No.9  September, 2020  
Latest from Hong Kong
National Security Law contributes to Hong Kong’s progress
The National Security Law is vital in bringing Hong Kong back on track and safeguarding our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said in a video message on the situation in Hong Kong and the National Security Law at the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 September. He stressed that National Security Law is designed to bolster the successful "one country, two systems" principle, which will continue to drive Hong Kong’s progress. He pointed out that the National Security Law seeks to preserve Hong Kong’s core values, including rights and freedoms, the rule of law and judicial independence.

Details here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-pandemic measures
  • The 14-day Universal Community Testing Programme (UCTP) concluded successfully on 14 September. About 1,783,000 persons have registered at the community testing centres for COVID-19 testing since the launch of the UCTP on 1 September.

  • The government announced on 15 September the third round of anti-epidemic measures totalling HK$24 billion (about AUD$4.2 billion).

  • Dine-in hours allowed at catering business premises extended to midnight until 1 October. Bars or pubs can reopen with the number of customers not exceeding 50% of normal seating capacity.

  • Hong Kong will include United Kingdom on its list of specified high-risk places with effect from 1 October. Travellers who have stayed in the specified places 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong must provide documents showing they tested negative for COVID-19 and their reservation for a hotel in Hong Kong for not less than 14 days.

  • Hong Kong Government departments fully resumed normal public services from 15 September.

  • The Government to distribute the second adult-sized CuMask+™ to eligible Hong Kong citizens for free starting 14 September.

  • Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland Park reopened on 18 September and 25 September respectively, with reduced capacity and online reservation requirement for guests.
Read more from the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
  Hong Kong once again ranked as world’s freest economy
The HKSAR Government on 10 September welcomed that the Fraser Institute once again ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy in the Economic Freedom of the World 2020 Annual Report. Hong Kong has gained the top rank since the inception of the report. Among the five areas of assessment, Hong Kong was ranked top in “Freedom to Trade Internationally” and “Regulation”. A Government spokesman said this is an unambiguous recognition of Hong Kong’s long-standing and steadfast commitment to building a free economy with a level playing field.

Details here.
  SCED attends webinar to share insights on global trade after pandemic
At a webinar entitled “Global trade in transition? The world after COVID-19” on 9 September, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, talked about the unprecedented challenges posed to free and unimpeded trade in the last couple of years aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise of protectionist measures and the failure of the multilateral trading system. He stressed that trade should not be blamed for the problems of globalisation. Free trade instead is the solution as is its impetus to bring back the economic momentum, citing the speed and scale of vaccine developments premised on the global market. He called for the removal of trade barriers and greater collaboration to fight against the pandemic, the common enemy of all.

Details here.
  Joint Conference on Belt and Road Initiative held
The third Joint Conference on Advancing Hong Kong’s Full Participation in and Contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI) was held virtually on 28 August. It was participated by the HKSAR Government, the National Development and Reform Commission and relevant Mainland ministries. The meeting reviewed the work of Hong Kong in taking forward the B&RI and discussed new initiatives for the coming year in areas such as innovation and technology, professional services and capacity building, including collaborating in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic and thereby fostering people-to-people bonds, as well as promoting further collaboration between Mainland enterprises and Hong Kong professionals. The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said Hong Kong’s financial system has continued to function well and has demonstrated a high degree of resilience.

Details here.
  Financial Leaders Forum convenes thirteenth meeting
Members of the Financial Leaders Forum were briefed by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) on the latest development of Hong Kong’s listing platform and initial public offering market, including the challenges and opportunities under the current geo-political environment. Members welcomed the initiatives outlined by HKEX to attract more high quality companies to list, primary or secondary, on Hong Kong’s stock exchange. During the Forum, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) provided an update on the cross-boundary wealth management connect pilot scheme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). Members noted that the pilot scheme would bring new business opportunities to Hong Kong’s financial industry and provide more wealth management product choices for GBA residents. The HKMA will continue to work closely with relevant authorities to formulate the scheme’s implementation details with a view to rolling it out as soon as practicable.

Details here.
  Video series on 30th anniversary of promulgation of Basic Law rolls out
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of promulgation of the Basic Law and enhance the public’s understanding of the Basic Law provisions, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau of the HKSAR Government on August 22 rolled out a video series on the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law. The video series reviews the guidelines of ‘one country, two systems’ and the origin of the Basic Law, examines the safeguard of institutions under the Basic Law, and analyses the ways that the Basic Law enables the HKSAR to preserve its strengths and maintain its prosperity and stability, and its citizens to enjoy their pleasant livings in some 20 years since the return to the motherland.

Details here.
  Recruitment for four civil service graduate grades and launch of Administrative Service Winter Internship Programme start
The HKSAR Government started on 19 September a recruitment exercise for appointment as Administrative Officer, Executive Officer II, Assistant Trade Officer II and Transport Officer II in 2020-21. The application period will run until 5 pm on 9 October 2020 (Hong Kong Time). Meanwhile, Hong Kong students studying at any tertiary institution in Australia, New Zealand or any other region in the Southern Hemisphere are welcome to apply for the Administrative Service Winter Internship Programme 2020. The employment period will last about 2 months from late November 2020 to late January 2021. Students participating in the Programme will be assigned duties similar in nature to those of Administrative Officers in different government bureaux or departments in Hong Kong. Application should be submitted by mail by 23 October.

Details about the recruitment exercise and internship.
  Hong Kong Tourism Board resumes market promotions
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is gradually resuming promotions in the local and source markets, reviving tourism through a combination of short-term and long-term strategies. Chairman of HKTB Dr YK Pang said the HKTB is working diligently on the ‘Open House Hong Kong’ platform. It is anticipated that the Mainland, in particular the Greater Bay Area, and some short-haul markets will be open for travel relatively soon and the HKTB is planning promotions and tactical offers targeting these markets. “In the meantime, we will continue to maintain Hong Kong’s presence in source markets through a variety of promotions and mega events," he said.

Details here.
  Hong Kong Laureate Forum opens for applications
Open application for the inaugural Hong Kong Laureate Forum started on 14 September and will end on 13 December 2020. Undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD graduates who are aged 35 or below and studying or conducting research in Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, Mathematical Sciences or other closely related subjects are welcomed to apply for the Forum and become one of the 200 selected young scientists to be inspired by world-renowned Shaw Laureates. The Forum will be held from 15 to 20 November 2021 at Hong Kong Science Park, gathering leading distinguished and young scientific minds from around the world for world-class academic exchanges and cross-cultural dialogue.

Details here.
HKETO event
  Hong Kong House Webinar Series #4
The Hong Kong House Webinar Series #4 – “Stepping into the Greater Bay Area” organised by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, will be held from noon to 12:45 pm AEST (Melbourne/Sydney) on 8 October. Ms Jacinta Reddan, Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and Mr Arnold Cheng, Director - Hong Kong & Pearl River Delta of John Swire & Sons (China) Limited, will share with the audience how they see the market of Greater Bay Area, and analyse what has been achieved and provide perspectives on new opportunities.

Save the date and register to join here.
Upcoming event
  Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (Hong Kong)
Connecting investment, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2020 will be held online for the first time on 3-4 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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