No.2  February, 2016  
The 2016-17 Budget
The Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr John C Tsang, unveiled on 24 February the 2016-17 Budget whose theme is the promotion of innovation and exploration of new markets in the new global economic order. The Budget reveals that the economy grew by 2.4% for 2015 and is forecast to grow by 1-2 per cent in 2016. Government finances see a surplus of HK$30 billion (US$3.8b) in 2015-16, with fiscal reserves of HK$860 billion (US$110b) estimated by end-March 2016. Total spending for 2016-17 will be HK$486.9 billion (US$62.5b), with education, health and welfare services remaining priority areas. More than HK$17 billion (US$2.2b) has been set aside for programmes to nurture innovation and technology, apply R&D, promote FinTech, help start-ups and boost the fashion, film and creative industry sectors. Read more about the Budget here.

  Hong Kong once again ranked the world's freest economy
The Heritage Foundation ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the 22nd consecutive years, according to its 2016 Index of Economic Freedom Report released on 1 February.
Among the 10 components measured in the Report, Hong Kong achieved high ratings of 90 or above in seven components, with the top positions globally in Business Freedom, Trade Freedom and Financial Freedom. The Foundation also recognised Hong Kong's prudent economic policy, high level of market openness, fiscal discipline and stable and transparent legal environment, as well as well-secured property rights, thereby maintaining the city's leading role as a global business and financial hub. Read more about the story here.

  Asian Financial Forum explores Asia's role in global growth
The 9th Asian Financial Forum opened in Hong Kong on 18 January, providing a high-level platform for more than 2,600 influential members of the global financial community to tap the investment opportunities of the evolving Asian and global economies.  
The theme of this year’s forum is “Asia: Shaping the New Paradigm for Growth”. Addressing the opening session, the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, outlined Hong Kong’s unique roles as the “super-connector” bringing East and West in pursuit of business and investment opportunities. Read more about the forum here

  Commonwealth Bank opens an Innovation Lab in Hong Kong
Commonwealth Bank of Australia opened its Innovation Lab in Hong Kong on 19 January, as part of the bank’s global innovation network expansion and leveraging Hong Kong’s unrivalled location and the city’s status as the financial technology (fintech) hub in Asia. Click here for more details.

  World-class cycling event hosted in Hong Kong
UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Track Cycling World Cup was held at the Hong Kong Velodrome from 15 to 17 January. Over 300 elite cyclists from 19 countries and regions took part in the competitions. Opened in April 2014, the Hong Kong Velodrome is the first indoor cycling facility in Hong Kong that meets the standards of UCI to provide a local, fixed and quality training base for the Hong Kong Cycling Team. Read more about the event here.

  More than sixty thousand runners raced in Hong Kong Marathon 2016
The Chief Secretary Mrs Carrie Lam sounded the starting horn to set off more than 60,000 athletes at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2016 held on 17 January. A new urban route was set for the marathon and half marathon races this year, taking runners through Yau Mei Tei and Mong Kok, before turning onto the West Kowloon Highway. Read more about the story here.

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