July 29 - August 5, 2019

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Chief Executive gauges views from business sector

Chief Executive Carrie Lam hosted a lunch for representatives of over 40 international and local chambers of commerce at Government House (Jul 30) to exchange views with them on the challenges and opportunities with a view to formulating policy measures in the upcoming Policy Address. Noting that the China-US trade friction and uncertainties in the external environment had weakened Hong Kong’s economic momentum, Mrs Lam said the Government would introduce measures to help companies cope with the downside risks. She also spoke on the ongoing protests and their impact on the city’s business development, stating that she would spare no efforts to address them.

LAW & ORDER

Restoration of law and order urged

Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged all sectors and citizens of Hong Kong to set aside differences, and bring order back to the city. Speaking at a media session (Aug 5), she reiterated that the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance is dead and that there’s absolutely no room politically to trigger the exercise to amend the ordinance. Noting that recent protests have escalated beyond their original demands and have seriously undermined Hong Kong’s law and order, Mrs Lam said the Government is resolute in maintaining law and order and called on people to refrain from violence.

HKETONY EVENTS

Dragons glide across New York’s Meadow Lake

More than 200 teams and 2,500 paddlers went head to head in the 29th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (Aug 3-4) at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Aside from cheering on the racers, more than 30,000 spectators also had the opportunity to experience the East-meets-West culture of Hong Kong through an array of land programs such as dragon dance, martial arts demonstrations, music performances, arts and crafts, as well as food and games. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY) promoted Hong Kong through its festival booth. Earlier in the week, Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu, joined the festival organizer and sponsors to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange (Aug 2).

ECONOMY

Key Indicators

• Hong Kong’s economy rose 0.6% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, due to the weak investment expenditure and external demand along with sluggish domestic demand.

• The Hong Kong Monetary Authority had lowered (Aug 1) the Base Rate by 25 basis points to 2.50% with immediate effect.

• June’s retail sales was valued at US$4.5 billion, down 6.7%year-on-year.

CIVIL SERVICE

Civil service exams set

Prospective applicants for civil service posts at degree or professional level can apply, from Aug 2 - 15, to sit for the Common Recruitment Examination and Basic Law Test, scheduled to be held on Oct 5 and 12 in Hong Kong. The examination is also scheduled to be held on Dec 7 in seven other cities, including New York. Applicants for civil service posts at the degree or professional level should have valid Common Recruitment Examination results. All people applying for civil service jobs must take the Basic Law Test, and its result will be considered in assessing the candidate.

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 a free port and a separate customs territory?

A: The HKSAR is a separate customs territory. The HKSAR, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, is a member in its own right of the World Trade Organisation and the World Customs Organisation. Ships of all nations enjoy access to the ports of the HKSAR, which is a free port, in accordance with the laws of the Region. Export quotas, tariff preferences and other similar arrangements, which are obtained or made by the HKSAR or which were obtained or made and remain valid, shall be enjoyed exclusively by Hong Kong. (BL Articles 114; 116; 126)

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