No.8  August, 2019  
Bilateral relations
  Updates on Australia – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement
The Australia – Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (A-HKFTA) was referred to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for review on 29 July, which is part of Australia’s treaty ratification process. The Committee invited interested persons and organisations to make submissions by 23 August. Public hearings have been scheduled in Sydney (26 August), Melbourne (27 August), Perth (2 September) and Canberra (9 September).

Read more here.
  Investment promotion visit in Australia and New Zealand
The Director General of Invest Hong Kong, Mr Stephen Philips, conducted a week-long investment promotion visit in Australia and New Zealand from 12 August. Meetings were held with a number of companies from innovation and technology, business professionals, creative Industries, tourism and hospitality and fintech sectors. Mr Philips spoke on the business opportunities offered by Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area during a technology networking function in Sydney on 13 August and a Fintech Seminar in Auckland, New Zealand, on 15 August.

Learn more about Invest Hong Kong.
Bilateral relations
Online portal provides updates on Hong Kong
An information page providing updates on Hong Kong has been launched on the Brand Hong Kong website. This online portal provides useful and timely information for travellers and residents, and includes transport updates, clarifications of news reports, government press releases, and information on conferences and events. The Brand Hong Kong website also contains a wealth of information about the strengths and advantages of Hong Kong in areas such as business, finance, innovation and technology and arts and culture.

Read more here.
  Chief Executive to start platform for dialogue with people
The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said at a media session on 20 August that to address some anxieties and differences in society, the Government will start immediately a platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life. Mrs Lam and her principal officials are committed to listen to people and want to reach out to the community as soon as possible. The other important area of work is for the Independent Police Complaints Council to create a fact-finding study in addition to a very robust system to investigate and look at the complaints against police over this prolonged period of confrontation and violence in Hong Kong.

Read more here.
  Measures support enterprises and safeguard jobs
To counter the challenging external and local economic environment, the Financial Secretary of HKSAR Government, Mr Paul Chan, announced on 15 August a HK$19.1 billion (AUD$3.4 billion) package of measures to support enterprises and relieve people’s financial burden. He said they will provide impetus for the economy and help cushion the enterprises and people of Hong Kong against challenges arising from economic uncertainties. A total of 27 groups of government fees will be waived for 12 months to benefit a wide range of sectors from maritime, logistics, retail, catering, tourism, construction, to agriculture and fisheries. Rent for most government land short-term tenancies will be cut 50 per cent for six months.

Read more here.
  Big data potential to be unleashed for effective city management
Speaking at the Big Data Governance Launch Event on 5 August, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology of HKSAR Government, Mr Nicholas W Yang, said one focused area of the Government’s commitment to develop innovation and technology is to open up government data. The 70-plus specifically listed initiatives of the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong have all made good progress. The Government is building a Next Generation Government Cloud Infrastructure, which will facilitate government departments in their digital transformation projects. A Big Data Analytics Platform is being developed to facilitate sharing of real-time trend data, ranging from traffic to weather and environmental data. These infrastructure initiatives will unleash the potential of big data for more effective and efficient city management.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong prepares for 5G future
The fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are the catalyst for smart city development and Hong Kong is all geared up for the commercial launch of 5G services and applications in 2020. The HKSAR Government and the Communications Authority are promoting 5G developments in Hong Kong on various fronts, from the supply of the spectrum, the support for technical trials to the implementation of measures to assist operators in extending the 5G network. The Hong Kong Applied Science & Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) recently received the green light from the Transport Department to conduct an autonomous vehicle trial at the Science Park to facilitate the system’s awareness monitoring within the 5G networks. spoke to the Office of the Communications Authority and the ASTRI for an insight into the preparatory work involved.

Read the full story of here.
  Seventy-one students awarded scholarship for excellence
Seventy-one students were selected as the fifth cohort of awardees under the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Among them, 56 will pursue undergraduate study and 15 postgraduate study at world-renowned universities. Speaking at the award presentation ceremony on 20 August, the Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said she looked to the awardees, the future generation, to drive business, innovation and technology, arts and culture, academic research and other meaningful activities in Hong Kong. She added that she is confident that they will make significant long-term contributions to Hong Kong’s reputation as a highly competitive, diverse and cosmopolitan city.

Read more here.
  Administrative Service Winter Internship Programme 2019 and recruitment examination of the HKSAR Government
Hong Kong students studying at any tertiary institution in Australia, New Zealand or any other region in the Southern Hemisphere who fulfil selection criteria are welcome to apply for the Administrative Service Winter Internship Programme 2019. Application should be submitted by 27 September. The employment period will last for about two months from late November 2019 to late January 2020. Meanwhile, the Common Recruitment Examination (CRE) and Basic Law Test (BLT) is scheduled to be held on 5 October and 12 October in Hong Kong. For the convenience of those studying or residing outside Hong Kong, the CRE and BLT is also scheduled to be held on 7 December, in seven other cities, including Sydney. Applications for taking the examination outside Hong Kong will be open from 21 September to October 4.

Read more about the Winter Internship Programme and the CRE.
HKETO events
  Seminar on promoting arbitration services in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Australian Business Association New South Wales Chapter, supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, held a seminar in Sydney on 22 August to give Australian business a comprehensive overview of arbitration in Hong Kong and its advantages as a means of cross-border dispute resolution in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The Acting Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Ms Winnie Chan, said Hong Kong is a leading centre for arbitration with its rule of law, an independent judiciary and its well-established legal system. Barrister David Smallbone also spoke on “why Hong Kong is the world leading centre for arbitration”.

Read more here about the seminar.
Upcoming events
  Belt and Road Summit (Hong Kong)
A premier international platform for promoting business collaboration along the Belt and Road, the Belt and Road Summit will be held from 11 to 12 September in Hong Kong. Jointly organised by the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Summit will gather senior government officials and business leaders from countries and regions along and beyond the Belt and Road to exchange insights on multilateral co-operation and explore concrete business opportunities.

Find out more here about joining the Summit.
  Workshop on Greater Bay Area (Australia)
The Australia China Business Council will hold a “Greater Bay Area Workshop - Opportunities in Hong Kong and beyond” jointly with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO), at Hong Kong House, Sydney, on 11 September. Participants will hear the latest news and opportunities the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) can offer for Australian businesses. The Director of HKETO, Mr Raymond Fan, will share key insights as well as trade and investment opportunities of the GBA that can be leveraged by Australian businesses to achieve growth.

Find out more here.
  Secretary for Food and Health to visit Australia to recruit healthcare professionals
The Secretary for Food and Health of the HKSAR Government, Professor Sophia Chan, will lead a delegation to Australia from 16 to 19 September to recruit qualified non-locally trained healthcare professionals (in particular doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) and foster closer ties in respect of medical and health. Information sessions with students and healthcare professionals will be organised in Melbourne (17 September) and Sydney (19 September).

If you are interested in joining the information sessions, please see registration details for the session in Melbourne and Sydney.

Learn more about the work of Food and Health Bureau.
  HKIA to participate in World Routes 2019 (Australia)
The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will participate in World Routes 2019, to be held from 21 to 24 September in Adelaide, Australia. The event is a platform for airlines, airports and other industry partners to meet to discuss and plan the air traffic network. In addition to meeting with other airlines and business partners, HKIA will have a booth in the event to showcase its international connectivity, as well as the coming development in the airport. Management of Airport Authority Hong Kong will also join the panel discussion session.

Find out more here.
  CFO Innovation Hong Kong Forum 2019 (Hong Kong)
To be held on 25 and 26 September, the CFO Innovation Hong Kong Forum 2019 will gather more than 50 cross-industry finance experts to share insights as well as the latest trends and best practices in finance function – to navigate the changing business landscapes, explore new horizons and to drive agile competitiveness. Join to meet and network with over 180 industry peers and receive solution updates on cyber security, robotic process automation and AI from leading technology providers.

Read more here.
  OzAsia Festival 2019 (Australia)
OzAsia Festival, Australia’s premier arts festival engaging with Asia presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre, will be held from 17 October to 3 November in Adelaide. Featuring dance, theatre, music, visual art, film, literature, food and cultural events from across Asia, the expansive and innovative program attracts critical acclaim and praise annually. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, will again be participating in the Festival this year, bringing the Hong Kong Dragon to the Moon Lantern Parade at Elder Park, Adelaide, on 19 October as well as other interesting Hong Kong experience to the festival hub during event.

Find out more here about the festival.
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