April 1 - 7, 2019

GREATER BAY AREA

Progress in Hong Kong – Shenzhen cooperation

Substantial progress has been made on various fronts in cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung (Apr 2). Both places will continue to deepen cooperation through participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. He cited the development of Hong-Kong Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau as an example of close partnership for a world-class I&T hub in the Greater Bay Area. The first batch of land parcels is expected to be made available by 2021 or earlier for construction.

TRADE

Government responds to US trade report

Responding to an inaccurate statement about Hong Kong in the 2019 National Trade Estimate Report by the US Trade Representative, the Government clarified (Apr 2) that Hong Kong, as a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has fulfilled its notification obligations under the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement since 1996. It added that Hong Kong, as a free port, does not impose any customs duties on imported goods. At the same time, the Government acknowledged the positive remarks made in the Report on Hong Kong’s robust intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.

LEGAL

Arbitral proceedings pact signed

Hong Kong and Mainland China signed the arrangement on interim measures in support of arbitral proceedings (Apr 2). Under this arrangement, Hong Kong becomes the first jurisdiction outside the Mainland to benefit from such support, further boosting its status as the center for international legal and dispute resolution services, said Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng. The commencement date of the Arrangement will be decided after the promulgation of a judicial interpretation by the Supreme People’s Court and completion of relevant procedures in the Hong Kong.

Fugitive bill tabled in LegCo

The Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 has been tabled in the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Apr 3. Speaking to reporters ahead of the Executive Council meeting (Apr 2), Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that after the first and second reading of the bill at LegCo, lawmakers may form a committee to vet the proposed law revision. Secretary for Security John Lee said the Government will explain in detail its proposed amendments to extradition laws at the bills committee. He also added that while he respects opinions from different people, he also needs to plug loopholes in the existing mechanism. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng also said that the Government must ensure that the city have a proper rule-based system as a rule of law society to deal with the extradition of fugitive offenders.

AVIATION

Hong Kong, a leading aviation hub

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), with connections to more than 220 destinations worldwide, will play a leading role as an international aviation hub, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Addressing aviation leaders at the Airports Council International World Annual General Assembly (Apr 3), Mrs Lam said HKIA, as the world’s busiest cargo airport and the world’s third-busiest international passenger airport, constantly enhances its services through innovative measures, such as inter-modal code-sharing. To meet future air traffic growth and maintain the city’s competitiveness, a third runway is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022, along with new and expanded passenger facilities.

FASHION

Thriving fashion and design industry

Hong Kong, with its many unique advantages including a strategic location, efficient logistics network, and free port status, thrives as a major international fashion design center and a renowned global sourcing hub, said Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Dr Bernard Chan (Apr 2). Leveraging on the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative, the government provides local and overseas platform to showcase local designs and brands and explore business opportunities. It also has dedicated funding programs to nurture young fashion designers and fashion start-ups. The Sham Shui Po Design and Fashion Project, to be commissioned in 2023, will be the fashion and design hub to groom budding designers and startups.

ECONOMY

Key Economic Indicators

  • February’s retail sales fell by 10.1% year-on-year, with the weak performance attributed to cautious consumption sentiment amid various external uncertainties.

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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