No.6  June, 2020  
Latest from Hong Kong
National Security Legislation
In a letter to Hong Kong citizens on 29 May, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said every country has its own laws to safeguard national security for the long-term security of their country and the stability of people's lives.  Mrs Lam appeals for Hong Kong citizens’ full understanding and staunch support for the Decision passed by the National People's Congress. Details here.

In a video released in the media on 16 June, Mrs Lam said the national security legislation will only target an extremely small minority of illegal and criminal acts and activities, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of citizens will be protected. Details here.

On 20 June, Mrs Carrie Lam said the HKSAR Government fully supports the enactment at the state level of legislation to safeguard national security in the HKSAR and will fulfil its responsibility to ensure the effective implementation of the relevant law in Hong Kong.  The Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, said the Department of Justice will establish a dedicated unit to handle prosecutions in relation to national security. The Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, and heads of six disciplined services departments also fully support legislative work for safeguarding national security in HKSAR.  Read the statements of CE and Secretary for Justice, and press release of Secretary for Security.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-pandemic measures
  • Social distancing measures relaxed
    The HKSAR Government has relaxed anti-pandemic measures that came into effect on 19 June for a period of 14 days till 2 July. The number of persons allowed in group gatherings in public places was increased from eight to 50. Catering premises were exempted from group gathering restrictions but need to follow infection control requirements and restrictions. The Government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation and review the various measures in place.  Details here.

  • Hong Kong helps global fight against COVID-19
    Since the start of the pandemic, Hong Kong has made significant public health contributions to the global fight against COVID-19 through world-class scientific research and cutting edge technology. Such cases involved different companies and institutions. This shows how Hong Kong research and innovations are helping to combat the disease, ranging from rapid testing, tracking and tracing patients and shielding people from the virus to international research collaborations including sharing valuable data and searching for a potential vaccine. Details here.

  • Public to collect CuMask+™ from 15 June
    The Innovation and Technology Bureau of HKSAR Government announced that holders of a valid Hong Kong identity card who have not obtained the CuMask+™ through online registration may collect masks in person at post offices around the territory from 15 June to 15 July. Details here.

  • Cash payout scheme opens for registration
    The Cash Payout Scheme, which helps relieve people's financial burden and boost the economy with more consumption, opened for registration on 21 June. Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above on or before 31 March, 2021, may register electronically or use a paper form to receive the HK$10,000 (about AUD$1,900) payout. Registration will close on 31 December, 2021. Eligible persons outside Hong Kong need not submit the registration forms in person; they may register and receive payment under the Scheme through banks in Hong Kong or the Hongkong Post. Details here.

  • Testing for inbound travellers from Beijing strengthened
    In response to the latest COVID-19 situation in Beijing, testing has been strengthened for inbound travellers from Beijing. Since 17 June, the Department of Health has been distributing specimen bottles to persons exempted from compulsory quarantine who had travelled to Beijing 14 days prior to arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport. As for land control points, those who have been to Beijing in the past 14 days must possess proof of negative testing result for COVID-19 nucleic acid test that is taken within the past seven days. Those with travel history to Beijing 14 days prior to arrival at Hong Kong via land control points will also be given specimen bottles for conducting COVID-19 testing. Details here.
  Tourist attractions reopen in Hong Kong
With COVID-19 easing in Hong Kong, two major theme parks reopened in June, bringing fun and joy again to visitors. The Ocean Park opened its doors on 13 June while Hong Kong Disneyland welcomed back visitors from 18 June. To guard against the contagion, the parks resumed operations with limited capacity and social distancing measures. Prior reservations necessary at both parks. Meanwhile, Ngong Ping Cable Car resumed its normal operations from 27 May, offering a spectacular journey with panoramic views of the Lantau.
Details here.
  Hong Kong ranked fifth in World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020
Hong Kong was ranked fifth globally in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020 published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), down from second last year. IMD attributed Hong Kong's lower ranking to a decline in economic performance, social turmoil as well as the rub-on effect of the Chinese economy. Among various sub-factors, Hong Kong's ranking remained first globally in "Business legislation". Within the "Institutional framework" sub-factor, Hong Kong's ranking improved from second to first globally in the indicator "Legal and regulatory framework" and from 19th to first in the indicator "Exchange rate stability". These top-of-the-world rankings reaffirm Hong Kong's institutional strengths, particularly in legal and monetary affairs.
Details here.
  Hong Kong universities rise in world rankings
Six of the seven Hong Kong universities among the 1,000 global institutions surveyed in Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings 2021 have moved up the scale, with four among the top 50. The University of Hong Kong moved up three places to 22nd leading the pack of top-ranked Hong Kong universities while the University of Science and Technology rising five spots to 27th.
Details here.
  Hong Kong remains world’s busiest air cargo hub
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) retained its position as the world’s busiest cargo airport for the 10th consecutive year in 2019, according to Airports Council International. Despite the challenging business environment, the HKIA's strong showing is due largely to its extensive connectivity, high operational standards and successful co-operation with its business partners. For the year ending May 2020, HKIA handled 4.6 million tonnes of cargo, representing a decrease of 7.7 per cent year on year.
Details here.
  Government invests in Cathay Pacific Airways
The Financial Secretary of HKSAR, Mr Paul Chan, announced on 9 June an investment in Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (Cathay Group) through the Land Fund. This would uphold Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub, and at the same time generate a return for the Government. The total amount involved in the Government's investment is around HK$27.3 billion (AUD$5.2 billion), comprising preference shares with detachable warrants of around HK$19.5 billion (AUD$3.7 billion) and a bridging loan of around HK$7.8 billion (AUD$1.5 billion). Cathay Group will also launch a HK$11.7 billion (AUD$2.2 billion) rights issue of shares to existing shareholders.
Details here.
HKETO event
Hong Kong House Webinar #2 “Getting people moving”
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney (HKETO Sydney) held its second webinar of “Hong Kong House Webinar Series” on 17 June to discuss how Hong Kong companies have been employing innovative measures and health technology solutions to keep people and the economy moving and ready for recovery. CEO (Australian Business) of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Ltd (MTRC), Mr Terry Wong, explained six key areas of MTRC in its responses against COVID-19 including strategic management, cleaning and hygiene and operational changes. General Manager (South West Pacific) of Cathay Pacific Airways, Mr Rakesh Raicar, shared information on their efforts in safeguarding against COVID-19 such as face-covering requirement, increase cleaning and sanitization, and social distancing signs in pre-flight arrangements. Director, Australia and New Zealand, of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Ms Bonnie Shek, gave some good examples of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology solution in tracking and tracing – StayHomeSafe Home Monitoring System for home quarantine and 5G Smart Robot to detect and locate people with high temperature in crowds – noting that I&T solutions have brought lots of business opportunities.
Watch Webinar#2 video here.
Upcoming event
  Startmeup HK Festival 2020 (Hong Kong)
The StartmeupHK Festival 2020 will be returning from 6-10 July this year and is going virtual. The week-long extravaganza of startup conferences featuring keynotes with renowned speakers, startup village, services marketplaces, job fair and business matching will be open to attendees across the globe. Their core event organisers will bring participants the latest industry developments in smart city, retail tech, digital lifestyle, global startup trends and insights from the most promising startups, investors and corporates. Immerse yourself in this full online series of events to get connected, learn great ideas and business opportunities in Hong Kong, China and Asia.
Find out more here.
  Hong Kong Book Fair 2020 (Hong Kong)
Entering its 31st edition, the Hong Kong Book Fair 2020 launched by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will be held from 15-21 July at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The theme of this year’s Book Fair is Inspirational and Motivational Reading, with the tagline “Reading the World • Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”. This aims to create a spiritual oasis through this year’s theme, encouraging citizens to read inspirational and motivational books that can empower them to face the challenges ahead.
Find out more here.
  Together, we fight the virus!
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