Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - May 2019

Hong Kong ranked as world's second most competitive economy
May 29, 2019 - Hong Kong has continued to rank second globally in the latest World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2019 as published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). A Government spokesperson said today, “The Government is committed to enhancing the competitiveness and vibrancy of our economy. The WCY once again recognised Hong Kong as one of the most competitive economies in the world.”

Government committed to promoting mediation in Hong Kong
May 24, 2019 – Hong Kong’s Department of Justice held the Mediate First Pledge Event 2019 (May 24) to highlight the wide spectrum of disputes that are suitable for mediation as well as launching a new round of social media awareness campaign. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng said the Department is committed to promoting mediation at the local, regional and international levels.

CE strongly objects to German asylum for two bail jumpers
May 24, 2019 – Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam (May 24) told Germany's Acting Consul General in Hong Kong David Schmidt that she strongly objects to, and deeply regrets, the reported granting of asylum to two Hong Kong residents who jumped bail to flee Hong Kong while awaiting trial on serious charges.

SCED attends OECD and WTO meetings in Paris
May 24, 2019 – Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau paid a two-day visit to Paris, France, on May 22 and 23 (Paris time) to attend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Informal Ministerial Gathering, conveying Hong Kong’s commitment to rule-based multilateral trading system and WTO reforms.

Strong demand for HKSAR Government's Inaugural Green Bond Offering
May 22, 2019 – Hong Kong Government’s first Green Bond Offering, with an issuance size of US$1 billion and a 5-year tenor, drew interest from a diverse group of conventional and green investors, attracting orders more than 4 times the issuance size. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the strong demand from global investors indicated not only their recognition of Hong Kong’s credit strength but also their support for Hong Kong’s determination and efforts in promoting sustainable development and combatting climate change.

UK enterprises to leverage Hong Kong's advantages
May 21, 2019 - British enterprises are encouraged to leverage Hong Kong's unique advantages to tap into the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said at a roundtable discussion at the Asia House in London, the United Kingdom (May 21, London time).

SCED visits London to deepen economic and trade links
May 21, 2019 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau began his visit to London, the United Kingdom (UK) on May 20 (London time) to update the UK business and political sectors on Hong Kong's latest economic developments and explore opportunities for further co-operation in trade and creative industries.

SFH attends 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva
May 21, 2019 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan (May 20, Geneva time) attended the 72nd World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, joining discussions of a wide range of issues relating to public health importance requiring global attention.

Unemployment Rate stood at 2.8%
May 20, 2019 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for February - April 2019) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in February - April 2019, same as that in January - March 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods.

Strengthening free and open trade alliances
May 18, 2019 - Hong Kong and like-minded economies are seeking to strengthen alliances for free and open trade through free trade agreements (FTAs), Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said during a Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting in Viña del Mar, Chile (May 17, Viña del Mar time).

CE mourns I M Pei
May 17, 2019 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam today expressed deep sorrow over the death of Chinese American architect I M Pei whose iconic Bank of China Tower in Central is a Hong Kong landmark.

Economy grows 0.6% in Q1
May 17, 2019 - Hong Kong’s economy in the first quarter expanded modestly by 0.6% over a year earlier, slower than the preceding quarter’s 1.2% growth.

HKETO SF supports Hong Kong films and talents
May 16, 2019 - “Spotlight on Hong Kong Cinema: Women on the Rise" is one of the special presentations at CAAMFest 37, which runs from May 9 to 19 in the San Francisco and Oakland area. "Still Human" and "The Last Stitch" are included in the Spotlight, and the festival is also featuring three female Hong Kong filmmakers, namely "Still Human" director Oliver Chan, "Still Human" actress Crisel Consunji and "The Last Stitch" producer Ruby Yang.

Electronic customs information required for US-bound mail items, effective June 1
May 10, 2019 - Hongkong Post announced today that as from June 1, as requested by the Government of the United States (US), all mail items except small and large letters to be sent to US must have electronic customs information submitted in English at the time of posting. Mail items which do not have electronic customs information submitted cannot be sent to the US.

Application for Next Generation HKSAR e-Passport and e-Doc/I start from May 14
May 9, 2019 - The Immigration Department (ImmD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that it will start to accept applications for the Next Generation Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Electronic Passport (e-Passport) and Electronic Document of Identity for Visa Purposes (e-Doc/I) from May 14 onwards. The time required for processing such applications will be shortened from 10 to five working days.

Granting of virtual banking lisences
May 9, 2019 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (May 9) that the Monetary Authority has granted banking licenses under the Banking Ordinance to Ant SME Services (Hong Kong) Limited, Infinium Limited, Insight Fintech HK Limited and Ping An OneConnect Company Limited for them to operate in the form of a virtual bank.  The granting of these banking licenses takes effect today.  According to their business plans, these four newly licensed virtual banks intend to launch their services in around six to nine months.

Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN enters into force
May 9, 2019 - The commitments made under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) among Hong Kong and three ASEAN member states, namely Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand, will enter into force on June 11, a government spokesman said today (May 9). The dates of entry into force of the FTA for the remaining seven ASEAN member states will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

Government responds to report by United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission
May 8, 2019 - In response to media enquiries on the report by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission on the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019, a government spokesman today (May 8) made the following statement:

HKSARG responds to European Commission report
May 8, 2019 - In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today (May 8) to a report on Hong Kong issued by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

Hong Kong Monetary Authority introduces key measures on sustainable banking and green finance
May 7, 2019 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today unveiled three sets of measures to support and promote Hong Kong’s green finance development.  In his opening remarks at the HKMA Green Finance Forum today, the Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Norman Chan, said that the HKMA will collaborate with the industry and other stakeholders to combat climate change risks and develop green finance.

Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserves at US$436.4 billion
May 7, 2019 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$436.4 billion as at the end of April, compared with  US$438.0 billion at end-March.

Intellectual Property List in Court of First Instance of High Court to be established
May 6, 2019 - The Judiciary announced that the Intellectual Property List in the Court of First Instance of the High Court is established today.

IFFO and IFC host seminar on ESG and impact investing in infrastructure
May 6, 2019 - The HKMA Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office (IFFO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, co-held a seminar today. Entitled “ESG & Impact Investing: Creating Long-Term Value”, the seminar was supported by the Ministry of Finance of China. The event was attended by around 40 senior executives, comprising institutional investors, financiers, project developers and operators, insurers and professional service providers.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury meets Asian Development Bank President in Fiji
May 3, 2019 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, attended the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Nadi, Fiji, today and met with the President of the ADB, Mr Takehiko Nakao.

Provisional statistics of retail sales for March 2019
May 3, 2019 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the latest figures on retail sales today.

WHO Regional Director visits Department of Health and Centre for Health Protection
May 2, 2019 - The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, today visited the Department of Health (DH) and the DH’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) to learn about the department's various areas of work and public health programs as well as to exchange views on priorities for the WHO’s work in the Western Pacific.

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury meets with Asian Development Bank senior personnel in Fiji
May 2, 2019 - The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr James Lau, today (May 2) attended the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Nadi, Fiji, and met with ADB senior personnel and business leaders attending the meeting there.

Secretary for Food and Health meets with WHO Regional Director for Western Pacific
May 2, 2019 - The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, today met with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, during his visit to Hong Kong.

Kyoto Ichinoden opens first overseas restaurant in Hong Kong and looks to Mainland market for growth
May 1, 2019 - Kyoto Ichinoden announced today that it has opened its first overseas restaurant in Hong Kong, celebrating the brand's 100th anniversary while also tapping into the city's unique role in the region and its close ties with the Mainland market for future expansion.


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