November 9 - 15, 2018

TRADE

Hong Kong, Australia agree on FTA

Hong Kong has reached consensus with Australia for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and an Investment Agreement (Nov 15), which allows for zero tariffs for products to the Australian market. The latter was Hong Kong’s 19th largest trading partner in merchandise trade, amounting to US$6.9 million.

Call to contain trade conflicts through dialogue: SCED

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau has called on APEC members to redouble efforts to contain the escalating trade conflicts through constructive dialogue, at a plenary session of the 30th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Nov 15).

CIVIL LIBERTIES

UNHRC notes commitment to protect human rights

The Universal Periodic Review Working Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted the review report on China. It has taken note of the commitment and efforts of the HKSAR Government in protecting human rights after hearing a presentation (Nov 6) by Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung who attended as part of China delegation.

LAW & ORDER

Illicit import of cannabis a criminal offence

Cannabis is an illicit dangerous drug in Hong Kong and it is a criminal offence to import cannabis or any products that contain controlled cannabinoids (such as tetrahydro-cannabinol, or “THC”), a Customs and Excise Department spokesman noted (Nov 13). The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of US$641,025. Illicitly possessing, or smoking, etc, dangerous drugs carries a maximum imprisonment term of seven years and a fine of US$128,205.

RECRUITMENT

Doors open for foreign doctors

The hospitals are recruiting physicians in various specialties and sub-specialties, including dermatology, occupational medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and family medicine. The successful candidates would take up positions that include clinical and non-clinical duties. The deadline for application is Nov 29. More information on the recruitment drive can be found here.

POLITICS

Regret over US report

The HKSAR Government has expressed regret over the conclusions and accusations made in a report issued by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (Nov 14), which it deemed biased and unfounded. As a separate customs territory, Hong Kong remains committed to enforcing strategic trade controls. It has and will continue to maintain, close co-operation with the United States on the matter. 

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: Do Hong Kong people still enjoy a wide range of personal freedoms?

A: Chapter III of the Basic Law guarantees a wide range of personal freedoms to be enjoyed by Hong Kong people. The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labor conventions as applied to Hong Kong continue to remain in force. (BL Articles 27-39) The extensive personal freedoms of Hong Kong people are borne out by, for instance, the facts that processions and assemblies are a part of every-day life in Hong Kong, and that newspapers regularly comment on or criticize government decisions and policies and people say what they want in Hong Kong's open society.

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US