February 25 - March 3, 2019

2019-20 BUDGET

Budget to spur economic development, diversify economy

Delivering the 2019-20 budget, Financial Secretary Paul Chan unveiled a raft of initiatives to promote economic development and diversify Hong Kong’s economy, including promotion of financial services and I&T. To ensure Hong Kong’s competitiveness, the city aims to develop talent-intensive industries and focus on high value-added activities such as I&T and financial services. Hong Kong’s economy grew by 3% in 2018, with a forecast growth of between 2% to 3% in 2019.

FINANCE

Robust green bond market

Hong Kong’s green bond market has catapulted to become one of the largest green bond markets in the world. Green bonds arranged and issued in 2018 totaled US$11 billion, a 237% increase year-on-year, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative Hong Kong Green Bond Market Briefing Report (Feb 25). Welcoming this inaugural report, Executive Director (External) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Vincent Lee said this recognizes Hong Kong’s emergence as one of the world’s leading green finance markets, adding that the city is also the designated green finance hub for the Greater Bay Area.

HKEX sets up International Advisory Council

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has set up a high-level International Advisory Council to further boost the city’s global competitiveness. Stuart Gulliver, former group chief executive of HSBC; Mary Schapiro, former chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission; and Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, have been appointed as founding members of the council, which would be chaired by HKEX Chairman Laura Cha.

 INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

World’s first Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory

Hong Kong will have the world’s first Artificial Intelligence Design Laboratory (AIDL), integrating AI into the design of products and service. Speaking at the MoU signing (Feb 26) of this joint facility between Hong Kong Polytechnic University and UK’s Royal College of Art, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the strategic partnership will help nurture more local talent in multiple disciplines and propel the city’s development as an I&T hub.

LAW & ORDER

Proposed law amendment to plug legal loophole

Secretary for Security John Lee said the Security Bureau’s proposal to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance is aimed at plugging a legal loophole.  The proposal would allow Hong Kong to handle requests for assistance and surrender of offenders on a case-by-case basis with any place with which the city has not signed a long-term agreement. It will apply one single standard to any place under the principle of mutual respect. Mr Lee said the proposed arrangement will retain and apply all human rights safeguards, which draw on the model template of the United Nations and international practices. 

NYETO EVENTS

Hong Kong’s architectural practice in focus at New York symposium

Leading American and Hong Kong architects and practitioners discussed Hong Kong’s design culture and urban development amid the city’s evolving urban landscape and architectural practice at the “New Practices in Hong Kong” Symposium (Mar 1), organized by the American Institute of Architecture New York (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture. Joining the symposium participants, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York Joanne Chu highlighted the Government’s commitment to support for the creative industries, including design and architecture. She urged them to consider expanding their practice to Hong Kong, adding that enhanced connectivity within the Greater Bay Area offers enormous potential for growth.

Creative talent blooms in Philadelphia

Internationally acclaimed Hong Kong floral artist Dr Solomon Leong was one of 23 leading global floral designers competing in the “Olympics” of floral design - FTD World Cup 2019 (Mar 1-3) in Philadelphia. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York was on site to support Dr Leong and his team as they presented enchanting floral displays, showcasing Hong Kong’s creative talent on the world stage.

APPOINTMENTS

Peter Lam to lead Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Peter Lam will lead the Hong Kong Trade Development Council as Chairman for two years, effective June 1. He takes over from outgoing Chairman Vincent Lo. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said Mr Lam, who is currently the Chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board, with his extensive commercial experience and active participation in public services is well suited for taking up the chairmanship.

New chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board appointed

Pang Yiu-kai has been appointed as Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board for three years, effective April 1. He will succeed Peter Lam. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau expressed confidence that Mr Pang, with rich experience in business management and public services, would steer the Board in promoting Hong Kong worldwide as a world-class premier tourist destination.

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: Has the Central People’s Government (CPG) or any Mainland province interfered in the administering of the HKSAR Government?

A: No. Hong Kong has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since its return to the Motherland on July 1, 1997. In accordance with the Basic Law, the Central People’ has scrupulously upheld the principle of “one country, two systems” and the promise of “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”. No department of CPG and no province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the CPG has interfered in the affairs which the HKSAR Government administers on its own in accordance with the Basic Law. (BL Articles 2; 12; 22)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US