy is forecast to grow at 3.2% for 2018. This is within the range forecast of 3-4% announced in August.

LAW & ORDER

Stricter laws for liquor sale

Stricter laws governing the sale and supply of liquors to minors under 18 will take effect Nov 30. The new laws cover all kinds of sale and supply, including those sold for commercial purposes in fairs and exhibitions and in vending machines. Stores selling liquors, including online retailers, will need to display bilingual signs of the new law. Offenders will risk being fined US$6,410.

Hong Kong residents to renew ID cards

A city-wide identity card replacement exercise will start on Dec 27 for holders of existing smart Hong Kong identity cards (HKICs). They will be invited to one of nine Smart Identity Card Replacement Centers, according to their year of birth, to have their cards replaced at specified periods.  Hong Kong residents who are presently overseas need not rush back to the city solely for their HKICs replacement. They can do so within 30 days after their return to Hong Kong if they have missed their turn.

ARTS & CULTURE

Concert at Carnegie Hall to usher in Christmas

Award-winning Hong Kong pianist and Steinway Artist Warren Lee, joined by  musicians and singers from around the world, will perform an all-Beethoven program at Carnegie Hall Dec 3. The concert, featuring Ode to Joy, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 12 and Fantasia in C minor, Op.80 (“Choral Fantasy”), celebrates the 10th anniversary of local music promoter DCINY.  The conductor will be DCINY cofounder and Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith. Tickets are from $10 each.

SPORTS

First major world bowling championships in Hong Kong

About 300 top-flight bowlers from around the world are competing for top honors at the prestigious international bowling event “2018 CGSE · Million Tinkle World Men Championships”, held for the first time in Hong Kong (Nov 23 – Dec 5). Welcoming the athletes, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said the government would continue to promote the city as a leading location for major international sports events, including offering a matching grant program to encourage the business sector to sponsor large-scale sports events.

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 HKSAR Government maintained complete control over fiscal and economic policies and safeguarded the free movement of goods, assets and capital?

A: The HKSAR Government formulates its own economic policies; manages its finances independently; prepares its own budgets; issues its own freely convertible currency; practices an independent taxation system; keeps its low and simple tax regime; formulates its own monetary and financial policies; safeguards the free flow of capital; maintains the status of a free port; pursues a policy of free trade and protects the free movement of goods, intangible assets and capital. (BL Articles 62; 106-119)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US