No.10  October, 2020  
Latest from Hong Kong
National Day Celebration
Speaking at the National Day Reception in Celebration of the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China on 1 October, the Chief Executive of HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam said over the past three months, the plain truth is and it is obvious to see that stability has been restored to society while national security has been safeguarded, and our people can continue to enjoy their basic rights and freedoms in accordance with the law. “I believe that as long as we uphold the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle and the Basic Law wholeheartedly, work together to seize the opportunities presented by our country's new development model, communicate in a sensible way and find common ground among differences, we can certainly make Hong Kong, our home, an even better place,” Mrs Lam said.

Details here.
Hong Kong and Singapore to create air travel bubble
Hong Kong and Singapore have reached a milestone agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB), with a view to reviving air travel between the two aviation hubs, in a safe and progressive way. Under the agreement, ATB travellers will be subject to mutually recognised COVID-19 tests and need to have negative test results. Travellers under the ATB will not be subject to any quarantine or Stay-Home Notice requirements or a controlled itinerary. They will be required to travel on dedicated flights. No transit passengers or non-ATB travellers will be allowed on board. The ATB can be scaled by adjusting the number of dedicated flights upwards or downwards, or even suspended, in line with the latest developments and COVID-19 situation in the two cities.

Details here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-pandemic measures
  • Maximum number of people allowed at wedding ceremonies increased from 20 to 50 from 23 October. Prohibition on gatherings of more than four people in public places and mandatory mask-wearing requirement when boarding or onboard a public transport carrier, entering or present in an MTR paid area, and entering or present in a specified public place, continue to remain in effect until 29 October.

  • Government approved conditional exemption for licensed travel agents to organise local group tours of not more than 30 persons from 23 October.

  • The community treatment facility expansion at AsiaWorld-Expo completed. It was officially handed over to the Hospital Authority.

  • France and Russia added to Hong Kong’s list of very high-risk places, effective 26 October. This will increase the number of high-risk countries to a total of 13.

  • The Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan spoke at a virtual meeting of the 71st session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Western Pacific on 6 October that HKSAR Government had rolled out measures with decisive actions on prevention and control, focusing on border control measures, testing, tracing, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing measures.

  • The Hong Kong Tourism Board, in partnership with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, will launch a standardised hygiene protocol, providing unified guidelines on hygiene and anti-epidemic measures for tourism-related industries.

Read more from the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
  Policy Address postponed to include recovery proposals
The Chief Executive of HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam announced on 12 October that she will postpone her Policy Address to seek the central government’s support for proposals to aid Hong Kong’s recovery. Mrs Lam said the Policy Address is a very important event and she hopes to use the 2020 Policy Address to instil more confidence among Hong Kong people. Mrs Lam said she has put forward a series of economic recovery proposals to the central government for its consideration. On 27 October, Mrs Lam announced she will lead a team to visit Beijing and Guangzhou to discuss the proposals with various ministries and commissions in the first week of November and depending on the progress of the talks, she aims to deliver her Policy Address by the end of November.

Details here.
  Hong Kong to be part of “dual engine of growth”
The Chief Executive of HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam said that she will promote Hong Kong's interests and aims to have Hong Kong and Shenzhen be a dual engine for growth in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Making the remarks ahead of the Executive Council meeting on 20 October, Mrs Lam said “I'm now aiming that both Hong Kong and Shenzhen will become a dual engine for growth in the Greater Bay Area and in the whole of China. That is my strategy to help Hong Kong's economy, not only to recover, but to prosper in the coming years.” She added that she will promote and fight for Hong Kong's interest both within the Mainland and globally.

Details here.
  FS attends APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting 2020
The Financial Secretary Mr Paul Chan attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers' Meeting (FMM) 2020 which was convened virtually on 25 September. Mr Chan addressed the meeting on the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19 for the global economy. He also described to the meeting Hong Kong's policy response to the unprecedented crisis and shared his views on prescriptions for economic recovery in the region. The meeting concluded with the issuance of an FMM Statement, in which finance ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue policy efforts in fostering economic recovery, leveraging the proliferation of digital technologies to drive financial inclusion, and striving for shared prosperity through co-ordinated multilateral responses.

Details here.
  Hong Kong ranked fifth in the Global Financial Centres Index Report
Hong Kong was ranked fifth in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 28 Report published by the Z/Yen from the United Kingdom and the China Development Institute from Shenzhen. A Government spokesman on 25 September said that Hong Kong is one of the top five leading financial centres in the world, rising by one place from the March issue of the index this year. Among the five areas of competitiveness (namely Business Environment, Human Capital, Infrastructure, Financial Sector Development, and Reputational and General) which were formulated based on data, Hong Kong was ranked top five in all the areas, and in particular attained the third place in the areas of Business Environment and Human Capital.

Details here.
  Lord Patrick Hodge named appeal judge
The Chief Executive of HKSAR Mrs Carrie Lam has accepted the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission’s (JORC) advice on the appointment of Lord Patrick Hodge as non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal. Subject to the Legislative Council’s endorsement, the Chief Executive will make the appointment under Article 88 of the Basic Law. Mrs Lam said Lord Hodge is a judge of eminent standing and reputation and she is confident that he will be a great asset to the Court of Final Appeal. Mrs Lam added that with Lord Hodge’s appointment, the panel of non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions will consist of 14 eminent judges from the UK, Australia and Canada. The presence of these esteemed non-permanent judges manifests the judicial independence of Hong Kong, helps maintain a high degree of confidence in our legal system, and allows Hong Kong to maintain strong links with other common law jurisdictions.

Details here.
HKETO events
  Hong Kong House Webinar #4 “Stepping into the Greater Bay Area”
HKETO Sydney organised its fourth Hong Kong House Webinar on 8 October titled “Stepping into the Greater Bay Area” to discuss new opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) particularly for the post-pandemic era. Ms Jacinta Reddan, Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, noted the opportunities created by GBA in reviving economic growth, trade and investment during the global economic downturn. Mr Arnold Cheng, Director - Hong Kong & Pearl River Delta of John Swire & Sons (China) Limited, said the GBA gave them new opportunities to grow their businesses by expanding their home market to a market 10 times bigger by accessing the resources more easily and deploying their resources more effectively. Ms Bonnie Shek, Director of HKTDC (Australia and NZ) provided an updated on the revamped e-marketplace launched by HKTDC to support traders and businesses during this period.
  HKABA NSW Chapter Annual Business Awards
The Hong Kong Australia Business Association (HKABA) New South Wales Chapter held its 2020 Business Awards on 15 October virtually. There were three award categories this year: Business Excellence; Most Resilient; and Start-up and Innovation. Business award winners shared their experiences on how they survived and thrived, and interacted with online audience on the lessons learned in steering their business through 2020. The awards, supported by HKETO Sydney, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and InvestHK, provided a unique opportunity for the business community to come together to recognise the resilience and celebrate the achievements of companies operating in New South Wales and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Details here.
Upcoming events
  Hong Kong FinTech Week 2020 (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong FinTech Week, Asia’s global financial technology event, will take place virtually this year from 2 to 6 November. The week-long event will feature multi-track conferences with prominent speakers, the FintechHK Global Final, the Global Fast Track Programme, exhibitions, a deal floor, networking events, demo shows and more. In its fifth edition, Hong Kong FinTech Week will completely reinvent event experience, providing participants with access online from anywhere in the world.

Find out more here.
  Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2020 (Hong Kong)
Connecting investment, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2020 will be held online for the first time on 3 to 4 November. The annual forum will feature 40 prominent speakers from various I&T sectors, project presentations and investor matching sessions. Save the date to join and explore tech venturing dynamics and start-up opportunities.

Find out more here.
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