Latest from Hong Kong
  "Report on Hong Kong's Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities" published
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government published "Report on Hong Kong's Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities" on 27 September.  The Report reviews and sets out Hong Kong's current business environment and advantages following the events over the past two years, and describes the development opportunities available to Hong Kong under the country's new phase and pattern of development.  The report notes that following the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law in mid-2020, peace and stability were promptly restored in Hong Kong society.  People's lives and economic activities have returned to normal, and the business environment has also been restored.  The Financial Secretary Mr Paul Chan said, "Under 'One country, Two systems', Hong Kong has built an economic system different from that of Mainland cities, and is a highly internationalised cosmopolitan city.  Despite the trials and tribulations during the past two years or so, Hong Kong's strengths remain intact thanks to the solid support of our country.  Now the local epidemic situation has stabilised, and the National 14th Five-Year Plan is bringing countless new opportunities to Hong Kong.  Hong Kong will continue to serve as the gateway connecting the country and the rest of the world and perform the functions of a 'super-connector', a high-value-added services platform, an international talent and capital pool and more, and also be an internationally preferred place of doing business".

More details here.

See report at the "Hong Kong Economy" website.

ASEAN economic ministers welcome Hong Kong to seek accession to RCEP
Economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states welcomed Hong Kong's interest in seeking accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and considered that Hong Kong is well-placed to add value to this free trade agreement, noting that Hong Kong has already established free trade agreements with 13 of the 15 RCEP participating economies.  ASEAN economic ministers expressed the above in a joint media statement on 14 September after the Fifth ASEAN Economic Ministers - Hong Kong, China Consultations.  The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, reiterated that Hong Kong's accession to RCEP would provide an additional platform for promoting trade and investment between ASEAN and Hong Kong.  It would also help further consolidate the regional supply chain through the provision of more access and choices of high-quality services to enterprises in the region, enabling businesses to reap the full benefits of regional economic integration.

Details here.

Hong Kong once again ranked as the world's freest economy
The Fraser Institute once again ranked Hong Kong as the world's freest economy in the Economic Freedom of the World 2021 Annual Report.  Hong Kong has gained the top rank since the inception of the report.  Among the five areas of assessment, Hong Kong continued to rank top in "Freedom to Trade Internationally" and "Regulation".  The HKSAR Government on 14 September welcomed the ranking and a Government spokesman said that this is an unequivocal affirmation of Hong Kong's long-standing and steadfast commitment to building a free economy with a level playing field.  In relation to Fraser Institute's unfair comments regarding Hong Kong's rule of law, the enactment of the national security law and interventions of Hong Kong's affairs by the Mainland, the spokesman said, "We would like to stress that, under 'One Country, Two Systems', HKSAR's trusted legal system remains as robust as ever.  The rule of law is a fundamental core value of Hong Kong and much cherished by the community." The spokesman added that the enactment of the national security law is for safeguarding national security, which is the legitimate right and duty of every state.  The Government will continue to uphold Hong Kong's institutional strengths, including the rule of law and judicial independence, a free trade and investment regime, a simple and low tax system, a favourable business environment and an efficient and clean government, etc.  As in the past, these strengths will continue to provide a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and to strengthen their competitiveness, thereby enabling the economy to prosper.

Details here.
Hong Kong rises to third place in Global Financial Centres Index
Hong Kong ranked third globally in the Global Financial Centres Index 30 Report published on 24 September by Z/Yen from the United Kingdom and the China Development Institute from Shenzhen, rising by one place from the March issue of the index this year.  A Government spokesman said that this is an unequivocal affirmation of Hong Kong's status and strengths as a leading global financial centre.  Hong Kong has remained among the top in various areas of competitiveness, including human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputational and general.  Hong Kong will continue to capitalise on its unique advantages, enhance its role as the gateway between the Mainland and international markets and proactively integrate into the overall development of the country, including leveraging the vast opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Qianhai's development and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Details here
Launch of Southbound Trading under Bond Connect
The People's Bank of China and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority made a joint announcement on 15 September that Southbound Trading under Bond Connect would be launched on 24 September.  The HKSAR Government welcomes this initiative which further expands mutual access between the two capital markets, and expresses deep gratitude to the Central Government for its support.  The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said that the National 14th Five-Year Plan expresses staunch support for Hong Kong to strengthen its functions as a global offshore Renminbi business hub, an international asset management centre and a risk management centre.  Launching Southbound Trading under Bond Connect to complete the two-way connection of the bond markets will promote further mutual access between the two financial markets, set a new milestone for meeting the objectives laid down in the 14th Five-Year Plan, and reinforce Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.  Mrs Lam added, "We will continue to fully leverage Hong Kong's unique advantages and capitalise on development opportunities brought by the National 14th Five-Year Plan, the new development pattern of 'dual circulation' and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.  Our goals are to actively integrate into the national development and contribute to the internationalisation of the Mainland's capital market".

Details here.
Formal launch of Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect
The online ceremony of Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was held on 10 September, marking the official launch of the Scheme which enables residents in Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong Province to carry out cross-boundary investment in wealth management products distributed by banks in the area.  The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said that Wealth Management Connect is a milestone in the financial development of the Greater Bay Area and an important measure that deepens and widens mutual access between the financial markets of the Mainland and Hong Kong.  It underlines the unique advantages of Hong Kong's financial system under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, contributes to the high-quality development of the Greater Bay Area and facilitates the financial development and further opening-up of the country.  With the support of the Central Government and the preparation work by the relevant regulatory authorities for launching this scheme long-awaited by the industry, it will further consolidate Hong Kong's role as the international financial centre of Mainland China.

Details here.
Issuance of Renminbi sovereign bonds
The Ministry of Finance of the Central Government announced on 3 September its plan to issue Renminbi (RMB) sovereign bonds totalling RMB20 billion in Hong Kong this year, of which the three batches are RMB8 billion, RMB6 billion and RMB6 billion respectively.  This marked the 13th consecutive year of the Ministry of Finance's issuance of RMB sovereign bonds in Hong Kong.  "This demonstrates clearly the Central Government's staunch support in reinforcing Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and the global offshore RMB business hub, and is conducive to promoting the sustainable development of the bond market in Hong Kong," said a Government spokesman.

Details here.
M+ museum to open this November
M+, Asia's first global museum of contemporary visual culture located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, will open to the public on 12 November.  Around 1 500 works drawn from the M+ Collections will be presented in the 17 000 square-meter exhibition space across 33 galleries and other display spaces.  The museum's opening displays will include six thematic exhibitions, featuring visual artworks, moving image works, design objects, architectural projects and archival items from M+ Collections.  In addition to the main exhibition galleries, M+ will present a series of commissions and displays throughout its public spaces.  Designed by Herzog & de Meuron in partnership with TFP Farrells and Arup, the M+ building itself is an iconic landmark on the Victoria Harbour waterfront that blends in with Hong Kong's urban landscape.

Details here.
Sixth Belt and Road Summit
The Sixth Belt and Road Summit opened online on 1 September with over 6 000 senior government officials and business leaders from more than 80 countries and regions registered to take part.  Addressing the summit's opening, the Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said that Hong Kong has much to offer to RCEP and the world at large, in particular in creating connections with the Mainland through the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative.  She added that the city is keen to begin formal discussions on accession as soon as RCEP is ready to take on new partners.  Taking part in a business plenary session, the Financial Secretary Mr Paul Chan said that Hong Kong can serve the Belt and Road and RCEP equally well with its direct access to the Mainland, deep liquidity pool and outstanding financial infrastructure as well as wide-ranging professional services.  At the Summit, the HKSAR Government and the Ministry of Commerce of the Central Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding via video conferencing on enhancing exchanges and co-operation in promoting high-quality development of overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones.

See details of the sixth Belt and Road Summit here.

See details of MOU on co-operation on overseas Economic and Trade Co-operation Zones here.
First elections held successfully after improving electoral system
The 2021 Election Committee (EC) Subsector Ordinary Elections, the first elections held after improving Hong Kong's electoral system, were held successfully, symbolising that the HKSAR has reached a new milestone in the implementation of the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" in the political system to ensure that the power of the HKSAR is in the hands of patriots, thereby promoting the realisation of good governance in Hong Kong.  In the elections, 364 EC members were elected and a total of about 4 380 voters voted, representing a turnout rate of nearly 90 per cent.  They will form the new term of EC together with the 325 ex-officio members who have been validly registered, the 156 nominees who have been validly nominated and 603 candidates who have been returned uncontested earlier.  The term of office will commence on 22 October 2021 and end on 21 October 2026.  Apart from nominating and electing the Chief Executive, the EC will also nominate the candidates for the Legislative Council (LegCo) election and elect 40 LegCo members.

Details here.
Ministry of Science and Technology's announcement of series of new measures benefitting Hong Kong
The HKSAR Government on 7 September welcomed the announcement made by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Central Government on a number of new measures benefitting Hong Kong to strengthen the support for Hong Kong's innovation and technology (I&T) development.  These include opening up more national-level science and technology programs to Hong Kong, allowing young academics in Hong Kong to apply for the "Young Scientists Fund" under the National Natural Science Foundation of China, welcoming personnel and experts in Hong Kong's science and technology sector to participate in nationwide academic associations of the China Association for Science and Technology as well as be admitted to the National Science and Technology Expert Database and the Award Assessment Expert Database, enhancing the mechanism on shared use of large-scale instruments and equipment for research and development (R&D) with Hong Kong, deepening science and technology exchanges between people in the Mainland and Hong Kong, and supporting Hong Kong to participate in the setting up of a National Center of Technology Innovation.  Noting that these measures will help the local research sector obtain more resources to conduct R&D work, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, anticipated that the gradual implementation of the new measures will bring more impetus to Hong Kong's scientific research sector, contributing to the country's I&T development and the building of the Greater Bay Area into an international I&T hub.

Details here.
Promulgation of Qianhai Plan and Hengqin Plan
The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, welcomed the Central Government's promulgation of the Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone (Qianhai Plan) on 6 September and the Plan for the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (Hengqin Plan) on 5 September.  Mrs Lam said that Qianhai, positioned as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone following President Xi Jinping's steer on "relying on Hong Kong, serving the Mainland and opening up to the world", has attracted many Hong Kong enterprises.  Currently, about 11 500 Hong Kong-invested enterprises have registered in Qianhai, most of which are in modern service industries including financial services, modern logistics, information services, technological services and professional services.  Mrs Lam added that the Qianhai Plan has once again demonstrated the country's key strategic planning, under which the development of the Greater Bay Area would enrich the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems", deepen reform and expand the scope of opening up, and enhance the level of co-operation amongst Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

Details here.
Chief Executive congratulates athletes at Tokyo Paralympics
The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, extended her warmest congratulations to Hong Kong athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.  Leung Yuk-wing, Vivian Lau and Wong Kwan-hang won a silver medal in the Boccia Mixed BC4 Pairs event.  Leung had earlier won a bronze medal in the Boccia Mixed individual BC4 event.  Badminton players Chu Man-kai and Chan Ho-yuen claimed a silver medal in the Men's Singles SH6 event and a bronze medal in the Men's Singles WH2 event respectively.  Table tennis player Wong Ting-ting won a bronze medal in the Women's Singles TT11 event.  Mrs Lam said that the level of athletes with disabilities in various places has been rising continuously.  Their performances are admirable, which are the results of the athletes' hard work over the years.  Their achievements inspire other people with disabilities in Hong Kong and also fill Hong Kong with positive energy.  Mrs Lam highlighted that in early August five measures to further the development of sports in Hong Kong were announced, including expediting the new building project of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, establishing a fund to enhance the competitiveness of athletes, strengthening support for elite athletes' dual career development in sports and academic pursuits and developing the sports industry, benefitting athletes with disabilities and other athletes.  She hopes that Hong Kong athletes will keep up their efforts and bring glory home again in the future.

See the Chief Executive's congratulations to Leung Yuk-wing, Vivian Lau and Wong Kwan-hang, Chu Man-kai, Chan Ho-yuen and Wong Ting-ting.
Hong Kong athletes achieved excellent results at National Games
Hong Kong delegation achieved excellent results at the 14th National Games of the People's Republic of China.  For cycling team, Lee Wai-sze won a gold medal in Women's Sprint (Track Cycling) Event and a bronze medal in the Women's Keirin (Track Cycling) Event, Lee Sze-wing won a gold medal in Women's Individual (Road Cycling) event, and Leung Ka-yu won a bronze medal in the Men's Omnium (Track Cycling) Event.  Karatedo athlete Lau Chi-ming won a bronze medal in the Men's Individual Kata event.  For fencing team, Cheung Siu-lun, Ryan Choi and Yeung Chi-ka won a bronze medal in the Men's Foil Team Event and Vivian Kong won a bronze in the Women's Épée Individual event.  The Chief Executive of HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended on 27 September the closing ceremony of the 14th National Games in Xi'an and joined the National Games flag handover ceremony with the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Ma Xingrui, and the Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Mr Ho Iat-seng, representing the joint hosts of the 15th National Games.  Mrs Lam said that the National Games are a major sports event with the highest level and largest scale in the nation.  The hosting of the event will significantly boost the promotion of sports development in Hong Kong.

See details of National Games flag handover ceremony here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic measures
  • The Government announced that it would maintain most of the social distancing measures until 13 October.
    • Prohibition on group gatherings of more than four persons in public places to continue.
    • Mandatory mask-wearing requirement to continue.
    • All catering businesses must operate according to one of the operating modes among Types A, B, C and D Mode of Operation.
    • The maximum number of persons allowed per banquet in catering businesses adopting Type D Mode of Operation will be relaxed to 240
  • The COVID-19 vaccination records issued by the HKSAR Government will have added in them information on the date of birth and sex of the vaccine recipient, as well as the manufacturer of the vaccine the person received, starting from 29 September, with a view to meeting common travel rules of some overseas jurisdictions, e.g. the United Kingdom.  The relevant arrangement will be applicable to both paper and electronic records so as to facilitate the public's travel needs.
  • The Government has accepted vaccination records issued by Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Brazil and Russia as recognised vaccination records for Hong Kong residents who have stayed in Group A specified places under the mechanism.  Vaccination records recognised under the EU Digital COVID Certificate mechanism are also accepted.  The arrangements will also include New Zealand, Korea, Singapore and Chile.  Although these countries are currently not Group A specified places, the relevant arrangements will enable Hong Kong residents who hold vaccination records issued by the relevant authorities of the countries in the prescribed format to board a flight for Hong Kong from Group A specified places.  List of places of issuance of recognised vaccination recorded can be found here.
  • With vaccination rates increasing around the world, the number of inbound travellers (including Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents) holding non-local COVID-19 vaccination records is on the rise.  In view of the situation, the Food and Health Bureau announced on 14 September a new arrangement for members of the public to register their non-local vaccination records with the Government through voluntary declaration.  The new arrangement will facilitate these persons to carry and view the records in electronic format for their daily use in fulfilling relevant requirements under the local vaccine bubble (such as entering into premises which require proof of vaccination).
  • From 15 September, non-Hong Kong residents coming from Guangdong Province and Macao, upon fulfillment of all the specified conditions under the Come2hk Scheme, can be exempted from compulsory quarantine upon entry into Hong Kong.  A quota arrangement will be put in place during the initial stage of the implementation of the Come2hk Scheme.  A daily quota of 1 000 each has been set for the Shenzhen Bay Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port.  Quotas are administered on a first-come-first-served basis. (Note: all arrivals in Hong Kong from Macao will not be exempted from compulsory quarantine under the Come2hk Scheme from 25 September at 10pm).
  • The Government resumed quarantine exemption for persons returning from Mainland areas other than Guangdong Province and Macao under the Return2hk Scheme.  From 8 September, Hong Kong residents staying in Mainland provinces and municipalities other than Guangdong Province, and Macao, upon fulfilment of all specified conditions under the Return2hk Scheme, could be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement when returning to Hong Kong. (Note: all arrivals in Hong Kong from Macao will not be exempted from compulsory quarantine under the Return2hk Scheme from 25 September at 10pm).
Read more at the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
HKETO event
  Director of HKETO Sydney attended "Trade and Export – Hong Kong" Seminar
The Director of HKETO Sydney, Miss Trista Lim, virtually attended the "Trade and Export – Hong Kong" Seminar hosted by Department for Trade and Investment South Australia and the South Australia Chapter of the Hong Kong Australia Business Association on 27 September.  Miss Lim said that despite the challenges of COVID-19 at the moment, Hong Kong will continue to actively integrate into the new overall development of the Mainland and capture the opportunities arising from various national development plans, notably the Greater Bay Area development and the 14th Five-Year Plan of the Central Government.  Miss Lim also highlighted that Hong Kong is Asia's pre-eminent wine trading and distribution centre thanks to its long-standing experience in the wine trade, world-class logistics infrastructure and zero wine duties.  She sent her warmest wishes to attendees who will join the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair in November.
Upcoming events
  Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2021 (Hong Kong and online)
The "Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2021" will be held on 24 October.  This year's marathon will be the first major mass participatory sporting event in Hong Kong since the start of the pandemic.  There will be a total enrolment quota of 18 500 for this year's event, allocated to the Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10KM race.  To encourage more runners to participate in this annual long-distance running event, the Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10KM races will also be held in a virtual format from 25 October to 14 November.  Interested runners aged 16 or above can register via the official website from 15 September onwards on a first-come, first-served basis.  Runners can run the designated distances in the categories they have signed up anywhere they wish, and simply upload their running records through a designated mobile app.  They will receive an e-certificate, a medal and a commemorative T-shirt after verification of their running records.

More information here.
  Hong Kong Maritime Week (Hong Kong and online)
The Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board (HKMPB), together with its co-organisers the Hong Kong Shipowners Association and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and its partners Hong Kong Trade Development Council and InvestHK, will organise the fifth Hong Kong Maritime Week from 31 October to 6 November in a more flexible approach to cope with uncertainties caused by the pandemic to "Propel Hong Kong" as a renowned international maritime centre.  Through a week of maritime activities, HKMPB hopes to unite and showcase the Hong Kong maritime industry as a strong cluster, raise the community's awareness of the economic contributions of Hong Kong's maritime and port industries, and promote Hong Kong as a preferred base for operating maritime business.  International and local industry luminaries and practitioners will participate in various physical, online and/or hybrid activities ranging from conferences and seminars, ceremony, to maritime-themed visits, tours, competition and game booth.

More information here.
  Together, we fight the virus!
  Useful links  
  Tender notifications  
Improve Electoral System
safehuarding National Security in Hong Kong
Updates on Latest Situation in Hong Kong
HKETO Sydney website Find us on FacebookLinkedin Find us on Facebook