No.8  August, 2018  
Hong Kong-New Zealand protocol to tax treaty in force
The second protocol to the Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between Hong Kong and New Zealand (CDTA) entered into force on 9 August. The second protocol was signed in June last year and amends the CDTA to pave the way for implementing automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters with New Zealand on a bilateral basis. It came into force after completion of ratification procedures on both sides with immediate effect. Read more here.
Latest from Hong Kong
Express Rail Link Hong Kong Section to commission on 23 September
The Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) will be commissioned on 23 September to connect with the national high-speed rail network, offering direct trains to 44 destinations. The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan, said the commissioning of the XRL would strengthen links between Hong Kong and the Mainland by connecting the city to the 25,000-kilometre national high-speed rail network and would also enable Hong Kong to tap into the synergy and opportunities brought about by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The 44 destinations that the direct XRL trains will reach comprise six short-haul destinations and 38 long-haul destinations. Read more here.
CE attends Bay Area meeting
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended as a member at the first plenary meeting of the leading group for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Bay Area) in Beijing on 15 August. Held at the Great Hall of the People, the meeting was hosted and convened by Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, to discuss and plan for priority areas of work for the next stage of the Bay Area's development. Mrs Lam reported the latest work progress of Hong Kong on the development of the Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub, including the establishment of a presence by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in two research clusters to be set up at the Hong Kong Science Park. The HKSAR Government’s Innovation and Technology Bureau and the national Ministry of Science and Technology will also sign a co-operation arrangement to promote exchanges and collaboration on science and technology. Read more here.
  New website for policy updates on Bay Area
Want to stay tuned for policy updates on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Bay Area)? A new website launched by the HKSAR Government contains information on key infrastructure, policy areas, facilitation measures of the Bay Area as well as the major social and economic indicators of the cities in the Bay Area. Comprising two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, and nine municipalities in Guangdong Province, the Bay Area offers huge development opportunities. Check out the website here.
  Hong Kong economy sustains strong momentum in second quarter
Hong Kong’s GDP grew strongly by 3.5% in real terms in the second quarter of 2018 over a year earlier, after the growth of 4.6% in the preceding quarter, marking the seventh quarter of growth above the trend growth rate of 2.7% per annum in the past 10 years. Total exports of goods grew solidly by 4.6% year-on-year in real terms for the second quarter as a whole, with most major markets recording further growth. Exports of services expanded notably by 6.1% year-on-year in real terms, with the momentum maintained for all major components. Read more here about the Half-yearly Economic Report and the press release.
  Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
The Producer Responsibility Scheme on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WPRS) came into effect on 1 August. The Scheme, covering air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, computers, printers, scanners and monitors (collectively referred to as regulated electrical equipment, or REE), facilitated the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment generated locally for proper recycling and turning them into resources. It also marked another important milestone in Hong Kong's waste reduction and recycling efforts. REE sellers are required to arrange free statutory removal service for customers who purchase a new item of REE. This service aims at facilitating members of the public to properly recycle the REE that they intend to abandon. The REE sellers must also provide consumers with the corresponding recycling label alongside the sold REE and a receipt showing the prescribed wording on the recycling levies, which serve to show that the purchased REE is distributed under the WPRS. Read more here about the scheme.
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