HKETO Webinar
  Webinar on New Pathway for Admission of Qualified Doctors Trained Outside Hong Kong  
  Webinar on New Pathway for Admission of Qualified Doctors Trained Outside Hong Kong
Co-organised with the Australasian Medical Services Coalition, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), Sydney will organise a webinar with Professor Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), to talk about the new pathway for qualified doctors trained outside Hong Kong to obtain full registration and practise in Hong Kong.

Join us live on 6 May (16:30 Sydney time; 14:30 Hong Kong time) to find out more about the latest updates from the Secretary and representatives from the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health in Hong Kong.

Register here.
Latest from Hong Kong
Announcement of first batch of recognised medical qualifications under Medical Registration Ordinance
The first batch of medical qualifications recognised by the Special Registration Committee (SRC) has been gazetted and taken effect on 29 April.  Doctor of Medicine; Bachelor of Medical Sciences (5-year medical programme) of Monash University and Doctor of Medicine (4-year medical programme) of the University of Melbourne are among the 27 recognised medical qualifications included in the first batch.  After the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into effect upon gazettal on 29 October 2021, non-locally trained doctors who possess recognised medical qualifications, subject to their fulfilment of certain criteria, may apply for special registration to practise in the public healthcare institutions in Hong Kong.  After serving for a certain period, obtaining recognised specialist qualifications and passing the assessment, they will be granted full registration to practise in Hong Kong.  For non-locally trained medical graduates who possess the recognised medical qualifications but have yet to undergo internship outside Hong Kong, subject to their fulfilment of relevant criteria, they may take the Licensing Examination of the Medical Council of Hong Kong in order to apply for special registration to practise in the public healthcare institutions in Hong Kong.  They may also obtain full registration after meeting the requirements applicable to all special registration doctors.  The SRC is pressing ahead with the assessment of other non-local medical programmes with a view to submitting the remaining medical qualifications to be recognised in batches as soon as possible.

More details here.
Immigration Department accepts applications for extension of stay from Hong Kong non-permanent residents outside Hong Kong under pandemic
In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Immigration Department announced that a new facilitation measure has been implemented from 8 April for eligible non-permanent residents who are outside Hong Kong to apply for an extension of stay.  Eligible applicants may submit the applications online or through their sponsors/ authorised representatives in Hong Kong in accordance with the prevailing application procedures for an extension of stay.  Under the new measure, applicants will be able to complete the whole process and activate the “e-Visa” for an extension of stay from outside Hong Kong.  Tentatively, the validity of the new measure will expire on 31 December 2022.

More details here.
Electronic Services for Visa Application can be found here.
Government relaunches retail green bond
The HKSAR Government announced on 14 April the relaunch of the subscription arrangement for the government retail green bond, for which the issuance was previously postponed due to the epidemic situation.  The subscription period of the retail green bond has started from 9 am on 26 April and will end at 2 pm on 6 May.  The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, said that having considered the rising interest rates in the market, the Government had decided to increase the minimum interest rate of this retail green bond so as to provide the public with a green investment choice with a steady return.  The target issuance size of this retail green bond is HK$15 billion and the Government may further increase the issuance size to a maximum of HK$20 billion, depending on market conditions.  As set out in the Government’s Green Bond Framework, the proceeds of green bonds will be credited to the Capital Works Reserve Fund to finance or refinance green projects that provide environmental benefits and support the sustainable development of Hong Kong.  The bond will have a tenor of three years, with bond holders paid interest once every six months at a rate linked to inflation in Hong Kong, subject to a minimum rate of 2.5%.  The retail green bond will be issued on 18 May and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 19 May.

More details here.
Hong Kong’s latest foreign currency reserve assets figures released
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced on 7 April that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$481.6 billion as at the end of March 2022, compared with US$491.1 billion at the end of February 2022.  The total foreign currency reserve assets of US$481.6 billion represent over six times the currency in circulation or about 46% of Hong Kong dollar M3.

More details here.
Monthly survey on business situation of small and medium-sized enterprises for March 2022
The Census and Statistics Department released on 12 April the results of the Monthly Survey on Business situation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for March 2022.  Business sentiment among SMEs remained weak in March, with the current diffusion index on business receipts staying deeply below the boom-bust threshold.  The employment situation also remained soft.  Nonetheless, views on the business situation in the coming month rebounded visibly along with the recent moderation of the local epidemic situation.  The easing of local COVID-19 situation should see business of the consumption-related sectors gradually improve in the near term.  Yet, heightened geopolitical risks and weaker global growth momentum have added uncertainties to the external sector.  The Government has rolled out various relief measures with an aim of supporting SMEs, preserving the vitality of the economy and paving way for a speedy recovery once the epidemic subsides.

More details here.
Hong Kong fencer ranks as world’s number 1
Hong Kong fencer Cheung Ka-long ascended the fencing league table to world number 1 in the men’s foil category of the International Fencing Federation for the first time.  Cheung won the gold medal in the Men’s Foil Individual competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – the city’s first fencing Olympic medal.

More details on the world ranking here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic measures
  • From 1 May, non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in overseas places in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter Hong Kong and be subject to the same boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements as Hong Kong residents.  They are required to comply with all stringent inbound testing and quarantine requirements, including being fully vaccinated, undergoing a pre-departure nucleic acid test with a negative result and the booking of designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) for at least seven nights.  Upon arrival, they will be subject to the test-and-hold arrangement at the airport and then be transferred to DQHs by designated transport to undergo compulsory quarantine and multiple testings.  Rapid antigen tests (RAT) requirement will also be added in early May to ensure earlier detection of arrivals that have been infected for isolation arrangements.  Details on the relevant boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements can be found here.
  • The Government will further increase the supply of DQHs to meet the demand of Hong Kong residents returning from overseas.  Starting from 1 May, there will be 45 DQHs providing over 14 000 rooms in total for selection by Hong Kong residents returning from places other than the Mainland and Macao.  Please see website for details regarding the latest list of DQHs and booking status.
  • From 21 April, the first stage of adjustments to social distancing measures has taken effect:
    • Dine-in service hours of catering premises can be extended till 9.59 pm.  The maximum number of persons per table has been increased from two to four, and banquets with no more than 20 persons are allowed.  Bars or pubs remain closed.
    • Most scheduled premises are allowed to re-open, namely sports premises (indoor and outdoor venues), fitness centres, beauty parlours and massage establishments, places of public entertainment (including cinemas), places of amusement, amusement game centres, event premises and religious premises.
    • The resumption of local group tours with no more than 30 persons.  If all tour participants have conducted RAT on the same day before the commencement of local group tour activities, the relevant restriction on the number of participants would be relaxed to 100 persons.
    • The Government has extended the mandatory mask-wearing requirement in all public transport carriers and public places.
    • Restrictions on multi-household gathering has been lifted.
  • The latest list of places of issuance of recognised vaccination records can be found here.
  • From 13 April, the sampling method for additional rapid nucleic acid test passengers required to undergo under the special COVID-19 testing arrangement when departing via land boundary control points or the Hong Kong International Airport for the Mainland or Macao has been changed to taking nasopharyngeal swabs (originally by combined nasal and throat swabs).
Read more at the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
HKETO event
  Deputy Director of HKETO Sydney attended the press conference for Way In Network’s 30th Anniversary Charity Gala Ball
The Deputy Director of HKETO Sydney, Mr Henry Mak, attended the press conference for Way In Network’s 30th Anniversary Charity Gala Ball on 6 April.  Mr Mak commended Way In Network for its important role for the positive energy brought upon by its meaningful work for women as well as building a more inclusive society for children and the future generations.  The achievements and contributions of Way In Network have been remarkable and widely recognised by the community in Sydney and Australia.  He further shared that the Hong Kong Government has made great strides in expediting women’s opportunities with various measures implemented to create a more enabling environment for women wanting to join the workforce, ranging from extending statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks, strengthening child care and elderly support services, to ensuring a breast feeding-friendly workplace and family-friendly employment practices.  Mr Mak added that 2022 also marks an important milestone for Hong Kong as it celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR.  HKETO would organise a wide range of celebration events to showcase Hong Kong’s vibrant developments and he looked forward to continuing the close relationship with important organisations like Way In Network.
Upcoming events
  UNCITRAL Working Group III on ISDS Reform Forum for Further Preparatory Work on Investment Mediation (Hong Kong and online)
Preceded by the Inter-Sessional Meeting of Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) held in October 2021, delegations of the Working Group, world-renowned practitioners and academics will gather again at the Forum in Hong Kong on 5 May to further the discussion on the preparatory work on investment mediation.  Through seminar presentations and roundtable discussion, the Forum will explore specific key issues in respect of the proposed model clauses and guidelines on investment mediation, which will be further developed in the drafting work of UNCITRAL Working Group III.  Hybrid mode of virtual and in-person participation is adopted for this Forum.

More details here.
  Hong Kong 2022 International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress (online)
Hong Kong is a gateway to China, specifically the Greater Bay Area, and to many other Asian cities.  With sound fundamentals, a strategic location, advanced soft and hard infrastructure and world-class talent, it is the best place in Asia to facilitate personal and professional connections.  To be held on 24-27 May, the 2022 ISPA mid-year congress, with the theme of “To Connect Beyond”, positions Hong Kong as a springboard to enhance the global network of arts institutions and practitioners in the region and beyond.  ISPA delegates will leave enriched after exchanging knowledge and mutual support in identifying strategies and collaborative opportunities in our unprecedented, post-COVID new normal.

More details here.
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