October 26 - November 1, 2018

Business & Finance

Ranked among top business-friendly cities

Hong Kong is ranked fourth globally on the ease of doing business, moving up one notch from last year, according to the World Bank's Doing Business 2019 Report (Oct 31). The city’s score has improved from the previous year, reflecting continuous enhancements in its business facilitation measures. Hong Kong came in first for tax efficiency and for businesses to obtain construction permits. The Report compares the ease of doing business in 190 economies across 10 indicators.

Unique role in economic transformation: CE

Hong Kong is eager to play an even bigger role in China’s further opening up, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a seminar (Oct 29). The city can share its experience and help build capacity in emerging economies, and also promote people-to-people bonds in the global environment. Hong Kong is also ready to play a part as a green financing center, and to jointly develop an international I&T hub.

Hong Kong is a pivotal gateway: FS

Hong Kong’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development will yield dividend, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at a forum (Nov 1). The government will play the role of “promoter” and “facilitator” by diversifying the economic base, removing supply-side constraints in land and manpower, and deepening economic co-operation with the Mainland. Serving as China's international financial, trade, shipping and innovation and technology center,  Hong Kong will continue to play a pivotal role connecting the Mainland and the rest of the world.

PBoC to issue bills in Hong Kong

The People’s Bank of China will issue 20 billion renminbi of bills in Hong Kong next week. Welcoming the bill issuance, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said this reinforces Hong Kong’s status as the global offshore RMB business hub, promotes the internationalization of the currency and facilitates the development of the city’s debt market. The renminbi bills will be issued through the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's Central Moneymarkets Unit.

Fintech

First blockchain trade finance platform launched

Hong Kong Monetary Authority and 12 major local banks have launched a blockchain-based trade finance platform (Oct 31). The eTradeConnect aims to improve trade efficiency, build better trust among participants, and reduce risks and facilitate trade counterparties to obtain financing. The eTradeConnect will collaborate with its European counterpart, we.trade, to enhance cross-border trades.

Ideal launch pad for fintech firms

As one of the top global financial center, with world-class infrastructure and regulatory framework, Hong Kong is committed to developing into a global fintech hub. Government funding support and close proximity to the huge market of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area make the city an ideal launch pad for fintech firms, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the opening of the 2018 Hong Kong FinTech Week (Oct 31).

Wine hub

Wine pact signed with Bordeaux

Hong Kong and Bordeaux had signed a cooperation agreement in wine-related education and manpower training (Oct 27). The agreement aims to strengthen education and training with possible areas of collaboration in networking, exchange programs, scholarships and study missions. Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said Hong Kong, as Asia's wine hub and a wine free-port, has a strong demand for talents with wine expertise.

Environment

Converting food waste into energy

O∙PARK1, Hong Kong’s first organic resources recovery center, has handled more than 8,000 tonnes of food waste since it started operation in July. The largest self-sustainable food waste recycling facility in Asia is able to generate about 14 million kWh of surplus electricity, equivalent to energy consumption by about 3,000 households. It can also reduce some 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said this exemplifies the government’s commitment to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Arts & Culture

Hong Kong Arts Festival announces line-up

More than 1,700 international and local artists will take part in 166 performances at the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival (Feb 21 to Mar 23, 2019). Themed "At Every Stage", the five-week long festival will present artists at different stages of their careers. Highlights include the Asian premieres of Zhou Long's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera “Madame White Snake”, Oper Leipzig's staging of Richard Wagner's romantic opera "Tannhäuser" and The Hamburg Ballet's "Beethoven Project", choreographed by its long-time artistic director John Neumeier. 

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 Mainland laws applicable to Hong Kong?

A: Generally speaking, national laws of mainland China are not applied in the HKSAR. Article 18(2), (3) and (4) of the Basic Law provide for application of national laws in the HKSAR. Such national laws as applied in the HKSAR shall be listed in Annex III to the Basic Law. Currently, a total of 12 national laws are so listed in Annex III, all of which concern matters outside the limits of the HKSAR's autonomy. They include national laws on the capital, calendar, national anthem, national flag, national day, national emblem, territorial sea and contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, nationality, garrisoning, diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities as well as judicial immunity of assets of foreign central banks. (BL Article 18; Annex III)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US