No.3  March, 2021  
Latest from Hong Kong
  Chief Executive's statement in response to approval by Standing Committee of National People's Congress of amended Annex I and Annex II to Basic Law
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mrs Carrie Lam, issued a statement on 30 March saying that she and the governing team of the HKSAR Government strongly support the amended Annex I to the Basic Law on Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR and Annex II to the Basic Law on Method for the Formation of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR and its Voting Procedures approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The amendments improve the electoral system of the HKSAR, thereby establishing a political structure that upholds the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, reflects the actual situation of Hong Kong and ensures "patriots administering Hong Kong". Mrs Lam said she and the HKSAR Government will spare no effort in taking forward the necessary amendments to the local electoral legislation in accordance with the amended Annex I and Annex II. “We will extensively explain the matters to the public such that more and more people will recognise the necessity and urgency of such improvements to the electoral system and render their support. After the passage of the local electoral legislation by the Legislative Council, the HKSAR Government will conduct and regulate election-related activities in accordance with the law in an orderly and efficient manner so as to implement the new electoral system. I will continue to lead my governing team to dutifully administer Hong Kong according to the rule of law, safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintain the overall stability of Hong Kong,” she said.

Details here. Learn more about the improvements to the electoral system of the HKSAR.

Chief Executive pledges staunch support for Decision by the National People's Congress on improving Hong Kong’s electoral system
In a statement issued on 11 March, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said she and the governing team of the HKSAR Government would like to pledge their staunch support for and sincere gratitude to the passage of the Decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR by the National People's Congress (NPC). The Decision, made in accordance with Article 31 and Article 62(2), 62(14) and 62(16) of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, and relevant requirements in the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China and the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR, is fully constitutional and legal. Mrs Lam said having considered the actual situation in Hong Kong, the central authorities took the initiative from the national level to improve the electoral system of Hong Kong, aiming to ensure that Hong Kong can stay true to the original aspiration in implementing the principle of "One country, Two systems" and get Hong Kong back on the right track. The Decision stipulated the establishment of an eligibility vetting mechanism for the different elections of the HKSAR to provide a robust systemic safeguard for implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the political system. Mrs Lam said upon the passage of the amendments to Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law by the NPC Standing Committee, the HKSAR Government would enact the needed local legislation as soon as practicable.

Details here.

Hong Kong strongly integrated into the 14th National Five-Year Plan
The fourth session of the 13th NPC approved the "Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035" (the 14th Five-Year Plan) on 11 March. A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said the Government greatly welcomed the contents relating to Hong Kong in the 14th Five-Year Plan and expressed gratitude for the Central Government's support for the future development of Hong Kong in various key areas. On economic development, the 14th Five-Year Plan would continue to support Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre, strengthen its status as a global offshore Renminbi business hub, an international asset management centre and a risk management centre, establish itself as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region and promote service industries for high-end and high value-added development. Furthermore, the 14th Five-Year Plan raised the support for Hong Kong to enhance its status as an international aviation hub, to develop into an international innovation and technology hub and a regional intellectual property trading centre, and to develop into a hub for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world for the first time.

Details here.
The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau briefs the Trade and Industry Advisory Board on contents relating to Hong Kong in the 14th Five-Year Plan
Members of the Trade and Industry Advisory Board in Hong Kong showed unanimous support for the 14th Five-Year Plan and the NPC’s Decision on improving Hong Kong's electoral system. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, on 12 March briefed the advisory body on the two initiatives which are timely, positive and important to Hong Kong's development. Mr Yau said the 14th Five-Year Plan supports the city’s future development in various key areas, demonstrating the central government's unwavering support for Hong Kong. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) will press ahead with measures to bolster Hong Kong's competitiveness in relevant sectors.  On the Decision of the NPC on improving Hong Kong's electoral system, Mr Yau briefed members that the Decision could ensure the full and resolute implementation of "One country, Two systems" and "patriots administering Hong Kong", and effectively enhance the city’s governance capability.

Details here.
Symposium in Sydney showcases strategic role of Hong Kong in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) hosted a hybrid symposium entitled "Hong Kong: Your Greater Bay Area Partner in Expanding Your Global Business" in Sydney on 1 March, attracting over 400 participants from Hong Kong and Australia. The symposium focused on the attractiveness of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) as well as the strategic role of Hong Kong in the overall development of the GBA. The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, talked about the huge potential of the GBA in his online keynote speech and encouraged Australian enterprises to seize the abundant opportunities. The Commissioner for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Mr Tommy Yuen, said via video "businesses that operate in Hong Kong will be able to take full advantage of not just what Hong Kong has to offer but what the GBA market can offer". The Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Ms Winnie Chan, delivered welcoming remarks.

Details here.
Hong Kong rises one place in Global Financial Centres Index
Hong Kong was ranked fourth in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 29 Report published on 17 March by the Z/Yen from the United Kingdom and the China Development Institute from Shenzhen. A Government spokesman said "Hong Kong is one of the top four leading financial centres in the world, rising by one place from the September issue of the index last year” and “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 these areas." The GFCI Report is released in March and September every year since 2007. In GFCI 29, 114 financial centres were assessed. Hong Kong came fourth with an overall rating of 741.

Details here.
Immigration Department clarifies rumours on updating policy of non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents
Regarding the recent rumours in social media groups that Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) has updated the policy of non-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents, ImmD issued clarification on 12 March that relevant parts in the Immigration Ordinance has been enacted on July 1, 1997 with no subsequent changes.  Since the establishment of the HKSAR on July 1, 1997, according to paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance, a HKSAR permanent resident (HKPR) who is not of Chinese nationality will lose his/her HKPR status if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 36 months since he/she ceased to have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong.  As for a HKPR of Chinese nationality, he/she will still be regarded as a Chinese citizen unless he/she has applied for and being approved the renunciation of Chinese nationality/declaration of change of nationality by ImmD. He/she will not lose his/her HKPR status even if he/she has been absent from Hong Kong for long periods.

Details here.
CEDB's internship programmes for youth achieving good progress
Five more international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, would join the Future International Talent (FIT) programme organised by the CEDB and would be ready to provide more job opportunities for young people apart from the six existing partner chambers. In January this year, CEDB launched the FIT programme and another internship programme, the Telecommunications Opportunities Programme, in collaboration with six international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups respectively to create full-time entry-level job opportunities for young people in the creative industries and telecommunications sectors. Under the two programmes, the Government provides monthly salary subsidies under the Job Creation Scheme funded by the Anti-epidemic Fund at HK$5,610 per fresh graduate or to-be graduate with no work experience and HK$10,000 for young people with no more than five years of work experience, for a maximum of 12 months.

Details here.
Latest development on Hong Kong Talent Admission Scheme
A vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle and abundant opportunities for career advancement, Hong Kong offers attractive prospects for professionals and experts from around the world. Various talent admission schemes are in place to attract talent and drive Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy.  Watch the latest publications from Hong Kong Immigration Department here to learn more about the wide range of admission schemes for global talent to kick start their dreams in this cosmopolitan city.
HKSTP launches Technology Leaders of Tomorrow Programme 2021
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced on 24 March the launch of the second intake of its Technology Leaders of Tomorrow (TLT) programme to meet growing demand for young outstanding innovation and technology (I&T) talent and to drive the development of Hong Kong’s thriving tech sector. The programme is now calling for applications from recent graduates who aspire to rewarding I&T careers that will shape the future industry. The TLT Programme offers talents a 2-month HKSTP internship and unparalleled exposure to the Hong Kong I&T ecosystem. Afterwards, they will take up a full-time R&D role at one of the partner companies. Application will close on 15 April, 2021.

Details here.
M+ Museum set to open end 2021
M+, the first global museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia, would open to the public at the end of 2021, following the completion of construction of its museum building in the West Kowloon Cultural District.  The 65,000 square-metre M+ building would house 17,000 square metres of exhibition space across 33 galleries. It would also include three cinemas, a Mediatheque, a Learning Hub, a Research Centre, museum shops, restaurants, a tea and coffee bar, a Members Lounge, and office spaces.  Acting Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Mrs Betty Fung, underscored the significance of the M+ building for both the West Kowloon Cultural District and Hong Kong. “The completion of M+, together with that of the Xiqu Centre, Freespace and the Art Park in 2019, marks an important milestone of the West Kowloon Cultural District project which is moving into an exciting new phase of development,” she said.

Details here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-pandemic measures
  • Quarantine period for people (Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents) arriving from certain low risk areas (including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) will be reduced from 21 days to 14 days, plus self-monitoring for another seven days. Details to be announced.

  • The social distancing measures currently in place will be largely maintained until 14 April. Public and private swimming pools can reopen from 1 April if they comply with infection control measures. The total number of people allowed in cinemas, theme parks and performance venues will be increased from 50% to 75% of the premises’ capacity.

  • The priority groups under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is expanded to cover people aged between 30 and 59, students aged 16 or above studying outside Hong Kong and domestic helpers.

  • Designated flights will be arranged in late April to enable Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong from the United Kingdom. Details to be announced.

  • A total of 30 hotels will provide about 8,300 rooms under the third cycle of the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme for selection by arrivals in Hong Kong from places outside China. Twenty-nine hotels on the list were designated hotels in the second cycle, while one of them is a new participant. The contract period will run from 21 April to 19 June
Read more from the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
Upcoming event
  The 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hong Kong and online)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival will go hybrid for the first time in 45 years with both in-theatre and online screenings this year, connecting audiences and filmmakers in the physical and virtual cinematic worlds. Taking place from 1 to 12 April, the 45th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF45) will feature nearly 60 films through the HKIFF45 ONLINE platform in addition to over 190 titles that the audience could watch conventionally in a cinema on the big screen.

Details here.
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