February 2 - 15, 2019

BUSINESS & FINANCE

Hong Kong’s strengths as global financial center highlighted

Hong Kong has evolved from being a center for investment flows and financial services to facilitate the Mainland’s reform and opening up to a broader role that encompasses leadership in innovation and technology, sustainable trade and finance, and regional connectivity and development in the context of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay, said Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Lau (Feb 14).

Enhancing intellectual property protections

Hong Kong is strengthening the city’s intellectual property protections with the introduction of a legal amendment to implement the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol). Aside from allowing businesses to save time and cost in obtaining and managing international trade mark registrations, the new laws also empower the Customs and Excise Department to enforce criminal provisions against acts of trademark infringement.

LAW & ORDER

Rhino horns seized at airport

Hong Kong Customs have seized 40kg of suspected rhino horns, worth about US$1 million at Hong Kong International Airport (Feb 14), a record for rhino horns seized from arriving passengers. Two men were arrested. To provide a stronger deterrent against the smuggling and illegal trading of endangered species, the penalties under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals & Plants Ordinance have been increased drastically since May 1, 2018. The maximum penalty is a fine of US$1.28 million and a 10-year prison sentence.

NYETO EVENTS

Celebrating the Year of the Pig in NYC

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York celebrated the Year of the Pig with marimba and lion dance performances at a Chinese New Year Reception in New York City on Feb 11. Speaking at the event, Hong Kong Commissioner to the US Eddie Mak highlighted the longstanding and mutually beneficial partnership between Hong Kong and the US, which is the city’s second largest trading partner. “Our door is always open to US investors and businesses,” he said. Welcoming guests, Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu spoke on the different opportunities Hong Kong offers, in diverse sectors such as financial services, I&T, professional services, logistics, arts and culture, creative industries and design.

The reception in New York is the second in a series of Chinese New Year receptions hosted by the HKETONY, with over 300 guests from various sectors, including the academic, arts and culture, business, government and media.

TOURISM

Hong Kong passport gains more visa-free convenience

Hong Kong passports look poised to become more popular, with Panama and Armenia joining the list of countries and jurisdictions that offer visa-free entry or visa-on-arrival to the travel document holders on Feb 10 and Mar 3, respectively. This brings the total number of jurisdictions that grant visa-free entry or visa-on-arrival to the HKSAR passport holders to 165.

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: What does the Basic Law say about democratic development in Hong Kong?

A: The Basic Law sets out the blueprint for the democratic development of the HKSAR. The method for selecting the Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the election of the Chief Executive and all the members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage. (BL Articles 45; 68; Annexes I and II)

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Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US