Latest from Hong Kong
Sixth-term Chief Executive Election
The sixth-term Chief Executive Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was concluded on 8 May.  Mr John Lee Ka-chiu was elected by obtaining 1 416 valid “support” votes.  At a media session after the election, Mr Lee said that with loyalty and perseverance, he shall undertake this historic mission and shoulder this responsibility to unite and lead the 7.4 million people in Hong Kong to start a new chapter together.  As this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, Hong Kong must continue to ensure the comprehensive, accurate and firm implementation of the principles of “One Country, Two Systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and the high degree of autonomy to maintain our long-term prosperity and stability.  Extending her congratulations to Mr Lee for his election as the next Chief Executive, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, said on 9 May that this term of government will render all the necessary assistance and support to ensure that the Chief Executive-elect will have every success in forming his governing team and will lead Hong Kong to a greater height in the next five years.  Mrs Lam stressed that the Chief Executive Election was a very important occasion, because it was the third, and the final, of the first round of three elections following the improved electoral system of the HKSAR.

See Chief Executive-elect, Mr Lee’s remarks here.

See Chief Executive, Mrs Lam’s remarks here.

See Chief Executive Election result here.
Hong Kong and New Zealand conduct fourth Joint Commission meeting under Closer Economic Partnership Agreement
The Joint Commission established under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEP Agreement) between Hong Kong and New Zealand concluded its fourth meeting via video conferencing on 5 May.  Those attending the meeting concurred that the CEP Agreement, since its entry into force in January 2011, had been implemented smoothly and effectively, providing better market access and certainty to businesses of both sides through total elimination of tariffs on trade in goods and broad trade in services liberalisation commitments in sectors including business and professional services, communication services, financial services and transport services.  To further the co-operation between Hong Kong and New Zealand under the CEP Agreement, three implementing arrangements were signed at the meeting to facilitate the ongoing co-operation and communication in the areas of rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and government procurement.  Hong Kong and New Zealand also agreed in principle to update commitments on trade in services pursuant to the most favoured nation treatment provision under the CEP Agreement.  Both sides also had a discussion on Hong Kong’s request for accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), of which New Zealand is a member.  Hong Kong reiterated its readiness to begin substantive discussions with RCEP members and that its accession would bring mutual benefits to both Hong Kong and RCEP members.  Both sides will continue to maintain communication in this regard.

More details here.
SCED attends Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Thailand
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting held on 21 and 22 May in Bangkok, Thailand.  Mr Yau participated, with trade ministers of other member economies, in discussion sessions entitled “Supporting the Multilateral Trading System” and “Living in the COVID-19 and beyond”.  He also attended the MRT-APEC Business Advisory Council Public-Private Dialogue on the development of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).  Mr Yau highlighted that 2022 is a milestone year for FTAAP, not only because of the sweeping transformation of the global trade landscape, but also thanks to the entry into force of the RCEP on 1 January which has provided a fertile ground for the Asia-Pacific region to pursue broader and deeper integration.  He reiterated that Hong Kong is ready to join and contribute to the RCEP in the soonest future, getting a step closer to the construction of the FTAAP.  In addition to joining the discussion sessions of the MRT Meeting, Mr Yau held bilateral meetings with other trade ministers to exchange views on issues of mutual interest.

See details of MRT-APEC discussion session entitled “Supporting the Multilateral Trading System” here.

See details of MRT-APEC discussion session entitled “Living in the COVID-19 and beyond” here.
InnoHK Launch Ceremony concludes with great success
The InnoHK Launch Ceremony was successfully held on 25 May, marking a new milestone in the HKSAR Government’s commitment to promoting Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T).  As the flagship I&T initiative of the HKSAR Government, InnoHK aims to promote global research collaboration with a view to putting Hong Kong on the global advanced technology map.  Addressing the Launch Ceremony, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mrs Carrie Lam, showed her strong faith in the long-term development of Hong Kong’s I&T industry, given that Hong Kong is endowed with a series of unparalleled advantages.  Mrs Lam highlighted two areas of work in I&T, including the setting up of an InnoLife Healthtech Hub at the Lok Ma Chau Loop Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park (HSITP) and the Northern Metropolis in which land will be reserved for technology-driven manufacturing under the banner of re-industrialisation.  A San Tin Technopole comprising the HSITP and the areas nearby, together with the Shenzhen I&T Zone, will form a cross-boundary I&T co-operation zone of about 540 hectares which could enable Hong Kong and Shenzhen to pool local and non-local talents, enterprises and resources for greater synergy in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development from a broader perspective.  The InnoHK Launch Ceremony was attended physically by more than 300 top-notch researchers of the 28 research laboratories and I&T industry leaders, as well as virtually by hundreds of researchers from the research clusters.

More details here.

See Chief Executive’s speech at the InnoHK Launch Ceremony here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic measures
  • From 5 May, early relaxation in measures allowed catering premises to accommodate eight persons at most per table, re-opening of swimming pools, gazetted beaches, as well as water sports centres and public swimming pools under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and not wearing masks when present in country parks or when conducting strenuous physical activity in outdoor places.
  • From 19 May, the second stage of relaxation in social distancing measures has been implemented as scheduled.
    • Dine-in service hours allowed for catering premises have been extended to 11:59 pm.
    • Bars / pubs could be re-opened with service hours up to 1:59 am and a maximum number of four persons per table.
    • The remaining scheduled premises which were closed (including bathhouses, party rooms, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises, and cruise ships) could be re-opened.
    • The restriction of the number of persons allowed in premises such as cinemas, performance venues, museums, event premises and religious premises etc.  has been relaxed to 85% of their capacity, while eating and drinking would be allowed in cinemas.
    • Masks are not required for exercising in indoor sports premises, as well as fitness centres which meet the requirement on air change.
  • The Government announced that with effect from 9 May, an additional rapid antigen test (RAT) would be conducted during the “test-and-hold” at the airport.  All persons arriving at Hong Kong via Hong Kong International Airport from overseas places or Taiwan would be required to undergo a polymerase chain reaction nucleic acid test by professional swab sampling as well as an RAT with professional specimen collection at the same time upon arrival under the “test-and-hold” arrangement at the Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at the airport.  If the RAT result of the relevant person is negative, he or she can then proceed with immigration procedures, and upon the instruction of the staff on site be transferred by designated transport to designated quarantine hotels (DQHs) where he or she will wait for the nucleic acid test result and undergo compulsory quarantine under closed-loop management.
  • From 1 June, inbound persons boarding flights from overseas places or Taiwan are only required to present when boarding the negative result proof of a PCR-based nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours prior to scheduled time of departure and with samples collected by a laboratory or healthcare institution.  They will no longer need to present the documentary proof of the ISO 15189 accreditation or recognition by the relevant authority of the government of the place of the laboratory or the healthcare institution.  Children aged below three will no longer be required to present the proof of the 48-hour pre-departure nucleic acid test when boarding, but will still be subject to PCR-based nucleic acid tests upon arrival in Hong Kong as per existing arrangement.  The requirement for passengers transferring or transiting in Hong Kong to present proof of the 48-hour pre-departure nucleic acid test will also be lifted.
  • All relevant persons arriving in Hong Kong on or after 0.00am on 24 May (i.e. 1 June being the ninth day of arrival in Hong Kong) and being discharged early from compulsory quarantine will be required to undergo an additional compulsory testing on the ninth day of arrival in Hong Kong.
  • The Government announced on 4 May the arrangements for inbound travellers from places outside Hong Kong to obtain a Provisional Vaccine Pass and for persons who have recovered from COVID-19 infection in places outside Hong Kong (non-locally recovered persons) to declare their non-local recovery record for obtaining a recovery record QR code.  Inbound travellers who are subject to compulsory quarantine will be issued with a vaccination record QR code and a Provisional Vaccine Pass for local use at boundary control points upon entering Hong Kong.  The Provisional Vaccine Pass is valid within 180 days (i.e. six months) from the date of arrival.  During the period, inbound travellers may carry with them or present the Provisional Vaccine Pass as a substitute for the vaccination record to enter specified premises under the Vaccine Pass.  To facilitate the use of the Vaccine Pass by non-locally recovered persons, they may declare their non-local recovery record upon entry into Hong Kong starting from 5 May in order to obtain a non-local vaccination record QR code incorporating their recovery status.
  • Hongkong Post has launched an online booking service to assist people who need to get a non-local vaccination record, Provisional Vaccine Pass and non-local recovery record at designated post offices.  They can choose in advance the date, time slot and designated post office for paying a visit for the above service via the online booking platform.
  • The online platform for declaration of non-local vaccination records ( has been relaunched on 20 May.  The online platform provides an additional channel for declaring non-local vaccination records apart from boundary control points and designated post offices.
  • The Government announced that eight hotels will be added to the seventh cycle of the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme to meet the demand from inbound travellers while guarding against the importation of COVID-19 cases at the same time.  Please see website for details regarding the latest list of DQHs.
  • The latest list of places of issuance of recognised vaccination records can be found here.
Read more at the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
HKETO events
  Webinar on New Pathway for Admission of Qualified Doctors Trained Outside Hong Kong
The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, addressed around 200 participants, including medical students and practitioners in Australia, during a webinar on 6 May to promote the new pathway for qualified doctors trained outside Hong Kong to obtain full registration and practise in Hong Kong.  During the webinar, Professor Chan briefed the attendees on the details of the new pathway under the amended Medical Registration Ordinance, the promulgation of the first batch of recognised medical qualifications and other follow-up actions taken by the Government to facilitate the admission of non-locally trained doctors to practise in Hong Kong.  Representatives from the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong also introduced the career opportunities in their respective organisations to the attendees.  Professor Chan said that the first batch of the list of recognised medical qualifications, consisting of two medical qualifications in Australia, was gazetted on 29 April.  The second batch of the list is expected to be promulgated within June 2022.  She encouraged all medical students and practitioners in Australia to come to Hong Kong and serve citizens in the public healthcare institutions.  Medical students and practitioners who attended the webinar welcomed the introduction of the new pathway and were eager to learn about the opportunities in Hong Kong.  The webinar was jointly organised by HKETO and the Australasian Medical Services Coalition.

Details here.
  Director of HKETO Sydney attended the GBA Seminar organised by the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association
The Director of HKETO Sydney, Miss Trista Lim, attended the GBA Seminar jointly organised by the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association, North Asia Centre of Asia Pacific of Excellence, the Canton Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand, and the New Zealand China Trade Association on 26 May.  Addressing around 150 attendees at the seminar, Miss Lim said that HKETO was eager to reconnect with the New Zealand business community to consolidate the close and long-standing relationship between Hong Kong and New Zealand.  Miss Lim shared that Hong Kong, as Asia’s leading world-class city and a business and financial hub, has many to offer, including the unique advantages under “One Country, Two Systems”, a fine tradition of rule of law, free economy, well-established infrastructural connectivity, and a market-oriented and international business environment.  Hong Kong will definitely be the prime partner in tapping the vast business potential in the GBA and beyond.  Miss Lim then highlighted that Hong Kong is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR in 2022 under the theme of “A New Era - Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity”.  HKETO will organise a wide range of events to celebrate Hong Kong’s exemplary achievements since returning to its motherland and enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international city.
  Director of HKETO Sydney attended the GBA Symposium organised by Invest Hong Kong
The Director of HKETO Sydney, Miss Trista Lim, attended the GBA Symposium “Hong Kong: Your Greater Bay Area Partner in Expanding Your Global Business” organised by Invest Hong Kong on 31 May.  Speaking to around 80 attendees at the Symposium, Miss Lim stressed that GBA is one of the most ambitious development projects to date.  The collection of Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in southern China is an emerging cluster-city development integrating some 86 million consumers and a GDP worth about US$1.7 trillion in 2020.  Miss Lim highlighted that the National 14th Five-Year Plan expressly supports Hong Kong’s development of eight international centres and emerging industries, and promotes the continuing deepening of Hong Kong’s economic integration with Mainland China through the GBA.  As the wealth in the region continues to accumulate at a high speed, Hong Kong’s central role in the GBA presents tremendous opportunities.  Miss Lim further shared that Hong Kong is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR under the theme of “A New Era - Stability • Prosperity • Opportunity” and HKETO will continue to facilitate businesses to expand into Hong Kong.
  Director of HKETO Sydney attended the Networking Function organised by the Victoria Chapter of the Hong Kong Australia Business Association
The Director of HKETO Sydney, Miss Trista Lim, attended the Networking Function organised by the Victoria Chapter of the Hong Kong Australia Business Association on 31 May.  Miss Lim said that the Government had made unprecedented strides to promote I&T development by committing over HK$150 billion within this term.  Miss Lim noted that Hong Kong had climbed the second place globally in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking and third place globally in the latest Smart Centres Index.  Miss Lim also shared with attendees the successful launch of InnoHK on 25 May which marked a new milestone of the commitment to promoting Hong Kong’s I&T.  Citing the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address, Miss Lim shared with the participants that an InnoLife Healthtech hub was proposed to be set up in the HSITP in the Lok Ma Chau Loop.  A San Tin Technopole, comprising the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park and the areas nearby, together with the Shenzhen I&T Zone, will form a cross-boundary I&T co-operation zone of about 540 hectares to provide for greater synergy in the GBA.  Immense opportunities are also brought about by the National 14th Five-Year Plan, which supports Hong Kong’s development as an international I&T hub.
Upcoming events
  Journey to West Kowloon Community Art Exhibition (Hong Kong)
To be held from 1 to 17 June at the Arts Pavilion, West Kowloon Cultural District, the Journey to West Kowloon Community Art Exhibition is a collaborative community art initiative between the Hong Kong Tourism Board and The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), this exhibition invited young artists in the West Kowloon neighbourhood, primary and secondary school students across the city, and EdUHK students of Culture and Creative Arts to showcase the neighbourhood from their perspectives.  The art pieces included in this exhibition offer creative narratives capturing the authentic culture and lifestyle of this unique neighbourhood from our young generation.

More details here.
  Retail Asia Conference & Expo 2022 (Hong Kong)
Situated at the forefront of innovative retail solutions, Retail Asia Conference & Expo is an event that brings together the brightest minds in the retail industry to explore revolutionary ideas and cutting-edge technologies to ride the new wave of consumerism in Asia.  To be held from 6 to 8 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the attendees can compare the prices and functionalities of over 2,000 products for in-store, online and omnichannel retail and make informed and intelligent purchasing decisions.

More details here.
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