Latest from Hong Kong

Lunar New Year message from the Chief Executive
On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Mr John Lee, said that this year welcomes the Year of the Rabbit and rabbits are agile and energetic.  Rabbits are just like Hong Kong people, who are flexible and resilient, and constantly strive for improvement.  He added that the rabbit is also a symbol of great vitality, so the Lunar New Year is seen as heralding a new start and new hope for Hong Kong.

See the Chief Executive’s Lunar New Year message here.

Asian Financial Forum assembles international heavyweights to examine issues on global finance, economy, trade and sustainability
Co-organised by the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 16th Asian Financial Forum (AFF) was successfully held on 11 - 12 January, assembling thousands of top businesspersons, senior officials and thought leaders from over 70 countries or regions to share their insights on issues related to global finance and economy, and explore co-operation opportunities.  Under the theme of “Accelerating Transformation: Impact ∙ Inclusion ∙ Innovation”, this premier financial and business forum provided a platform for the heavyweights to examine ways to formulate better business strategies and develop a blueprint for sustainable growth after the past turbulent years and explore how global corporates can work together to create a resilient economic landscape through innovation and inclusion.  Addressing the opening session of the AFF on 11 January, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr John Lee, said that under the clear direction of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong is actively enhancing its strength as an international financial centre, including boosting its niche as a global offshore Renminbi hub, and an international asset and wealth management and risk management centre.

More details here.

See the Chief Executive’s speech here.

See the Financial Secretary’s speech here.
Financial Secretary attends World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, conducted his visit in Davos, Switzerland on 16 - 20 January to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF).  He also took the chance to meet with a number of political and business leaders and explained to them the latest state of Hong Kong’s return to normalcy and development opportunities.  Concluding his visit to Davos, Mr Chan said that the Hong Kong team had, through engaging delegates from all over the world and leaders from different sectors, actively explained Hong Kong’s advantages and core competitiveness, and told the world that Hong Kong is back.  Under the “one country, two systems” and with the firm support of the country, Hong Kong will play its role well as a financial, trading and shipping centre.

See the Financial Secretary’s first day visit programme here.

Second day visit programme here.

Third day visit programme here.

Last day visit programme here.
Australian judge to join Court of Final Appeal as non-permanent judge from another common law jurisdiction
The Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Mr John Lee, has accepted the recommendation of the Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission on the appointment of the Honourable Patrick Anthony Keane as a non-permanent judge from another common law jurisdiction of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA).  Subject to the endorsement of the Legislative Council, the Chief Executive will make the appointment under Article 88 of the Basic Law.  Mr Keane retired from the judicial office of Justice of the High Court of Australia in October 2022.  With the appointment of Mr Keane, the panel of non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions will consist of 11 eminent judges from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.  The presence of these esteemed jurists from overseas as non-permanent judges of the CFA manifests the exercise of judicial power independently by the Judiciary in the HKSAR as protected by the Basic Law.  It also helps maintain a high degree of confidence in the HKSAR’s judicial system, and enables Hong Kong to maintain strong links with other common law jurisdictions.

More details here.
  Updates on Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic measures
  • The normal travel of persons between Hong Kong and the Mainland has been resumed in phases starting 8 January in an orderly manner.  The first-phase resumption started on 8 January, covering the Hong Kong International Airport (flights between Hong Kong and the Mainland), the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Shenzhen Bay Control Point that are in operation, as well as the reopened Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, the China Ferry Terminal, Man Kam To Control Point and Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian Control Point.  To achieve resumption of normal travel in an orderly manner, the HKSAR Government has ensured transportation arrangements in place, and prescribed daily numbers of persons who can pass through certain boundary control points and required the persons concerned to make bookings online prior to travelling.
    More details here.
  • Starting from 8 January, all persons heading to the Mainland from Hong Kong must possess a valid self-paid nucleic acid test result meeting the following criteria for entry into the Mainland:
    • The test must be conducted within 48 hours before the scheduled flight departure time (for those entering the Mainland via airport) or arrival time (for those entering the Mainland via other boundary control points);
    • The test specimen must be throat swab, nasopharyngeal swab or combined nasal and throat swab collected by dedicated staff.  Deep throat saliva specimen is not accepted; and
    • The test result must be negative, and the test report must be issued by local COVID-19 testing institutions recognised by the HKSAR Government (including community testing centres/community testing stations (CTC/CTSs) in various districts) for conducting reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing (
  • The Government has set up more than 80 CTC/CTSs across the city.  These CTC/CTSs provide self-paid nucleic acid testing service and issue test result reports for travel and other purposes, including for travelling to the Mainland.
  • From 15 January, the services of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) West Kowloon Control Point and the XRL Hong Kong Section have resumed.  The opening hours of the XRL West Kowloon Control Point remains the same as that before service suspension, i.e.  from 6.30am to 11.30pm.  There is no booking requirement at this control point.  Passengers who have purchased tickets can travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland through the control point with a valid ticket.
  • From 30 January, the arrangement of issuing isolation orders to infected persons has been cancelled.  All persons tested positive are not required to report and provide personal particulars via the online platforms of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.  The “Declaration System for Individuals Tested Positive for COVID-19 Using Rapid Antigen Test”, the “Online self-reporting for COVID-19 patient”, as well as the relevant automatic telephone voice registration system (183 6119) have also ceased operation on the same day.
Read more at the Fight Against COVID-19 website.
HKETO events
  Director of HKETO Sydney attended the AFF Live-streaming and Networking Event
The Director of HKETO Sydney, Miss Trista Lim, attended the AFF Live-streaming and Networking Event jointly organised by HKETO and HKTDC on 11 January.  Miss Lim shared with the participants the array of initiatives in the Chief Executive’s 2022 Policy Address to attract enterprises, investment and talents.  The Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises has been set up to attract enterprises that are of strategic importance and value to Hong Kong, much more aggressive talent admission schemes are being rolled out, and an online platform of the new Talents Service Unit has been launched to attract talents from all over the world more proactively.  Miss Lim highlighted that a Dedicated Team for Attracting Businesses and Talents has been set up in HKETO.  She encouraged the participants to explore the vast potential of Hong Kong and visit Hong Kong in person to enjoy the excitement in the city.
  Sydney Lunar Festival Dragon Boat Races 2023
The HKETO showcased Hong Kong’s vibrancy at the Sydney Lunar Festival Dragon Boat Races held in Sydney, Australia on 28 and 29 January.  During the two-day event, HKETO organised the Hong Kong Team to compete in the Social Category on 29 January and won the Champion in the Hong Kong Dynamic Cup and the second place in the Hong Kong Talents Cup.  A marquee was also set up to promote the latest developments in Hong Kong, notably the exciting international sports events held in Hong Kong and various talent attraction initiatives put forward by the Government.  Hong Kong-themed banners with Lunar New Year greetings were displayed in some major city locations across Sydney during the festive period.

More details here.
Upcoming events
  The 25th Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (Hong Kong)
Filled with 37 000 runners, the much-anticipated 25th Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon will be held on 12 February.  The race represents the first “M” Mark event to be staged in Hong Kong following the recent easing of COVID restrictions by the Government.  Alongside the participation of local runners, international elite athletes are also invited to join the 25th edition of the race, representing a welcome return to normalcy with the community.

More details here.
  Art Basel (Hong Kong)
To be held from 21 to 25 March, the Art Basel features premier galleries from Asia and beyond.  It provides an in-depth overview of Asia-Pacific’s astonishing diversity, as well as global artistic perspectives through Modern and contemporary works.

More details here.
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