No.7  July, 2018  
CE meets Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport of Australia
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, met the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport of Australia, Mr Michael McCormack, on 6 July. Mr McCormack was visiting Hong Kong to take part in the launching ceremony of a new direct flight between Hong Kong and Sydney. Mrs Lam said Hong Kong was Australia’s fifth largest export market for goods, seventh largest trading partner in services and fifth largest source of investment. In addition, more than 600 Australian companies operate in Hong Kong. Mrs Lam said she was delighted to learn that the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and Australia had been making good progress and she looked forward to the early conclusion of the negotiations and the commencement of discussion on a comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement to bring about more business opportunities for enterprises of both places. Mrs Lam also expressed the hope that the two places would continue to expand co-operation and exchanges in areas including cultural and creative industries as well as innovation and technology.
Find out more here.
Latest from Hong Kong
Third Belt and Road Summit fosters collaboration on all fronts
Themed "Collaborate for Success", the third Belt and Road Summit was held on 28 June at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Close to 5,000 participants, including ministerial officials, business leaders and professionals from 55 countries and regions attended the event while over 500 one-to-one business-matching meetings with over 220 projects were arranged to promote business deals. The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, said in her opening address that Hong Kong, being the world's freest economy and China's most international city, was destined to play a significant part in the Belt and Road Initiative. She said Hong Kong would contribute to the Initiative across all areas of its wide-ranging connectivity, from policy co-ordination, financial integration and trade, to infrastructure and people-to-people bonds. The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said at the luncheon plenary that Hong Kong was strategically positioned to serve as multiple platforms for the Belt and Road. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, highlighted in his lead-in speech the five distinct areas, namely, policy, positioning, professional services, project inception and partnering, where Hong Kong could offer itself as a platform for collaboration with those who want to leverage on the opportunities arising from the Initiative. The Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, also spoke at the panel session on "Deal Maker in International Cross-Border Transactions".
Read more about the event and the Chief Executive’s opening address.
Hong Kong Government will ensure financial stability
Speaking at a panel meeting of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on 20 July, the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said the escalating trade conflict between the Mainland and the US as well as that between the US and other economies had created uncertainty for the financial market and added volatility to the stock market. Trade conflicts would also affect economic growth and inflation outlook in the US, thus bringing uncertainty to the pace of the US Fed's rate hikes and capital flows. Nevertheless, Hong Kong’s financial system is well placed to navigate the risk. Mr Chan said the Hong Kong Government and financial regulators will continue to stay vigilant and closely monitor the market situation with a view to ensuring financial stability.
Find out more here.
  The 21st anniversary of establishment of HKSAR
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, senior Hong Kong government officials, district leaders and members of community and uniformed groups attended a flag-raising ceremony on 1 July at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). A celebration reception, led by the Chief Executive, was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre after the flag-raising ceremony. Speaking at the reception, Mrs Lam said during the past year, the HKSAR Government upheld the principle of "One Country" and made good use of the advantage of "Two Systems". With the staunch support of our country, Hong Kong actively participated in the Belt and Road Initiative and planned for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area in collaboration with the Guangdong and Macao governments. Mrs Lam is confident that the best is yet to come for Hong Kong. Find out more here.
  Hong Kong launches new listing regime to attract innovative firms
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited has announced new rules to broaden Hong Kong's listing regime. As part of the reforms, the Exchange is adding three new chapters in the Main Board Listing Rules and made consequential changes to the current Rules to: (a) permit listings of biotech issuers that do not meet any of the Main Board financial eligibility tests; (b) permit listings of companies with weighted voting right (WVR) structures; and (c) establish a new concessionary secondary listing route for Greater China and international companies that wish to secondary list in Hong Kong. With the new regime, firms that choose Hong Kong as their listing destination can ride on the city’s many competitive advantages. Find out more here.
  Northern Territory police officer awarded Bronze Medal for Bravery
Mr Zachary Brian Rolfe, a Probationary Constable of Northern Territory Police in Australia, was awarded a Medal for Bravery (Bronze) (MBB) in the 2018 Honours List of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government published on 1 July for displaying an act of gallantry during the rescue operation at Hugh River/Larapinta Drive causeway, Australia on 27 December 2016, during which a Hong Kong citizen was saved. Despite the extreme weather and the remoteness of the location, Mr Rolfe searched the highly dangerous and turbulent floodwaters and surroundings for the Hong Kong citizen washed downstream. He placed his life at extreme risk when traversing about six kilometres of floodwaters in harsh terrain before reaching the Hong Kong citizen. Mr Rolfe was awarded MBB in recognition of the great courage, perseverance and selflessness he displayed in the course of saving the Hong Kong citizen. Find out more here.
Bilateral relations
Belt and Road conference in Darwin
The Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Mr Raymond Fan, was invited as a keynote speaker at the conference entitled “One Belt One Road in Australia – Everything you need to know” hosted by the Australia China Business Council on 10 July in Darwin, Australia. Mr Fan said Hong Kong has all it takes to be the key partner for those who want to navigate the Belt and Road. He said Hong Kong is strategically located in the heart of Asia, just five hours' flying time from half of the world's population and connecting closely to the countries and economies along the Belt and Road. In addition to physical connectivity, Hong Kong also enjoys superb cyber connectivity. Mr Fan pointed out the five P's that reflect Hong Kong's strengths: policy, positioning, professional services, projects and partnering, adding that Hong Kong stands ready to be the key platform for navigating the Belt and Road. The three-day conference from 10 to 12 July brought together more than 30 high-level speakers and panellists from Australia, Mainland China and Hong Kong to explore the valuable business opportunities and networks under the Belt and Road Initiative. Find out more here.
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