November 2 - 8, 2018

BUSINESS & FINANCE

CE calls for free trade commitment

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has urged government and business leaders to re-affirm commitment to free trade, which is key to realizing the potentials and benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Speaking at a forum at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai (Nov 5), Mrs Lam said innovation was critical in growing trade and the government has been investing US$10 billion in a multi-pronged strategy to drive I&T.

HK’s key roles in China’s economic reforms

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau has highlighted three historic moments which made Hong Kong a gateway for Mainland China’s imports and exports: when the country opened up its economy in 1978, when she joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 and when the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area took off in 2013 and 2017 respectively. Mr Yau made the remarks at a seminar titled "Hong Kong's Experiences for International Trade: New Horizon·New Technology·New Model”, at the first China International Import Expo.

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Human rights fully protected: CS in Geneva

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Matthew Cheung, has reiterated at a United Nations session on human rights that human rights in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Basic Law, Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other laws (Nov 6).  In the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review meeting in Geneva, the No. 2 official of Hong Kong stressed that the rule of law, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech are amongst the city’s core values. He also sought to clarify on some misunderstanding while stating government positions on major issues of concern.

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

More startups choose HK

Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial eco-system, backed by the city’s unique strengths and ease of doing business, has seen a continuous uptick in the number of startups in recent years. There are over 2,000 tech startups, 30% of them started by non-Hong Kongers, said Secretary for Innovation & Technology Nicholas Yang at the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (Nov 8). The city is also seeing more unicorn successes. Home-grown online travel agency Klook received US$200 million in its latest Series D funding. The company, which will hit US$1 billion bookings this year, plans to expand to the US and European markets.

Chinese Academy of Sciences sets up research center in HK

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has joined other renowned institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet in setting up an affiliated research center in Hong Kong. Welcoming CAS’s participation in the city’s R&D, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government would continue its efforts to encourage more top-notch research centers to join the league.  

Fintech seminars in HK and Shenzhen make world’s first cross-border event

Hong Kong Fintech Week, the world’s first cross-border financial technology event (Oct 31 – Nov 2), showcases how the top global financial center with strong government support can become a global fintech leader. More than 8,000 attendees from over 50 economies first took part in various conference programs in Hong Kong, before moving to Shenzhen for a day-long session that included a seminar and luncheon with local business and government officials, along with company visits to major tech and banking giants such as Tencent, WeBank and ZhongAn.

LEGAL

New mediation center opens

The West Kowloon Mediation Centre, located adjacent to the West Kowloon Law Courts Building, has been put into operation starting with a pilot scheme for small claims. Its opening marked the government's commitment to promote the use of mediation and to enhance public awareness of its benefits. The pilot program will be run by the Joint Mediation Helpline Office, a non-profit.

EDUCATION

Shanghai Hong Kong University Alliance launched

The new Shanghai Hong Kong University Alliance, involving 16 higher education institutions of both cities, will strengthen cooperation among the universities in teaching, research, and student exchanges, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at its launch in Shanghai’s Fudan University (Nov 6). Exchanges among higher education institutions have become increasingly diversified, with more than 30% of Hong Kong students choosing Shanghai last year.

ARTS & CULTURE

HK arts administrator to chair global association 

Taking the helm as Chair of New York-based International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) in 2019, Tisa Ho is the first Hong Kong arts administrator to lead this prestigious institution for a three-year term. Currently the executive director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Ms Ho said she would continue to strengthen ISPA’s worldwide presence and develop its fellowship program for artists and arts managers.  

RTHK turns 90

The city’s public broadcaster has just turned 90! The Radio Television Hong Kong, or RTHK as is commonly known, has been serving up news, music, educational and arts & cultural programs 24/7. To commemorate this milestone, an exhibition is being held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum through Feb 25.

FILM

FDF-backed film “Napping Kid” opens

Adapted from an award-winning mystery novel of the namesake, “Napping Kid” has had its Hong Kong premiere on Nov 8. Directed by Amos Why, the film received funding support from the Film Production Grant Scheme under the Film Development Fund (FDF).

HKETONY EVENTS

Monochrome photo wins contest

A black-and-white print of synchronized dragon boat paddlers on Queens’ Meadow Lake by Bob Dea stood out among the 329 entries and won the photo contest of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York. Sponsored by the HKETONY for the 15th year, the contest was held by Sing Tao Daily. Contest judge and veteran news photographer Richard Drew said it was getting tougher to judge the contest each year due to the high quality of entries.

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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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

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