No.12  December, 2017  
IMF commended Hong Kong’s strong buffers and robust policy
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Mission commended the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in its latest assessment published on 29 November, stating Hong Kong was well placed to navigate through challenges given its strong buffers and robust policy frameworks, including ample fiscal reserves, strong financial regulatory and supervisory frameworks. The Mission reaffirmed its continued support for the Linked Exchange Rate System, commenting that it is the best arrangement for Hong Kong and anchors the stability of Hong Kong's highly open economy with its large and globally integrated financial sector. Read more about the Mission’s comments here.
Hong Kong committed to improving air quality
The 12th edition of Eco Expo Asia was opened in Hong Kong on 26 October. The four-day expo featured some 340 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions to promote eco awareness. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Expo, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing said Hong Kong SAR Government attached great importance to combating climate change. Among the various endeavours, air quality was of key importance. To improve roadside air quality, the Government launched an incentive-cum-regulatory scheme to phase out some 82 000 pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles and set aside US$1.4 million as ex-gratia allowance to assist the affected vehicle owners. It also set up a US$38 million Pilot Green Transport Fund to encourage the transport sector to test out green and low-carbon transport technologies. A review of the Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) was embarked last year to identify possible new measures and assess possible scope for tightening the AQOs.
Looking ahead, a new technical memorandum will be issued by end 2017 to further lower the emission caps of power plants from 2022 onward. On vessel emissions, the Government plans to mandate most vessels (not just Ocean-going Vessels) to use low-sulphur fuel while in Hong Kong waters (not just at berth) starting 2019. Read more about the Expo here.
Hong Kong students among world's best in collaborative problem solving
Hong Kong students’ performance in collaborative problem solving was among the world’s best, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment released on 21 November. The three-year international study accessed reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the mother tongue of 15-year-old students across 52 countries or regions. This first ever assessment of collaborative problem solving skills aimed to help countries and economies see where their students stand in relation to their peers in other education systems. Read more about the assessment report here.
  Business of Design Week 2017
Business of Design Week 2017, Asia’s leading annual event on design, innovation and design, was held in Hong Kong between 4 and 9 December. This year’s event brought in a star-dubbed line-up of international masters of design and innovation, with a focus on the world of architecture. Programmes covering themes such as Brands & Innovation, Communication & Design, Product & Design, Design for Asia, Space & Design, Culture & the City, and Heritage & Design. Over 70 speakers across the globe, including Architect Jill Garner from the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, spoke at the forum session. Melbourne will be the partner city of the Business of Design Week 2018. Find out more about the event here.
  Hong Kong E-Prix returned to Hong Kong
The 2017 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix was held on 2-3 December at the Central Harbourfront. Hong Kong was the first Asian city to host a double-header. The race was built around major landmarks such as the International Finance Centre, Hong Kong Observation Wheel and Hong Kong City Hall as the backdrop, cementing its place as one of Formula E’s most iconic races. Read more about the race here.
  Australian Golfer crowned UBS Hong Kong Open
Australian Golfer Wade Ormsby claimed his first European Tour title at the UBS Hong Kong Open in Fanling on 26 November. Ormsby played his first season on the European Tour in 2004 after coming through the Qualifying School and had been struggling with injury at times. His thrilling win at the UBS Hong Kong Open also made him a huge leap of 201 places in the Official World Golf Ranking from 319th to 118th. Read more about the golf event here.
  Australian runners seized championships at Vertical Run
The sixth Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) Vertical Run for Charity took place on 3 December at the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong. Over 1,900 international and local runners from 35 nations and regions across the world joined the race.  The race was also the grand finale of the Vertical World Circuit, with nearly 30 international runners vying for the world championships. The champion for the men’s category was taken by Australian runner Mark Bourne while another Australian runner Suzy Walsham claimed the championship in the women’s category. Find out more about the race here.
  Lumieres Hong Kong
Lumieres Hong Kong Festival made its debut from 23 to 25 November to promote Hong Kong’s heritage and architecture through the medium of light. During the three-night event, landmark sites and buildings of Soho, Central and Tsim Sha Tsui became the hosts of light installations, video projections, art pieces by renowned local and international light artists to showcase their vision of Hong Kong’s very own culture. Find out more about the event here.
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