No.2  February, 2017  
2017-18 Budget
The Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivered Hong Kong’s 2017-18 Budget on 22 February, announcing a range of public finance measures to serve three objectives, namely developing the economy and improving livelihood, investing for the future and enhancing liveability as well as upholding social justice and sharing the fruits of success. These measures would consolidate and enhance pillar industries and promote diversified economic development, creating capacity for both development and the environment, and enhancing competitiveness. Poverty alleviation, caring for the elderly and supporting the disadvantages are also at the top of the current-term Government’s agenda. Read more about the Budget here.
Hong Kong ranked as the world’s freest economy again
The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom Report released by the Heritage Foundation on 15 February ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the 23rd consecutive year since the index was first published in 1995. Hong Kong scored 89.8 out of 100 points, 1.2 points higher than that of the previous year, and attained the top positions in the components of fiscal health, trade freedom and financial freedom amongst the 180 economies ranked in the report.  The Foundation also recognised Hong Kong's high quality of legal framework, low tolerance for corruption, efficient regulatory framework and open markets. Read more about the report here.
  10th Asian Financial Forum
The annual Asian Financial Forum has come to its 10th edition this year with the theme of “Asia: Driving Change, Innovation and Connectivity”. The two-day event held on 16 and 17 January gathered some 2,800 financial and business leaders, policymakers and investors to share their insights on how to fortify sustainable global economic development in Asian regions. Read more about the forum here.
  Overall law and order situation stable in 2016
The overall law and order situation in Hong Kong remained stable in 2016, with a 8.7 percent decrease in the overall crime compared to 2015, making the overall crime figure a new low after 1978. The crime rate measuring by number of crimes per 100,000 population stood at 825 cases, representing a new low in 44 years. For details of the crime situation in Hong Kong last year, read here.
  Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+ announced
The Hong Kong Government announced the city’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ on 20 January, outlining the Government’s longer-term action in combating climate change and setting out the carbon emission reduction target for 2030. The Government's target is to reduce Hong Kong's carbon intensity by 65 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030 compared with the 2005 level. It is also anticipated that carbon emission will peak before 2020. Read more about the plan here.
  Outstanding achievements for Hong Kong Team in Asian Track Cycling Championship
The Hong Kong cycling team has made remarkable performance at the 37th Asian Track Cycling Championship by grabbing a total of 11 medals. Among these 11 medals, five were gold, three were silver and three were bronze. The championship was held in New Delhi, India between 6 and 10 February, and was participated by more than 500 cyclists from 18 countries and regions. Read more about the championship here.

HKETO celebrated Chinese New Year in Australia and New Zealand
To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rooster, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office co-hosted Chinese New Year Receptions with Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong Australia Business Association and Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association in major cities of Australia and New Zealand this month. Business, community and political leaders were invited to join the celebrations. Read more about the receptions here.

To share the joy of the Chinese New Year with members of the public in Australia and New Zealand, HKETO participated in large-scale community events in the two countries. In Australia, HKETO once again formed the Hong Kong Team to participate in the City of Sydney’s Dragon Boat Races held in Darling Harbour on 12 February, and seized the third place in the Community/Not-for-profit race. In New Zealand, HKETO participated in the Auckland Lantern Festival (9 to 12 February) and the Christchurch Lantern Festival (17 to 19 February) where giant lanterns were displayed, showcasing the diversity, energy and spirits of Hong Kong. Read more about these events from HKETO’s webpage.

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