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Hong Kong News

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.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.

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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.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.

For daily updates, please click here

August retail sales fall 23%

The value of total retail sales in August, provisionally estimated at US$3.7 billion, fell 23% year-on-year. The plunge reflected the weak consumer sentiment amid subdued economic conditions, and the severe disruptions to inbound tourism and consumption-related activities caused by the local social incidents.The Government said retail sales had registered the steepest year-on-year decline for a single month on record, even worse than that recorded in September 1998 during the Asian Financial Crisis. The Government will closely monitor the situation and the implications for the labor market and the economy.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.

For daily updates, please click here.

Policy objectives to restore calm and boost economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam set out core principles and strategies for overcoming the social and economic challenges facing Hong Kong in her Policy Address (Oct 16), themed “Treasure Hong Kong: Our Home”. The principles for handling the current crisis and discharging governance responsibilities included adhering to the “one country, two systems” principle; safeguarding the rights and freedoms protected by the Basic Law; upholding the rule of law, which is a core value of paramount importance to Hong Kong; and protecting the city’s institutional strengths. She also unveiled more than 220 new initiatives that aimed at helping local businesses overcome hurdles during the economic downturn and that targeted the unresolved disputes and ongoing violence with a view to restoring social calm and embarking on the road to reconciliation.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.

For daily updates, please click here.

Financial markets operating normally

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) reiterated (Oct 10) that the invocation of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance does not affect the normal operation of Hong Kong’s banking sector or financial markets. Banking services are largely normal, except for service disruptions caused by vandalized branches and ATMs where immediate and full restoration of services was not possible. The city’s banking system is very robust and sound, with average capital adequacy ratio of 20%. The Hong Kong Dollar exchange rate has remained stable throughout the recent social disruptions. The HKMA and the HKSAR Government have an unwavering commitment and ample resources to defend the Linked Exchange Rate System when needed.

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York.

For daily updates, please click here.

Progress in Hong Kong – Shenzhen cooperation

Substantial progress has been made on various fronts in cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung (Apr 2). Both places will continue to deepen cooperation through participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. He cited the development of Hong-Kong Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in Lok Ma Chau as an example of close partnership for a world-class I&T hub in the Greater Bay Area. The first batch of land parcels is expected to be made available by 2021 or earlier for construction.

 

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

Government responds to US trade report

Responding to an inaccurate statement about Hong Kong in the 2019 National Trade Estimate Report by the US Trade Representative, the Government clarified (Apr 2) that Hong Kong, as a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has fulfilled its notification obligations under the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement since 1996. It added that Hong Kong, as a free port, does not impose any customs duties on imported goods. At the same time, the Government acknowledged the positive remarks made in the Report on Hong Kong’s robust intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.

 

 

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

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%.

 

 

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

Setting the course to be vibrant arts and culture hub

With the January opening of its first major performing arts venue, the Xiqu Centre, the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is on course to be one of the world’s most vibrant arts and culture hub. Five venues are scheduled to open over the next five years, setting the stage for the WKCD to be the nexus for artistic collaboration and education for visual and performing arts. Freespace and Art Park will open in June, showcasing experimental art forms. Other highly anticipated projects under construction include the M+ Museum, the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Lyric Theatre.

 

 

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

First batch of virtual banking license granted

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has granted virtual banking licenses to Livi VB, SC Digital Solutions and ZhongAn Virtual Finance, effective Mar 27. Chief Executive of HKMA Norman Chan said the introduction of virtual banks is a key pillar supporting the city’s entry into the Smart Banking Era and is a major milestone in reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a premier international financial center. According to the regulator, five more applications are in the pipeline.

 

 

 

Source: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

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