Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York
Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's New


Hong Kong Update for Travellers and Others

Get travel advice and stay on top of the latest developments in Hong Kong affecting the airport, public transport, public safety and other issues. Details here.

Updates on Latest Situation in Hong Kong
   
August inflation up 3.5%

Overall consumer prices rose 3.5% year-on-year in August, larger than the corresponding increase (3.3%) in July 2019. Netting out the effects of all the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 3.4%, compared to 3.2% in July. The month saw year-on-year price increases in food, housing, transport, miscellaneous goods, meals bought away from home and miscellaneous services. Decreases were recorded for electricity, gas and water, durable goods and clothing and footwear. No year-on-year price change was recorded for alcoholic drinks and tobacco. Details here.

August inflation up 3.5%
   
Hong Kong's unique status and strengths highlighted

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau highlighted Hong Kong's unique status and strengths which make it the best partner in Asia for US businesses to expand operations, build networks, meet great people and explore collaboration with different communities. Speaking at the "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong" Gala Dinner in Los Angeles (Sep 19), Mr Yau said the city's advanced financial services industry and infrastructure, a unique separate customs territory status and trade autonomy conferred upon Hong Kong by the Basic Law, under the framework of "one country, two systems". The US was Hong Kong's second largest trading partner and market for exports in 2018, with bilateral merchandise trade amounting to US$75 billion. Hong Kong and the US enjoy mutually beneficial and expanding strong trade connections. The US consistently has the highest trade surplus with Hong Kong, at US$33.8 billion in 2018, and an aggregate merchandise trade surplus with Hong Kong amounting to US$297 billion from 2009 to 2018. Bilateral ties extend beyond trade and economic relations to encompass people-to-people contacts, educational exchanges, sports and cultural events, innovation and technology development and government-to-government co-operation. Details here.

Hong Kong's unique status and strengths highlighted
   
Hong Kong's fundamentals remain intact: SCED

Hong Kong's fundamentals as a free, open and dynamic city with a stable and robust financial system remain intact despite recent disruptions, said the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau (Sep 18). Speaking at a dinner in San Francisco attended by about 200 prominent local figures, Mr Yau pointed out that Hong Kong will continue to build on its unique advantages under "one country, two systems" - a framework that guarantees Hong Kong's own system of common law, economic policy, civic freedoms, property rights and much more. Under this framework, new and rewarding opportunities for international collaboration will continue to be created. In San Francisco, Mr Yau visited the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as the Stanford d.school, which is renowned for design thinking philosophy, methodology and practices. Details here.

Hong Kong's fundamentals remain intact: SCED
   
Opportunities for tech enterprises

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang, spoke on the opportunities presented by Hong Kong's participation in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) into an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub at a leadership luncheon held in San Francisco (Sep 18) on "Bay-to-Bay" connection and Hong Kong's technology development. He encouraged US technology enterprises to leverage on the opportunities brought about by the GBA development to achieve a win-win outcome. During his stay in San Francisco (Sep 17-18), Mr Yang visited the Google campus and discussed with its senior management Google Hong Kong's Smarter Digital City 3.0 white paper. He also paid a visit to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Innovation's JLABS to learn more about its incubation program in accelerating healthcare innovation.Mr Yang encouraged J&J to strengthen collaboration with universities in Hong Kong and take part in the Health@InnoHK initiative focusing on healthcare technologies. Details here.

Opportunities for tech enterprises
   
Greenlight for BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Hong Kong

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed (Sep 18) an Operational Agreement on the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Hong Kong. The Hub will identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking; develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system; and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation. Hub Centres will be set up in Hong Kong, Singapore and Basel, Switzerland, in the initial phase. Details here.

Greenlight for BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Hong Kong
   
Hong Kong's creative talent

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, started his four-day duty visit to the United States in San Francisco (Sep 17) , officiating at the opening ceremony of "Co-creating Hong Kong: a design+ exhibition" and meeting local design communities to promote Hong Kong's creative talent. The exhibition features 14 unique projects by 13 leading and emerging Hong Kong designers, demonstrating their skillful blending of craft and technology as well as past and future, while opening the design process to allow for interactions with visitors. Mr Yau emphasized Hong Kong's role as a value-adding partner for regional development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and a gateway for multinational companies to access the Mainland China market. He encouraged Hong Kong designers to explore future co-creations with their US counterparts. Details here.

Hong Kong's creative talent
   
Committed to I&T development: SCIT

Hong Kong remains fully committed to developing innovation and technology as a key economic and social driver, said Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang, with the government allocating more than US$12.8 billion to support I&T development. Speaking at a Seattle business luncheon (Sep 16), Mr Yang said Hong Kong is among the fastest-growing start-up ecosystems in the world, with over 2,600 start-ups in the city in 2018, representing a year-on-year growth of 18%. Total venture capital investment in local start-ups have also reached US$2.27 billion in 2018, compared with US$162 million in 2014. Details here.

Committed to I&T development: SCIT
   
Unemployment stays at 2.9%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.9% in June - August 2019, same as that in May - July 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods. Total employment decreased by around 3,600 to 3,863,700 and the labour force also dipped by around 1,500 to 3,984,300. Details here.

Unemployment stays at 2.9%
   
July goods exports dip 6.6%

The volume of Hong Kong’s total goods exports fell 6.6% year-on-year in July while the volume of goods imports dropped 9.7% compared to the same period last year. Goods exports prices rose 1.1%, while those of goods imports increased 1.2%. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of goods exports fell 0.6% in the three-month period ending July compared with the preceding three months, while the volume of goods imports dropped 1.4%. Details here.

July goods exports dip 6.6%
   
Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development embarks on US visit

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau will depart Hong Kong tomorrow (Sep 17) for a four-day visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Starting his visit in San Francisco, Mr Yau will officiate at the opening ceremony of the "Co-creating Hong Kong: a design+ exhibition". He will also visit the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University and 500 Startups, a venture capital company which provides seed accelerator programs to support startups from around the world. In Los Angeles, Mr Yau will join the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's mega international promotion "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong" to promote the city's business services to US companies seeking opportunities in Asia. Details here.

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development embarks on US visit
   
Government disagrees with credit rating

The Hong Kong SAR Government disagreed (Sep 16) with Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to change Hong Kong’s credit outlook from “stable” to “negative”. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Moody's decision was not founded on facts. pointing out that Hong Kong’s financial markets and banking system have been functioning normally in the past few months, despite concerns over the social incidents. Mr Chan emphasized Hong Kong remains an international financial center and the best place to do business, adding that the social incidents have not affected the city's core competitiveness. Moody’s affirmed Hong Kong’s long-term issuer rating at “Aa2”, the third-highest rating, due to the city’s strong fiscal position and large foreign currency reserves. Details here.

Government disagrees with credit rating
   
Secretary for Innovation & Technology visits North America

Secretary for Innovation & Technology Nicholas Yang is on a a five-day (Sep 16-20) visit to the United States and Canada to promote the city’s innovation and technology developments and foster closer ties. While in Seattle and San Francisco, Mr Yang will meet senior executives in the technology industry, visit innovation and technology enterprises and speak at luncheons. Details here.

Secretary for Innovation & Technology visits North America
   
Hong Kong remains world's freest economy

Hong Kong once again ranks as the freest economy in the world, according to the 2019 Economic Freedom of the World report (Sep 12). Hong Kong retains the top position with a score of 8.91 out of 10. Hong Kong has retained the top spot since the inception of the report. Among the five areas of assessment, Hong Kong ranks top in “freedom to trade internationally” and “regulation.” Details here.

Hong Kong remains world's freest economy
   
Belt and Road Summit underway in Hong Kong 

Hong Kong, being China's most competitive and international city, is well positioned to serve as the gateway to the Belt & Road and its manifold prospects and possibilities, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the opening session of the Belt and Road Summit (Sep 11-12). She said Hong Kong will embark on a program for interactive exchanges on practices and experiences with Mainland ministries in areas including finance, commerce, foreign-related legal matters, dispute resolution, city management, aviation and transportation, professional services and anti-corruption. Such collaboration will enhance professionalism on both sides, ultimately realizing Belt & Road projects that are both green and sustainable. Around 5,000 government officials, entrepreneurs and professionals from 69 countries attended the summit Details here

Belt and Road Summit underway in Hong Kong 
   
Residents born in 1955 or 1956 to apply for new smart ID cards 

Hong Kong residents born in 1955 or 1956 should apply for a new smart identity card in person at a Smart Identity Card Replacement Centre from Sep 24 to Nov 15, the Immigration Department announced (Sep 11).  Eligible applicants may make appointment bookings via the Internet (www.gov.hk/newicbooking), the ImmD mobile application or the 24-hour telephone booking hotline (852) 2121 1234. Details here

Residents born in 1955 or 1956 to apply for new smart ID cards 
   
FTA an important pillar for further collaboration

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be an important pillar to support further economic collaboration, said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau at a meeting in Bangkok (Sep 9). The agreements also send a very positive signal to the outside world on the mutual commitment to continued open and free trade and investment.Hong Kong and ASEAN signed the FTA and IA in November 2017, with the parts relating to Hong Kong and Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam entering into force in June this year. Details here.

FTA an important pillar for further collaboration
   
Outstanding results by Olympiad team

A team of eight Hong Kong students achieved outstanding results in the 4th International Olympiad of Metropolises (IOM), held in Moscow, Russia (Sep 1-6), winning one gold medal, five silver medals and two bronze medals, as well as a silver award in the team competition. Around 350 students from 45 cities/ regions participated in the IOM, a competition covering four disciplines: mathematics, chemistry, physics and informatics. Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung said the remarkable results achieved demonstrated Hong Kong students' great potential in science, technology and mathematics as well as excellent problem-solving skills. Details here.

Outstanding results by Olympiad team
   
HK economy sound: FS

Highlighting Hong Kong's sound economic fundamental, along with its top-rated fiscal performance and international investment position and high credit rating, Financial Secretary Paul Chan disagreed with the assessment by Fitch on the city's latest assessment. The Financial Secretary said Hong Kong's competitiveness, including the free movement of capital, goods, information and people, a simple tax system with low tax rates, a sound regulatory system, rule of law and an independent judiciary, and quality professional services, was not affected by the recent social incidents. Details here.

HK economy sound: FS
   
Fugitive Offenders Bill to be withdrawn

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced (Sep 4) that the Hong Kong government will formally withdraw the Fugitive Offenders Bill. The Secretary for Security will move a motion according to the Rules of Procedure when the Legislative Council resumes. The decision is one of four actions announced by Mrs Lam in a video statement to foster a dialogue that can help society move forward after more than two months of protests. Details here.

Fugitive Offenders Bill to be withdrawn
   
First duty visit to Gateway City

In her first duty visit to St. Louis (Aug 29-30), Missouri, Director of HKETONY Joanne Chu met with key economic and business executives and discussed cooperation and exchanges between the business sectors of both places. She also met with former Governor of Missouri Bob Holden, who now leads the United States Heartland China Association, and briefed him on the latest situation in Hong Kong and learnt more about developments in the heartland region. Ms Chu also met with scholars from Hong Kong, who were currently enrolled at the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St. Louis. Details here.

First duty visit to Gateway City
   
Seizing opportunities in Greater Bay Area

Hong Kong can leverage its strengths and play key roles of facilitator and promoter in the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), said Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip at the SCMP China Conference (Aug 28). These strengths, including as an international financial, transportation and trade center, an international aviation hub, a global offshore RMB business hub, a center for international legal and dispute resolution services, coupled with the city's highly open business environment, robust rule of law and an independent judiciary, can bring in foreign investments and know-how to the GBA, and assist Mainland enterprises to develop markets and explore opportunities overseas. Details here.

Seizing opportunities in Greater Bay Area
   
CityU academic wins 2019 APEC Science Prize

Secretary for Innovation & Technology Nicholas Yang congratulated (Aug 27) Dr Ng Yun-hau from the City University of Hong Kong on winning the 2019 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Science Prize for Innovation, Research & Education. Mr Ng, an Associate Professor of the School of Energy & Environment, specializes in using sunlight to split water into clean hydrogen to generate renewable energy. The award recognizes Dr Ng's research excellence in the area of natural sciences and his close co-operation with scientists from other APEC member economies. The award ceremony was held on August 26 in Puerto Varas, Chile. Details here.

CityU academic wins 2019 APEC Science Prize
   
Concerns over impact of trade dispute

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau warned that the China-US trade dispute was now a total war in terms of commodity trade, and that would affect Hong Kong's economy. Speaking to reporters after meeting with representatives of major chambers of commerce and associations of small and medium enterprises, Mr Yau said the impact of the trade dispute should not be underestimated. "With a very heavy and inhibitive tariff imposed on trading between these two countries, plus the fact that the US and China are the world's biggest trading partners, the impact of a trade war onto other economic areas cannot be underestimated," he said. Details here.

Concerns over impact of trade dispute
   
A platform for dialogue: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said a platform for dialogue will start immediately with people from all walks of life in a very sincere and humble manner. Speaking at a media session before the Executive Council meeting (Aug 20), Mrs Lam said the administration is committed to listen to what Hong Kong residents have to say and want to reach out to the community as soon as possible. Details here.

A platform for dialogue: CE
   
July inflation up 3.3%

Overall consumer prices rose by 3.3% in July year-on-year due to increases in food, housing, miscellaneous goods, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, meals, transport and miscellaneous services. Decreases were seen in electricity, gas and water, clothing and footwear, and durable goods. Overall price pressures were expected to remain largely contained in the near term. Details here.

July inflation up 3.3%
   
Closely monitoring economic situation: Financial Secretary

The Government is closely monitoring Hong Kong's economic situation and livelihood issues, said Financial Secretary Paul Chan (Aug 8), who noted that the city's second quarter economic data shows that on a quarter-to-quarter basis, the GDP has decelerated in the second quarter, with a downward adjustment of about 0.3%. He added that the economic situation was challenging domestically and externally in July. Details here.

Closely monitoring economic situation: Financial Secretary
   
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. Details here.

Restoration of law and order urged
   
Dragons glide across 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). Details here.

Dragons glide across Meadow Lake
   
Base Rate lowered to 2.5%

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority had lowered (Aug 1) the Base Rate by 25 basis points to 2.50% with immediate effect. The decrease in the Base Rate follows the 25-basis point downward shift in the target range for the US federal funds rate on July 31 (US time). The Base Rate is the interest rate forming the foundation upon which the Discount Rates for repurchase transactions through the Discount Window are computed. It is currently set at either 50 basis points above the lower end of the prevailing target range for the US federal funds rate or the average of the five-day moving averages of the overnight and one-month Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rates (HIBORs), whichever is the higher. Details here.

Base Rate lowered to 2.5%
   
June retail sales down 6.7%

June retail sales was valued at US$4.5 billion (US$35.2 billion) this year, down 6.7%year-on-year. The decrease in sales was mainly due to an increasingly more cautious consumer sentiment, as well as a slowing in the number of visitor arrivals. With the current global and local socioeconomic climates, the near-term performance of retail sales will likely remain subdued. Details here.

June retail sales down 6.7%
   
Economy grows 0.6% in second quarter

Hong Kong's economy rose 0.6% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019 same as that in the first quarter, according to the advance estimates released by the Census & Statistics Department. The moderate GDP growth was mainly attributable to the weak performance in investment expenditure and external demand along with sluggish domestic demand amid softening global economic growth and US-China trade and technology tensions. Details here.

Economy grows 0.6% in second quarter
   
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. Details here.

Civil service exams set
   
Chief Executive gauges views from business sector

Chief Executive Carrie Lam hosted a lunch (Jul 30) for representatives of over 40 international and local chamber of commerce representatives to exchange views on the challenges and opportunities in Hong Kong with a view to formulating policy measures in the upcoming Policy Address. Mrs Lam also spoke on the ongoing protests and their impact on Hong Kong’s business development, stating that she would spare no efforts to address them. Details here.

Chief Executive gauges views from business sector
   
Opportunities for overseas trained doctors

Hong Kong is recruiting overseas trained doctors to serve as residents and associate consultants in public hospitals. Successful applicants will gain working and training experience in a range of medical specialties in public hospitals in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has developed a healthcare system that is renowned for its high efficiency, and is ranked among the best in the world in terms of many health indicators. Details here.

Opportunities for overseas trained doctors
   
New Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive appointed

Eddie Yue has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) with effect from October 1. Making the announcement, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Mr Yue has a deep understanding of Hong Kong's banking and monetary system as well as financial markets and extensive experience in tackling financial crises. Mr Yue joined the HKMA in 1993, the year it was founded, and has been deputy chief executive responsible for reserves management, external affairs and research since 2007. Details here.

New Hong Kong Monetary Authority Chief Executive appointed
   
June exports drop 9%

The value of Hong Kong's total exports in June fell 9% year-on-year to HK$309.6 billion (US$39.6 billion). The value of imports of goods in the same period dropped 7.5% to HK$364.8 billion (US$46.7 billion). A visible trade deficit of HK$55.2 billion (US$7 billion), equivalent to 15.1% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in June 2019. The year-on-year decrease in the value of merchandise exports was attributed to the soft global economic environment and continued US-Mainland trade tensions. Details here.

June exports drop 9%
   
Outstanding achievements at International Biology Olympiad

Hong Kong students have won four medals at the International Biology Olympiad held in Szeged, Hungary (Jul 14-20). Congratulating the team on their performance, Secretary for Education, Mr. Kevin Yeung, said the Education Bureau will continue to support and nurture more students with talent and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), adding that students can further broaden their horizons and pursue excellence through participating in these challenging learning activities. Details here.

Outstanding achievements at International Biology Olympiad
   
June inflation grows 3.3%

Overall consumer prices grew 3.3% year-on-year in June. Looking ahead, overall price pressures should remain largely contained. The inflation rate in the near term may hinge on the supply situation and thus prices of fresh pork.The government will continue to monitor the inflation situation closely, particularly the impact on lower-income people. Details here.

June inflation grows 3.3%
   
HK, Mainland sign tax pact

Under a new Hong Kong – Mainland trade pact, a qualified teacher or researcher, who is employed in Hong Kong or the Mainland and engages in teaching and research activities on the other side, shall be exempt from taxation on that other side for a period of three years. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said this would promote training, exchanges of talents and cooperation between the two places and further drive the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. Details here.

HK, Mainland sign tax pact
   
HK Belt-Road conference held

Key work progress has been made in launching of the Green Bond Grant Scheme, signing of Free Trade Agreements and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements with more trading partners, said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau at a Belt and Road Initiative joint conference in Beijing (Jul 19). He added Hong Kong will further expand its overseas Economic & Trade Office network as well as enhance the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Belt & Road Portal. Details here.

HK Belt-Road conference held
   
Unemployment stays at 2.8%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% in the period between April and June, unchanged from the March-May period. Total employment increased by 1,600 to 3,870,700 and the labor force grew by 1,700 to 3,985,000. Details here.

Unemployment stays at 2.8%
   
New rail line to open

Three new stations along the Tuen Ma Line - Hin Keng Station, Diamond Hill Station Extension and Kai Tak Station - of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) Shatin-Central Link are expected to open early next year, with trains running to and from Tai Wai and the new Kai Tak Station. The rail line is expected to be in full service by end of 2021. Details here.

New rail line to open
   
HK team grabs 5 medals at Physics Olympiad

Five Hong Kong students have won five silver medals at the 50th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) held in Tel Aviv, Israel (Jul 7 to 14). Congratulating the team on their performance, Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, said the Education Bureau will continue to support and nurture more students with talent and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to strengthen Hong Kong’s competitiveness globally. Details here.

HK team grabs 5 medals at Physics Olympiad
   
Embracing e-sports and innovation

The emerging e-sports industry presents many new career paths ranging from professional players, technical experts, game developers to commentators, said Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas W Yang at the opening ceremony of Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum 2019 (Jul 16). Noting the opening of the new e-sports competition venue in Cyberport, he said the city’s world-class ICT infrastructure and excellent experience and track record in hosting large-scale international events, were key to the development of the state-of-the art venue.. Details here.

Embracing e-sports and innovation
   
Forging closer financial cooperation

Financial Secretary Paul Chan met with the Minister of Finance of Luxembourg Pierre Gramegna, to forge closer bilateral co-operation (Jul 11). Mr Chan pointed out that as one of the leading international wealth and asset management centers in Asia, Hong Kong welcomes more offshore funds to expand business in the city. The agreement with Luxembourg on mutual recognition of funds arrangements has boosted the development of the fund industry in both places. The Financial Secretary also called on the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel (Jul 12). During a visit to the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, Mr Chan introduced the latest development of fintech in Hong Kong to over 100 fintech entrepreneurs, angel investors and executives. Attending the annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Luxembourg (Jul 12-13), Mr Chan said the Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to encourage the Mainland and other Belt and Road economies to leverage Hong Kong’s strengths. The Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office under the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will remain committed in promoting financing and investments of infrastructure projects.

Forging closer financial cooperation
   
“Awakening of the Dragon”

An “Awakening of the Dragon” ceremony was held on July 11 to kick off the much anticipated Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York - the largest festival of its kind in the US! Be sure to join us on August 3 and 4 for the 29th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park! Details here.

“Awakening of the Dragon”
 
Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra's August 18 Chicago concert cancelled

Due to complications arising from the new requirements for U.S. entry visa applications, effective June 1, 2019, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra announced today that it will cancel its 2019 U.S. tour engagements including the August 18 concert in Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago. An announcement will be made if this event will be rescheduled.

   
Fugitive bill is dead: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam says the Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 is dead, adding that the Government is taking initiatives to reform the existing consultative machinery, in order to listen to views more extensively to people of different backgrounds, especially young people. . Details here.

Fugitive bill is dead: CE
   
Leading cancer treatment solution provider opens lab in HK

ACT Genomics, an innovation-driven cancer solution provider in Asia with offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan, opened its Next Generation Sequencing laboratory at the Hong Kong Science Park (Jul 4), serving the clinical, pharmaceutical and research communities in the city and Asia. It also hopes to capture the tremendous opportunities in the Greater Bay Area in future. Details here.

Leading cancer treatment solution provider opens lab in HK
   
Strong Hong Kong-US partnership

Hong Kong has been a strong key partner to the United States, as evidenced by solid bilateral trade and economic ties and long-standing and cordial relationship in various aspects including counter-terrorism, money-laundering and strategic trade controls, said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung at a US Independence Day reception (Jul 2). He noted that some 1,400 US companies have chosen Hong Kong as the base for their regional offices and regional headquarters and that about 85,000 American citizens are calling Hong Kong home – a vote of confidence for the Asia’s world city. Details here.

Strong Hong Kong-US partnership
   
May retail sales fall 1.3%

The value of total retail sales in May, provisionally estimated at US$5.1 billion (HK$40 billion), dipped 1.3% year-on-year (Jul 2). After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the volume of total retail sales decreased 1.7% year-on-year while the sales value of commodities in department stores went up 0.3%. The outlook for retail sales would likely be clouded by cautions consumption sentiment amid an uncertain global economic environment. Details here.

May retail sales fall 1.3%
   
HK films showcased at New York Asian Film Festival

Hong Kong action choreographer and director Yuen Woo-ping received the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award at the New York Asian Film Festival (Jul 1), in recognition of his substantial contribution to contemporary kung-fu and action movies. Speaking at the award presentation, the Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York Joanne Chu praised Yuen for his tremendous contribution to the development of Hong Kong action cinema, and for bringing the unique Hong Kong kung-fu movies to the world stage. Details here.

HK films showcased at New York Asian Film Festival
   
CE condemns violent acts

Chief Executive Carrie Lam strongly condemns protesters’ violent acts in the Legislative Council (LegCo) Complex. Speaking at a press conference at police headquarters (Jul 2), Lam drew a contrast between the occupation of the LegCo building on Monday night and the peaceful Jul 1 march, adding the violence and vandalism by protesters who stormed into the legislature undermining the rule of law. Details here.

CE condemns violent acts
   
Government to be more open

Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged that the government will adopt a more open and accommodating style of governance. Speaking at the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region reception, Mrs Lam said that the Government’s future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the communities. She added that the government will continue to listen to the community’s views and make continuous improvement. Details here.

Government to be more open
   
Government responds to July 1 procession

Noting that the procession (Jul 1) was conducted in a peaceful and rational manner, the Hong Kong SAR Government reiterated that it always respects the public's freedoms and rights of assembly, procession and expression. It also understands that people have different views on Government policies. As a free and pluralistic society, Hong Kong embodies rationalism, inclusiveness, harmony and diversity. The people of Hong Kong are proud of such cores values. Details here.

Government responds to July 1 procession
   

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