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Hong Kong News

WTO Lauds free trade regime | Free trade vow at international forum

Trade

WTO Lauds free trade regime

Hong Kong’s free and open trade policies and its unwavering support for the multilateral trading system were recognized and commended by the World Trade Organization at a WTO policy review meeting in Geneva (Nov 28). Ambassador Eloi Laourou of Benin, Chair of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, praised the city for keeping one of the most open and market-oriented economies in the world, and achieving robust economic growth despite a challenging external environment.

Free trade vow at international forum

Hong Kong will continue to leverage on its advantages under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to promote international free trade, including expanding the Free Trade Agreement networks, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam at the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Nov 18).

CE calls for free trade commitment | HK’s key roles in China’s economic reforms | Innovation and Techonology

BUSINESS & FINANCE

CE calls for free trade commitment

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has urged government and business leaders to re-affirm commitment to free trade, which is key to realizing the potentials and benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Speaking at a forum at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai (Nov 5), Mrs Lam said innovation was critical in growing trade and the government has been investing US$10 billion in a multi-pronged strategy to drive I&T.

HK’s key roles in China’s economic reforms

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau has highlighted three historic moments which made Hong Kong a gateway for Mainland China’s imports and exports: when the country opened up its economy in 1978, when she joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 and when the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area took off in 2013 and 2017 respectively. Mr Yau made the remarks at a seminar titled “Hong Kong’s Experiences for International Trade: New Horizon·New Technology·New Model”, at the first China International Import Expo.

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INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

More startups choose HK

Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial eco-system, backed by the city’s unique strengths and ease of doing business, has seen a continuous uptick in the number of startups in recent years. There are over 2,000 tech startups, 30% of them started by non-Hong Kongers, said Secretary for Innovation & Technology Nicholas Yang at the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (Nov 8). The city is also seeing more unicorn successes. Home-grown online travel agency Klook received US$200 million in its latest Series D funding. The company, which will hit US$1 billion bookings this year, plans to expand to the US and European markets.

Bright future ahead l Commitment to Innovation & Technology l Ideal biotech hub

Business & Economy

 

Bright future ahead

Hong Kong is poised to play an active role in the developments of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, said Chief Secretary for Administration, Matthew Cheung, at an investment conference (Mar 19). He added that the bountiful new opportunities in such areas as financial services, innovation and technology as well as infrastructure projects, would also provide new impetus for the city’s economic growth and further reinforce Hong Kong’s position as an international financial, transport and trade center.

 

Innovation & Technology

 

Commitment to innovation

Hong Kong is committed to building a new model of development, one that is focused on the creation of an enabling environment for business and business innovation, and on the application of innovation and technology to retool pillar industries and spark entirely new ones, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Mar 21). The government has unveiled various initiatives in this respect, including the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint, the introduction of tax incentives for corporations to increase spending on research and redevelopment, and expanding the use of innovation and technology within the government.

 

Ideal biotech hub

 

Hong Kong is firmly embracing innovation and technology as the engine for future growth, and is committed to investing resources to bolster the areas of biotech, artificial intelligence, smart city and Fintech. Speaking at the inaugural HKEX Biotech Summit (Mar 22), Financial Secretary Paul Chan noted that Hong Kong’s plethora of financing opportunities, coupled with the talent of its people, and its supportive, business-friendly and innovative culture, all serve to make the city the ideal biotechnology hub. He also highlighted government led initiatives, including the upcoming launch of the Technology Talent Scheme to recruit post-doctoral talent.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

Innovation key to growth at AFF l Financial Secretary reaffirms city’s ambitions

‘Innovation’ and ‘growth’ buzz words of 2018 AFF

 

 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam highlighted the tremendous growth and untapped potential in the Asia region for business opportunities and investments at the opening of the 11th annual Asian Financial Forum (Jan 15-16) in Hong Kong. She noted the growing Chinese economy in particular and the city’s position as the world’s largest offshore RMB business hub, the mainland’s preferred city to list IPOs, and as a center for asset and risk management, and concluded by praising innovation and advancements in technology as paramount for generating new business opportunities and raising operational efficiency.

 

Financial Secretary reaffirms city’s ambitions

 

 

More than 80 speakers and 700 business leaders and investors gathered at the annual Asia Private Equity Forum (Jan 17) in Hong Kong in which Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave a rousing keynote praising HK’s 3.7% growth rate in 2017 -the fastest in six years- and predicting great things for 2018. He reiterated the government’s support of the fund and asset management industry, and its goals to enhance competitiveness and economic growth. “Our ambition is out sized, as is our ability and resolve.”

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

Hong Kong in “Doing Business 2018 Report”

Ranked among top 5 places to do business

Hong Kong has been ranked fifth in the world’s easiest places to do business, reaffirming the government’s efforts in business facilitation. In its “Doing Business 2018 Report”, the World Bank commended Hong Kong for successfully implementing reform measures, including improving the quality of the land administration system by enhancing its reliability and establishing a complaints mechanism. The report compares the ease of doing business in 190 economies across 10 indicators. Hong Kong performed well in “starting a business” (3rd), “paying taxes” (3rd), “getting electricity” (4th) and “dealing with construction permits” (5th).

 

Smart city infrastructural investment

The imminent input of millions of infrastructural investment coupled with a smart city blueprint will put Hong Kong on course to become a smarter city. Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang said the infrastructural projects included a single digital identity and authentication platform for online government and commercial transactions, a multi-functional smart lampposts pilot, and more reliable and efficient delivery of e-government services from the government cloud structure. Each new infrastructure will mean more new opportunities for the information and communication technology industry.

 

Most visited city in the world

Keeping the title for the eighth consecutive year, Hong Kong remains the world’s most visited city by international travelers due to its strategic location and ties with China, according to a study by London-based Euromonitor International. An estimated 26 million international visitors are expected in Hong Kong this year.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office

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