No.4  April, 2019  
Bilateral relations
  Hong Kong-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Hong Kong and Australia signed on 26 March a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and an Investment Agreement which marked a significant milestone in the already substantial trade and investment relationship between the two places. After signature, Australia will follow the domestic treaty making processes to ratify the agreements including tabling the text of the agreements in Parliament and an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. The treaty was tabled in Parliament on 2 April.

Read here for more information about the prospective FTA.
  Dai Gum Loong makes its Easter debut in Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade
Dai Gum Loong, a beautifully ornate dragon constructed in Hong Kong by celebrated dragon maker Master Hui, made its first Easter appearance at the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade in Bendigo, Victoria, on 21 April. Measuring 125 metres long and has more than 7,000 handmade scales, Dai Gum Loong has now taken over from Sun Loong (who after 50 years is retiring) and continued a proud tradition of parading Imperial style Dragons in Bendigo dating back to 1892 when the city’s first dragon, Loong, appeared in the parade.

Read more here.
Bilateral relations
Hong Kong participates actively in Belt and Road Forum in Beijing
The Chief Executive of HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam led a high-level Hong Kong Special Administrative Region delegation to take part in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on 25 April. Mrs Lam addressed the opening sessions of two thematic forums. She highlighted Hong Kong's strategic geographic location as a bi-directional gateway connecting the Mainland and other Belt and Road countries, and the high degree of autonomy it enjoys under "one country, two systems". Noting Hong Kong has rich experience in city management, Mrs Lam said it is prepared to share its knowledge and expertise with the Belt and Road counterparts to contribute to people-to-people connectivity. On financial connectivity, Mrs Lam said with its deep capital market, as one of the region’s largest bond markets and as the world’s biggest offshore renminbi centre, Hong Kong is a one-stop destination of choice to serve as a premier financial and risk management centre for the Belt and Road's big-ticket projects. Mrs Lam also spoke at a dedicated session themed “Belt and Road: Hong Kong IN”. Six panellists from Hong Kong shared their insights on the city’s position as the Belt and Road hub in many aspects, such as finance and investment, legal and dispute resolution services, business and trade, professional services and capacity building, and cultural exchange. Mrs Lam attended the opening ceremony and the high-level meetings of the Forum with the Hong Kong delegates on 26 April. Mrs Carrie Lam also met with the Premier of Victoria, Australia, Mr Daniel Andrews, at the Forum.

Read more here.
  Study identifies enormous opportunities from Greater Bay Area
Under the auspices of the non-profit 2022 Foundation, a study entitled “Creating the Greater Bay Area of the Future – Opportunities for Hong Kong” conducted by a team of international economists found that the GBA represented enormous opportunity for Hong Kong. These enormous opportunities were arising from the economic size and growth of the region, greater connectivity in the GBA, further economic opening to Hong Kong companies, people-centric policies and developments in the GBA, and from Hong Kong’s distinctive position through “One Country-Two Systems.” The study also made dozens of proposals and suggestions, such as increasing flows of goods and related services between the GBA’s three World Trade Organization members (China, Hong Kong and Macao) by applying to its fullest extent the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and by using digital technology to reduce business costs, developing “Internationalization Incubators” in Hong Kong for GBA companies across the boundary that have little experience of international markets and operations, and exploring whether Hong Kong can become a data hub for the GBA.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong-Mainland accord strengthens HK's international arbitration hub status
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Mainland signed an arrangement on interim measures in aid of arbitral proceedings on 2 April, making Hong Kong the first jurisdiction outside the Mainland where, as a seat of arbitration, parties to arbitral proceedings administered by its arbitral institutions would be able to apply to the Mainland courts for interim measures. The HKSAR is the only jurisdiction which has signed an arrangement with the Mainland on interim measures in aid of arbitral proceedings. It marked Hong Kong’s strengths under the "one country, two systems" and enhanced Hong Kong’s competitiveness in international arbitration services and further strengthened Hong Kong’s status as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong strives to maintain its airport's leading status in the region
Speaking at the 2019 Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition on 3 April, the Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said the Hong Kong International Airport achieved last year recording-breaking performance by handling more than 74 million passengers and over 5 million tonnes of cargo and air mail. That made Hong Kong the world's busiest cargo airport for the eighth year in a row, and the world's third-busiest international passenger airport. Mrs Lam said Hong Kong is gearing up to play an even more important role in the airport business, with the commissioning of the third runway scheduled for 2022. Blessed by the Outline Development Plan of the Greater Bay Area, as well as the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong will strive to maintain its airport's leading status in the region, and enhance services through innovative measures, such as inter-modal code-sharing services, she said, adding that the vision is to engineer the airport to become an Aerotropolis with high economic efficiency and diversified employment opportunities.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong Immigration Department wins Skytrax Award for Best Airport Immigration Service
The Hong Kong Immigration Department has won the 2019 best airport immigration service award in the World Passenger Survey by Skytrax, an international specialist research agent of air transport industry. The study covered more than 550 airports worldwide and over 13 million air passengers of more than 100 nationalities were surveyed. This is the third time for the department to receive the award after 2015 and 2016, attesting to its consistently excellent service. Facilitation provided to visitors at the Hong Kong International Airport and other immigration control points included the launch of “Smart Departure” at the end of 2017 that employs face recognition technology for identity verification facilitating self-service departure for eligible visitors without the need of prior enrolment.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong to host IFC Climate Business Forum in 2020
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on 11 April to co-organise IFC’s Sixth Annual Climate Business Forum, which will be held in Hong Kong in early 2020. The Forum brings together global policymakers and finance leaders to share knowledge and expertise on growing climate business investment in emerging markets. This collaboration signifies HKMA's commitment in partnering with thought leaders such as the IFC in promoting Hong Kong as an international hub for green finance.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong set for 5G development
The Hong Kong Government is promoting the 5G mobile network's development by opening up its premises to mobile service operators under a pilot scheme. The pilot scheme, launched in March, has identified more than 1,000 government premises where mobile service operators could install 5G base stations. The Government will consider whether to provide more premises based on the response to the pilot scheme and its progress. The 5G network is an important telecommunications infrastructure in Hong Kong with immense potential for business services and smart city applications.

Read more here.
Upcoming events
  Affordable Art Fair (Hong Kong)
Returns for its seventh edition this year, Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong will be held from 16 to 19 May in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Over 115 local and international galleries will showcase a stunning collection of fresh and affordable contemporary artworks from traditional ink painting, abstract canvases, sculptures, prints to eye-catching photography.

Learn more here.
  Cheung Chau Bun Festival (Hong Kong)
The Bun Festival, one of the liveliest Hong Kong festivals, will be held in Cheung Chau from 9 to 13 May. The event includes Taoist ceremonies and music, a parade, lion dances, drum beating and an exciting Bun Scrambling Competition. The highlight of the festival is the Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade which sees young children dressed in the guises of traditional deities and modern celebrities, balance on poles and accompanied by gongs and lion dancers, appearing to float above the crowds in a carnival-like procession.

Learn more here.
  Hong Kong FinTech Week (Hong Kong)
Pre-registration for Hong Kong’s most anticipated financial technology event of the year - FinTech Week 2019 - is now open. Presented by the Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the event will take place on 4 to 8 November and is expected to attract the world's top fintech founders, investors, regulators, and academics. InvestHK has announced a significant expansion of the annual event by moving to the AsiaWorld-Expo which is close to Hong Kong International Airport to welcome more worldwide participants.

Learn more here.
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