March 18 - 24, 2019

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Greater Bay Area brings HK economic impetus

The Greater Bay Area will bring new opportunities and impetus for Hong Kong, including strengthening its status as a global offshore RMB business hub and international asset and risk management center, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the Bloomberg Invest Asia Summit (Mar 21). At the same time, Hong Kong, with its unique advantages under the “one country, two systems” principle, free and open economy, a legal system rooted in the rule of law, and global connectivity has much to offer to the development and success of the Greater Bay Area.

Bolstering the insurance sector

Leveraging on the opportunities under both the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area Development Plan, Hong Kong will boost its insurance sector in all areas, including life insurance, general insurance, reinsurance, captive insurance and specialized insurance, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan at the Joint Business Community Luncheon (Mar 19). This is part of the overall strategy to diversify the city’s economy and harness opportunities amid the changing global landscape and economic growth in developing Asia.

HK and US to strengthen mutual co-operation

Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed the hope that Hong Kong and US will strengthen mutually beneficial co-operation and expand common interests during a meeting with members of Congressional US-China Working Group (Mar 18). With Hong Kong striving to advance the development of I&T, she encouraged more US institutions and technology firms to establish a presence in the city. The US is Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner and enjoys the highest trade surplus with Hong Kong among all other economies.

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Freedoms remain intact

Human rights and freedom in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation, said the Government (Mar 23), adding that it attaches great importance to them and is determined to safeguard them. Responding to a US State Department Report, the Government added that Hong Kong ranks first globally in economic freedom and first in Asia for judicial independence.

Law revision needed to plug loophole

The proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance are intended to pursue judicial justice in criminal cases and protect the public, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Mar 19), adding that the intention of these amendments is to plug existing loophole expeditiously.

DOLLAR LINK

Maintaining exchange rate stability

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority would continue to maintain exchange rate stability, in accordance with the linked exchange rate system, said Chief Executive of HKMA Norman Chan (Mar 21). He pointed out that despite the US Fed’s latest decision to hold rates steady, interest rate differentials between Hong Kong dollar and US dollar remains.

STATISTICS

Key economic indicators

  • With a 1.3% year-on-year growth registered in fourth quarter of 2018, Hong Kong’s overall 2018 GDP rose by 3% year-on-year
  • The volume of total exports of goods fell by 2.2% year-on-year while the volume of imports of goods dropped by 7.7%
  • Hong Kong remains in full employment, with unemployment rate remaining at 2.8% (Dec 2018 – Feb 2019). Underemployment edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 1%.
  • Overall consumer prices rose 2.1% in February compared to a year earlier, with an underlying inflation rate of 2.6%.

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 the laws previously in force in Hong Kong been maintained?

A: The Basic Law provides that laws previously in force in Hong Kong, that is, the common law, rules of equity, ordinances, subordinate legislation and customary law, shall be maintained and adopted as laws of the HKSAR, except for any that contravenes the Basic Law, and subject to any amendment by the HKSAR legislature. (BL Articles 8; 18; 160)

For daily updates

This e-mail has been sent to , click here to unsubscribe.

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York

115 East 54 Street 10022 New York US