No.1  January, 2016  
Policy Address
On 13 January, the Chief Executive Mr C Y Leung announced a broad range of initiatives in the 2016 Policy Address to develop economy, support innovation and technology, enhance education and improve health care.  On developing the economy, Mr Leung said Hong Kong would make the most of its advantage under “one country, two systems” to pursue opportunities under the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the Mainland’s Belt and Road Initiatives. Hong Kong would consolidate and expand its role as an international financial centre, including infrastructure financing and risk management, and deepen Renminbi-related financial services and products. Innovation and technology will receive a big boost, with nearly HK$5 billion in funding for a variety of initiatives. Read more about Policy Address here.
  IMF acknowledges Hong Kong's strong buffers for meeting challenges ahead
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Mission to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region lauded the Government’s prudent fiscal management and robust regulatory regime for the financial system. The IMF Mission also remarked that these strengths, together with the Linked Exchange Rate System, would provide Hong Kong with strong buffers to deal with near-term challenges, while laying the foundations for steady growth and healthy job creation in the medium term. Read more about the story here.
  Hong Kong Monetary Authority launches e-Cheque service
Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Association of Banks held a ceremony on 11 December, 2015 to formally launch the e-Cheque service. Clients can use the Internet banking platform or the e-Cheque Drop Box service provided by Hong Kong Interbank Clearing to settle and receive payments by e-Cheque. Monetary Authority Chief Executive Norman Chan said the launch of the e-Cheque showed the continuous effort of Hong Kong's banks to provide a wide range of payment services. It also signified the authority's commitment to promoting efficiency and modernisation in Hong Kong's financial infrastructure. Read more about the story here.
  Number of companies registered in Hong Kong approaches 1.3 million
The total number of local companies registered under the Companies Ordinance was 1,288,666 at the end of 2015, up 15,973 from the corresponding figure at the end of 2014.  In 2015, a total of 139,209 local companies were newly registered with the Companies Registry. Read more about the story here.
  Hong Kong Customs launches Free Trade Agreement Transhipment Facilitation Scheme
Hong Kong Customs rolled out the Free Trade Agreement Transhipment Facilitation Scheme from 20 December, 2015 to further facilitate consignment passing through Hong Kong to enjoy tariff reduction under the Free Trade Agreements signed by the Mainland. Read more about the story here.
  HKSAR Government welcomes new agreement reached by COP21
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government welcomed the new agreement on global actions responding to climate change reached by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December 2015. Hong Kong has been adopting a multi-pronged approach to reduce our carbon emissions, and is committed to reducing carbon intensity by 50 to 60 per cent by 2020 when compared with the 2005 level. Read more about the story here and Hong Kong Climate Change Report 2015 here.
  Fireworks dazzle New Year crowds
Hong Kong lit up the skies with an eight-minute firework display at Victoria Harbour, in celebration of the New Year. Click here to view the display.
  Australian creative content agency sets up its first overseas office in Hong Kong
Australian creative content agency The Pulse recently announced it had opened an office in Hong Kong as part of its global expansion to cater to the growing regional and international demand for its services. The office was opened with the help of Invest Hong Kong, which was established to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas businesses to set up or expand in the city. Read more about the story here.
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