Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York
Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's New

   
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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