September 1 - 7, 2018

Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area

One-stop portal launched

A thematic website on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Development has been launched. It includes a lot of timely, useful information in areas such as infrastructure, education and business facilitation measures. The Bay Area comprises the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and the nine municipalities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. It has a combined GDP of US$1.5 trillion comparable to that of New York Metropolitan Area and a land area about three times the size of San Francisco Bay Area.

Transportation

First glimpse of West Kowloon Station

The West Kowloon Station of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has opened to members of the public for a sneak preview of the facilities (Sep 1-2). Upon its opening on Sep 23, it will usher in a new chapter of speed rail transportation facilitating people flow between Hong Kong and 44 major cities in mainland China along the national high-speed rail. The estimated time of travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing will be reduced to 48 minutes, 8 hours, 9 hours from 2 hours, 19 hours and 24 hours respectively.

Civil Service

First official visit by Secretary for the Civil Service

Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law will be in Boston on September 10, starting his first official visit in the US and Canada since his appointment in July 2017. He will visit New York, Ottawa and Toronto. Aside from visiting prominent institutes, Mr Law will also exchange views with government officials on the management and training of civil servants. He will return to Hong Kong on September 16.

Fashion

Calls for sustainable fashion

Hong Kong has been promoting sustainable fashion by developing the innovative “circular economy” model, under which products are made to last and wastage generated can be recycled and reused. The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, set up in 2006 and funded by the government, has been collaborating with leading fashion brands on groundbreaking and award-winning technologies for sustainable improvements. It has created a closed loop system for recycling disposed textiles and garments at The Mills in Tsuen Wan. The technology was first adopted by Novetex Textiles, a Hong Kong company, and it won the Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2018. With US$77 million government funding support, the HKRITA has undertaken nearly 200 projects towards green and smart manufacturing.

Business and Finance

Tim Lui to chair securities regulator

Tim Lui has been appointed Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission for three years, effective October 20. Mr Lui, a certified public accountant with strong and extensive professional experience in the financial services sector, has good understanding of both Hong Kong and Mainland markets. The SFC is an independent statutory body set up in 1989 to regulate Hong Kong’s securities and futures markets.

Conservation

Anti-smuggling operation nabs 82

Hong Kong is determined to combat smuggling of any endangered species. In a special weeks-long operation from June to August, the customs officers launched an all-out land and sea operation to intercept various suspected endangered species with an estimated market value of US$2.43 million. They included endangered tree logs, pangolin scales, live turtles, dried seahorse, American ginseng and worked ivory. A total of 82 people were arrested.

Sports

Record medal haul at Asiad

The Hong Kong team emerged from the Asian Games (Aug 18 – Sep 2) with its best Asiad results, with 8 gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze medals. Hong Kong won gold in cycling (keirin and sprint), gymnastics, equestrian sport, squash (men’s and women’s events), men’s cycling madison and rugby sevens. Congratulating the athletes for their outstanding achievements, Chief Executive Carrie Lam lauded their perseverance and distinguished performance. In the current financial year, the government has allocated US$769 million to the Elite Athletes Development and designated US$7.69 billion towards sport projects.

Arts & Culture

Call for Arts Fellowship applications

Two emerging arts leaders and administrators from Hong Kong will have the valuable chances to embark on a residency program in Yale University during the 2019 spring semester. Under the HKETO-NY Arts Activators Fellowship program, the two fellows will develop their professional skills in artistic program, presenting, producing and curating and build up a network with US art collaborators. The program is sponsored by HKETONY and administered by the Yale-China Association, based in New Haven. Deadline for application: September 15.

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: Is Hong Kong still an easy place to visit for tourists or international business people?

A: Yes, very much so. Hong Kong has autonomy in immigration control. It maintains its own immigration laws and procedures and has a very liberal visa policy. As of March 2018, 162 countries or territories have granted visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HKSAR passport holders. (BL Articles 154; 155)

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