No.1  January, 2020  
  Hong Kong acts to stop novel coronavirus infection
Hong Kong has issued the highest “Emergency” response level and announced a range of measures on 25 January to arrest the spread of the coronavirus in the city. The Hong Kong Government also announced on 28 January special arrangements for cross-boundary transport services to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community. Read more about the special arrangements for cross-boundary transport services announced on 28 January.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong’s Department of Health has launched a webpage to keep people informed about the spread of the coronavirus infection. It includes updates on the situation in Hong Kong as well as symptoms, precautions and actions to take in case of suspected infection. Get well-informed of the updates in Hong Kong via the dedicated webpage set up by the Centre for Health Protection.
Bilateral relations
  Australia-HK Free Trade Agreement comes into force
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement signed between Hong Kong and Australia entered into force on 17 January, providing Hong Kong traders and investors with legal certainty and more favourable access to the Australian market, while creating more business opportunities and enhancing trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and Australia. The FTA - the fourth FTA signed and put into effect within the current term of the HKSAR Government - is a comprehensive and high quality arrangement covering trade in goods and services as well as investment, government procurement, intellectual property, competition and related areas. The agreement provides Australian businesses with greater certainty regarding trade and investment activities in Hong Kong.

Details of the Agreements, including the full text, are available on the website of the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department.
  SCED meets with Minister for Finance of Australia in Davos
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of HKSAR Government, Mr Edward Yau, met with various political and business leaders including the Minister for Finance of Australia, Mr Mathias Cormann, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on 22 January. Mr Yau said that Hong Kong, with its advantage of "one country, two systems", its excellent environment for doing business and quality professional services, is well-positioned to help overseas enterprises tap into the Mainland market and grasp the opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative. Noting that the Hong Kong-Australia FTA and Investment Agreement entered into force on 17 January, Mr Yau said the agreements marked a significant milestone in Australia’s and Hong Kong’s already substantial trade and investment relationship. He added that the agreements deliver a guarantee to Australian business that Hong Kong’s relatively open services and investment regime will continue. Australian investment in Hong Kong totalled AUD$52 billion as at end-2018.

Read more here.
Bilateral relations
Asian Financial Forum explores redefinition of growth through innovation and breakthrough
The 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), co-organised by the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, was held on 13 and 14 January. Featuring the theme of "Redefining Growth: Innovation.Breakthrough.Inclusiveness", the forum gathered policymakers and financial regulators, financial and business leaders, as well as investors and entrepreneurs to share their insights on how best to redefine and reshape economic growth by exploring innovations to achieve breakthroughs for the benefit of all.  Addressing the opening session of the AFF on 13 January, the Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, pointed out that Hong Kong's financial system remains stable and remarkably successful despite the challenges of global economic slowdown, trade disputes among major economies, geopolitical uncertainties and local issues over the past two years. Through the two national policies, ie, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong will enhance its role as the business bridge between the Mainland and the rest of the world, she said. The Financial Secretary of HKSAR Government, Mr Paul Chan, in his welcome remarks at the keynote luncheon, highlighted the strengths of Hong Kong as a global financial centre underpinned by its solid linked exchange rate system, its fully convertible currency and the free flow of capital enshrined in the Basic Law.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong to unlock vast potential of asset and wealth management
Speaking at the Asia Private Equity Forum 2020 on 15 January, the Financial Secretary of HKSAR Government, Mr Paul Chan, said the Hong Kong Government is determined to unlock the vast potential of the asset and wealth management business. Hong Kong has been stepping up efforts to sharpen Hong Kong's competitive edge on asset and wealth management through a multi-pronged approach including diversifying fund structures and streamlining the licensing process, adopting a more user-friendly approach to attract family offices, providing a more facilitative tax environment for funds, and expanding the fund distribution network. Among the world’s top 10 private equity fund managers, nine have a presence in Hong Kong. That underlines Hong Kong’s formidable strengths in the Asian private equity market.

Read more here.
  CE attends World Economic Forum in Davos
The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, led a top-level delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, to remind global political, business and media leaders that Hong Kong’s enduring strengths and advantages continue to serve it well. On 21 January, she attended a WEF session with an address by the Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, and met with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Xavier Bettel, separately to brief them on the latest situation in Hong Kong. On 22 January, Mrs Lam joined a WEF open dialogue session where she highlighted the importance to Hong Kong’s future of understanding accurately and implementing fully “one country, two systems” as well as upholding the rule of law.  On 23 January, Mrs Lam led the TeamHK delegation to attend the Hong Kong Night in Davos to promote Hong Kong’s strengths and advantages to high-powered guests from different parts of the world.

Read more about CE’s visit in Davos here.
  Record year for InvestHK in companies assisted
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) announced on 21 January that the department had assisted 487 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2019. This number represents an all-time high and a year-on-year increase of 11.7 per cent, with the number of fintech companies and start-ups seeing the strongest growth. The 487 companies together will create 6 009 jobs in their first year of establishment or expansion, representing a 14.1 per cent increase compared with the 2018 figure. These companies came from 48 economies. Mainland China continued to lead with 120 companies, followed by the US (71), the UK (43), Japan (27) and France (25). There were 29 companies from Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies. InvestHK’s Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Stephen Phillips, said he was delighted to see the continued increase in the numbers in 2019. He said looking forward to 2020, notwithstanding the uncertain global and local economic environment, the department will continue to strive to attract foreign companies, ranging from entrepreneur-led ventures to multinationals, to set up a presence in Hong Kong.

Read more here.
  Hong Kong leads the world for IPOs in 2019
Hong Kong celebrated another bumper year for initial public offerings (IPOs) with a world-leading US$40.1 billion raised in 2019. This is the seventh time Hong Kong has come first in the past 11 years. Year-end figures from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX) recorded 183 newly listed companies while stock market capitalisation increased to nearly US$4.9 trillion. Since September, the listing market has been particularly buoyant. The HKEX also welcomed several of the world’s biggest listings in 2019, including both new economy and traditional organisations, underscoring the strong appeal of Hong Kong’s markets for global and regional issuers alike.

Read more here.
  Federation sets up regional headquarters in Hong Kong to foster ties in the Greater Bay Area
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Industry and Commerce Federation announced on 7 January that its regional headquarters in Hong Kong is up and running, making use of the city’s strategic location to boost industrial, business and trade exchanges and collaboration in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The Federation aims to assist companies to make good use of the complementary advantages of the three places and tap the new opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area. Through a wide range of activities including forums, seminars, talent matching programmes and more, the Federation works to enhance co-operation among different sectors in the Greater Bay Area.

Read more here.
Upcoming events
  Sydney Lunar Festival Dragon Boat Races 2020 (Australia)
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 1 and 2 February 2020. A “Hong Kong Team” will compete in the Social Category of the races on 2 February. HKETO will also set up a marquee to promote Hong Kong during the two-day event. Free souvenirs with Hong Kong’s characteristic, information leaflets about Hong Kong, and traveller’s guides 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.
  Auckland Lantern Festival 2020 (New Zealand)
To celebrate the Year of the Rat 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 13 to 16 February 2020 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 Auckland Lantern Festival.
  Hong Kong
  Useful links  
  Tender notifications  
Updates on Latest Situation in Hong Kong
HKETO Sydney website Find us on FacebookLinkedin Find us on Facebook