No.4  April, 2018  
Bilateral relations
Auckland Mayor visits Hong Kong
The Mayor of Auckland, Mr Phil Goff, visited Hong Kong from 8-11 April at the invitation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to acquire a better understanding of the latest development in Hong Kong. Mayor Goff said in his press release that strengthening the relationship with Hong Kong is valuable for Auckland and New Zealand. He said Hong Kong is the world’s seventh largest trading entity and an important player for New Zealand companies to springboard into the Mainland China market. During the trip, Mayor Goff met with the Secretary for Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, and Permanent Secretaries of the Development Bureau, Transport and Housing Bureau, and Commerce and Economic Development Bureau. He also toured the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and visited the Kai Tak Mass Transport Railway and Tunnels as well as the Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Plant. Read more here.
Latest from Hong Kong
Two-tiered profits tax rates regime from 1 April
Companies in Hong Kong have benefited from a new two-tiered profits tax rates regime from 1 April when profits tax rate for corporations on the first HK$2 million (about AUD$333,300) of profits is further lowered to 8.25 per cent (profits above that amount are continued to be taxed at a low 16.5 per cent). For unincorporated businesses (i.e. partnerships and sole proprietorships), the two-tiered tax rates are correspondingly set at 7.5 per cent and 15 per cent. A tax-paying corporation or unincorporated business may save up to HK$165,000 (about AUD$27,500) and HK$150,000 (about AUD$25,000) each year respectively. The two-tiered profits tax rates regime benefits eligible enterprises with assessable profits, irrespective of their size. It is the Government's objective to adopt a competitive taxation system to promote economic development while maintaining a simple and low tax regime. Read more here.
  Protest against tariff plan
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, has written to US Secretary of Commerce, Mr Wilbur Ross, to protest the US plan to introduce tariffs on Hong Kong aluminium imports. Speaking at the Chief Executive's Question Time session at the Legislative Council on 11 April, she said although Hong Kong is reluctant to take retaliatory measures given its small export-oriented economy, the Government is against the tariff plan. Mrs Lam added that the Government will monitor developments and has done an initial assessment on the impact of trade disputes between the Mainland and the US on Hong Kong. As a World Trade Organization member, Hong Kong will stand firm against acts of protectionism and unilateralism, she added. Read more here.
  CE attends Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in Hainan
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, visited Hainan from 8 to 10 April to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018. Speaking at a discussion session on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area (Bay Area) on 9 April, Mrs Lam said the success of the Bay Area would hinge on whether its innovation could provide new impetus for the quality development of the Bay Area, and whether it could serve as an important link between China and other parts of Asia as well as the rest of the world. No matter whether it is in innovation or connectivity, Hong Kong is able to make vital contributions to the Bay Area. She added that following the forthcoming promulgation of the development plan for the Bay Area, the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will hold forums and jointly organise overseas promotional events to enhance understanding of the Bay Area among the people in the three places and overseas enterprises. Read more here.
  Hong Kong to host the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress in 2022
Hong Kong has been chosen to host the ICCA Congress in 2022. The ICCA Congress, held biennially, is the largest regular conference dedicated to international arbitration and is renowned for its significant contribution to international dispute resolution. The successful bid, prepared by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, noted the impact of increasing economic activity involving Asian jurisdictions and the need for the international community to respond to growing dispute resolution demands brought about by such activity. The bid emphasised Hong Kong's role as a key connecting dispute resolution jurisdiction particularly at a time of increasing Chinese outbound investment as well as its accessibility to developing and developed jurisdictions alike. The Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong SAR, Ms Teresa Cheng, welcomed the news as a vote of confidence in Hong Kong’s thriving position as a legal and dispute resolution hub that will complement Hong Kong's continued efforts in promoting international dispute resolution. Read more here.
  Internet Economy Summit explores new impetus for new economy
Running for the third year, the two-day Internet Economy Summit took place in Hong Kong from 12 April had again attracted entrepreneurs and top-level executives from various business sectors to explore the global business opportunities brought about by innovation and the digital economy. Themed "New Impetus for the New Economy", this year's Summit focused on how technological advancement in artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and cloud computing would further power innovation and business growth. A youth programme was also in place to open young people's eyes to innovation. The Summit featured four forums, namely the Visionary Forum, Chambers Forum: Business Breakthrough, the Entrepreneurship Forum and the Technovation Forum, with some 50 renowned experts from around the world speaking. Read more here.
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