No.1  January, 2019  
Bilateral relations
The first landmark venue at West Kowloon Cultural District opens its doors
Xiqu Centre, the first landmark venue at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), was officially opened on 20 January. This world-class venue is designed for the conservation, promotion and development of Cantonese opera and other genres of xiqu (Chinese traditional theatre) in Hong Kong and beyond. Located at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road West in Tsim Sha Tsui, the eight-storey building has a total area of 28,164 square metres and houses a Grand Theatre, accommodating 1,073 seats, a Tea House Theatre, with a capacity of up to 200 seats, eight professional studios and a seminar hall, all designed for xiqu-related functions and activities. The opening of the Xiqu Centre will be conducive to developing a locally-rooted xiqu network that has a regional impact and with an important role in international arts development.
Find out more here.
  New bypass enables a five-minute drive from Central to North Point
The Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB) was commissioned on 20 January. The CWB is 4.5 km long of which 3.7 km is in form of a tunnel, and connects the Rumsey Street Flyover in Central and the Island Eastern Corridor (IEC) in North Point. It is a strategic highway running along the northern part of Hong Kong Island and substantially alleviates the traffic congestion along the northern part of Hong Kong Island. It takes only 5 minutes to drive between Central and the IEC in North Point, making the traffic between the eastern and western part of Hong Kong Island more direct and smoother. In addition, the CWB Tunnel introduces the first air purification system for use in road tunnels in Hong Kong, which can effectively remove at least 80 per cent of the respirable suspended particulates and nitrogen dioxide. This air purification system represents the largest scale of such application in the world.
Find out more here.
  Great news for sport fans with mega sports park construction in Hong Kong set for kick off
The Hong Kong Government announced on 28 December 2018 that after an open tendering exercise the contract for the design, construction and operation of the Kai Tak Sports Park had been awarded to the Kai Tak Sports Park Ltd. Established specifically for the project, the company’s project team comprises overseas and local experts. Occupying 28 hectares of land, the mega sports park is Hong Kong Government's most important investment in sports infrastructure in recent decades. When completed, it will become the biggest sports venue in Hong Kong. The construction works will commence in the first quarter of 2019 and are scheduled for completion in 2023. The focal point of the sports park will be the 50,000-seat Main Stadium with a soundproof retractable roof and flexible pitch surface ideal for hosting major football and rugby games.
Find out more here.
  HK International Airport reaches new heights
The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recorded continuous traffic growth in 2018, with all three air traffic categories reaching new annual heights. During the year, HKIA handled 74.7 million passengers and 427,725 flight movements, representing yearly increases of 2.5% and 1.7% respectively. The total cargo throughput also increased by 1.5% year on year to 5.1 million tonnes. In 2018, HKIA was recognised as the “Airport of the Year 2018” by Air Transport World and "Best Global Airport” at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards by Asia Cargo News. HKIA was also inducted into the Travel Hall of Fame at TTG Travel Awards 2018.
Find out more here.
  Global financial industry leaders gathered in Hong Kong for the Asian Financial Forum
More than 3,300 influential financial and business leaders as well as global policymakers and financial regulators from over 40 countries and regions gathered at the 12th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) – a leading financial industry event – in Hong Kong on 14 and 15 January to share their insights on the role of the financial services sector in shaping a sustainable and inclusive future. Addressing the opening session, the Chief Executive of HKSARG, Mrs Carrie Lam, highlighted Hong Kong's competitive edge and achievements in financial services, commenting that the financial industry, which contributed almost 19 per cent of Hong Kong's gross domestic product in 2017, was well placed to serve the economy. Meanwhile, fintech-related institutions, companies and innovators presented their inventions at the first FinTech Showcase which was staged as part of the AFF.
Find out more about the forum here.
Latest from Hong Kong
The "Chatswood Year of the Pig Festival” (29 January – 19 February)
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO) has participated in the “Chatswood Year of the Pig Festival” 2019 in Chatswood, Sydney, to share the joy of the Lunar new year with the public. Two festive photo booths featuring magnificent views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour were set up at the Golden Market in Chatswood mall for visitors to take photos with the Asia’s world city. The "Chatswood Year of the Pig Festival” from 29 January to 19 February includes a variety of cultural events and performances that will transport visitors to celebrations across China and other Asian destinations. Performers and musicians from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts will perform at Chinese opera “Pigsy’s Wedding” to be presented by the Australasian Art & Stageworks on 9 February.
Find out more about the festival here.
Upcoming events
  Hong Kong Bus Day (Australia) (3 February)
As part of the Lunar New Year celebrations, the Sydney Bus Museum has created a new event featuring its resident Hong Kong bus collection. Regular rides featuring three buses (one former CMB bus and two former KMB buses) will operate between Queen Victoria Building (York Street, Stand D) and the Sydney Bus Museum in Sydney on 3 February. It is a great chance to experience a genuine Hong Kong bus ride! Free souvenirs with Hong Kong’s characteristic and information leaflets about Hong Kong will also be distributed to the public at the museum during the event.
Find out more about the event here.
  Sydney Lunar Festival Dragon Boat Races 2019 (Australia) (9-10 February)
To share the joy of the Lunar New Year with members of the public in Australia, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO) will participate in the Sydney Lunar Festival Dragon Boat Races at Darling Harbour on 9 and 10 February. A “Hong Kong Team” will compete in the Social Category of the races on 10 February. HKETO will also set up a marquee to promote Hong Kong during the two-day event. Free souvenirs with Hong Kong’s characteristic and information leaflets about Hong Kong will be distributed to the public. Come and support the Hong Kong Team at the Dragon boat races at Darling Harbour. Meanwhile, you will find Hong Kong-themed banners with Lunar New Year greeting messages displayed in some key city locations of Sydney during the Lunar New Year period.
Find out more about Sydney Lunar Festival celebrations here.
  Auckland Lantern Festival 2019 (New Zealand) (14-17 February)
To celebrate the Year of the Pig with members of the public in New Zealand, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO) will once again participate in the Auckland Lantern Festival. Eight giant pillar lanterns will be displayed with beautiful Hong Kong photos to showcase Hong Kong’s unique culture and diversity during the Festival from 14 to 17 February 2019 at Auckland Domain. HKETO will also operate a Hong Kong marquee with free give-away souvenirs and updated information leaflets about Hong Kong.
Find out more about the Festival here.
  Hong Kong Marathon (Hong Kong) (17 February)
The Hong Kong Marathon will take place on 17 February when elite runners from around the world will compete in this largest outdoor sporting event of Hong Kong. The event has seen huge growth in popularity in recent years. It is expected to be even bigger this year, with a full marathon, a half marathon and a 10 km run taking competitors past some of the best urban scenery Asia’s world city has to offer.
Find out more here.
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