Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - August 2020

Latest situation of online appointments for Universal Community Testing Program
August 31, 2020 - About 553,000 people have successfully registered for the Universal Community Testing Program (UCTP), to be launched on September 1, since the online booking system commenced operation on August 29.

Financial results for the four months ended July 31, 2020
August 31, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its financial results for the four months ended July 31, 2020.

Exchange Fund at US$532.8 billion
August 31, 2020 -The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,156.1 billion (US$532. 8 billion) as at July 31, 2020. This is HK$39.1 billion (US$5 billion) lower than that at the end of June 2020. Hong Kong dollar assets decreased by HK$70 billion (US$8.9 billion) while foreign currency assets increased by HK$30.9 billion (US$3.9 billion).

Latest Hong Kong films feature in virtual New York Asian Film Festival
August 28, 2020 -
The 19th New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), to be unveiled virtually tomorrow (New York time, August 28), proudly continues its tradition of featuring the latest Hong Kong film productions in the Hong Kong Panorama film series. Among the eight films featured in this year’s Hong Kong Panorama, “My Prince Edward” is a government-funded project under the First Feature Film Initiative. Other selected films include the world premiere of “Hell Bank Presents: Running Ghost” and “Chasing Dream”, which is the latest work by acclaimed director Johnnie To.

Government amends the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation and extends social distancing measures
August 25, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today gazetted amendments to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to expressly provide that engaging in any strenuous physical activity, including sports activity, in public places (except indoor areas) would be a reasonable excuse for not wearing a mask. The relevant amendment will take effect from August 28.

HKMA to chair EMEAP Working Group on Financial Markets for another two years
August 24, 2020 -The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) was re-appointed as the chair of the Working Group on Financial Markets (WGFM) (Note 1) of the Executives’s Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP) for a two-year term from 2020 to 2022. The re-appointment was endorsed by EMEAP Governors at the 25th EMEAP Governors' Meeting, held virtually on August 19.

Universal Community Testing Program to be launched on September 1
August 21, 2020 - To identify as early as possible asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the community and achieve the target of early identification, early isolation and early treatment to cut the community transmission chain, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said today that the Government will launch the Universal Community Testing Programme (UCTP) on September 1 to provide a one-off free testing service for members of the public. The UCTP is scheduled to run for seven days. Subject to actual progress, it may be extended for no more than seven days.

Government further promotes cross-sector cyber security information sharing
August 21, 2020 - The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) announced today that the Partnership Programme for Cyber Security Information Sharing, also known as Cybersec Infohub, will be formalized from September 1 onwards

Government gazetted latest legislative amendments and specifications under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
August 21, 2020 - In view of the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today gazetted the latest legislative amendments and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) to more effectively combat the epidemic.

Suspension of agreement on surrender of fugitive offenders and agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters between Hong Kong and the US
August 20, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government received notice from the Consulate General of the United States of America (US) in Hong Kong on August 18 on the suspension or termination of three bilateral agreements signed between the HKSAR Government and the US Government, namely the agreement for the surrender of fugitive offenders (SFO), the agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons and the agreement concerning tax exemptions from the income derived from the international operation of ships. The HKSAR Government has issued a severe reprimand against this by way of a press statement today (August 20).

Consumer Price Indices for July 2020
August 20, 2020 -The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for July 2020.

HKSAR Government strongly reprimands unilateral decision by the US on suspension or termination of bilateral agreements
August 20, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government issued a severe reprimand today (August 20) against the United States (US) administration for its unilateral decision to suspend or terminate three bilateral agreements with the HKSAR.

Public services to resume in a safe and orderly manner
August 20, 2020 -Taking into account the need to fight the virus for the whole community, the Government has implemented special work arrangements for government employees in the past month. As only emergency and essential public services were provided, the provision of many public services has been reduced to various extents. In view of the latest development of the epidemic situation, a spokesman for the Government announced today that government departments will gradually resume the provision of basic public services, which have been suspended or reduced in scale earlier, from August 24 to meet the needs of the public and enterprises.

Unemployment rate dips to 6.1%
August 19, 2020 -According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for May - July 2020) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 6.2% in April - June 2020 to 6.1% in May - July 2020. The underemployment rate also decreased from 3.7% in April - June 2020 to 3.5% in May - July 2020.

Government extends social distancing measures
August 17, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today will gazette the latest directions and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to extend the existing social distancing measures with effect from 0.00am on August 19 for seven days till August 25. The detailed requirements and restrictions under the latest directions and specifications are in Annex.

Scriptwriting Incubation Program opens for application
August 15, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has introduced five major measures under the Film Development Fund (FDF) earlier to help the trade tide over this difficult period and re-energize Hong Kong’s film industry. Among these measures, the Scriptwriting Incubation Programme (SIP) is open for application from today (August 15) until October 14. Scriptwriters and would-be scriptwriters who are interested in the profession are encouraged to participate.

Economic situation in second quarter of 2020
August 14, 2020 -The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Half-yearly Economic Report 2020, together with the revised figures on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2020.

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in June 2020
August 13, 2020 - Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for June 2020 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

Specimens of Universal Community Testing Program will not be transported outside Hong Kong
August 13, 2020 -A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman reiterated today that the Universal Community Testing Program (the Program) would only do testing on the COVID-19 virus. All testing will be conducted in Hong Kong. Specimens will not be transported outside Hong Kong and will be destroyed after testing.

Sixth-term Legislative Council to continue to discharge duties
August 11, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) for its decision for the sixth-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to continue to discharge duties, resolving the problem of a lacuna in the legislature arising from the postponement of the election of the seventh-term LegCo for a year.

HKSARG strongly objects to US’ new rule on origin marking of Hong Kong products
August 11, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government strongly objects to the notice published today on the United States (US) Federal Register by the Customs and Border Protection in relation to origin marking of Hong Kong products.

Global Fast Track Programe to boost fintech development
August 10, 2020 - Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today unveiled the Global Fast Track Programme, a business-driven program within Hong Kong Fintech Week (HKFW), Asia’s annual flagship fintech event, to help local and global fintech enterprises leverage Hong Kong's proven resilience and fintech opportunities to scale business and accelerate innovation. The Fast Track program plugs fintech enterprises directly into Hong Kong's diverse ecosystem of world-class regulators, business leaders, corporates and investors to propel their ventures across Hong Kong and elsewhere in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Asia where digitization and fintech adoption are surging.

Government extends social distancing measures
August 10, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government gazetted today the directions and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to extend the social distancing measures currently in place. The above directions and specifications will take effect at 0.00am on August 12 for a period of seven days till August 18.

Specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation gazetted
August 7, 2020 - In view of the development and severity of the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Government earlier made the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) and the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) subsequently gazetted specifications under Cap. 599H to impose conditions based on public health grounds on travelers who have visited specified high-risk places within 14 days before arrival in Hong Kong in order to reduce the health risk they may bring to Hong Kong, thereby further strengthening epidemic control efforts.

HKSAR Government explains work plan of Support Team from Central Government
August 7, 2020 - A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (August 7) said the Mainland nucleic acid test support team (Support Team) formed in response to the request of the HKSAR Government has commenced work to assist in enhancing virus testing capacity, establishing temporary hospital as well as expanding the scale of the Community Treatment Facilities (CTF)

Government distributed approximately 28 million locally-produced masks to the public
August 7, 2020 - The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that the Government has distributed about 28 million disposable adult masks to about 2.8 million residential addresses in Hong Kong in the past month, with each household receiving 10 masks. The masks distributed are the first batch procured by the Government under the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme, reflecting the Government's aim to share these masks with the public as part of Hong Kong's collective fight against the virus.

Foreign currency reserves at US$450 billion
August 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$450.0 billion as at the end of July 2020, compared with US$445. 9 billion at end-June 2020.

Government extends social distancing measures
August 3, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that it would gazette directions and specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to extend the social distancing measures currently in place. The above directions and specifications will take effect at 0.00am on August 5 for a period of seven days till August 11.

Government decision to postpone LegCo poll reasonable, legal and in public interest
August 3, 2020 - In response to comments contained in a statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association (the Association) issued on August 2 evening, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman stressed today that the 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election was postponed on public health grounds. 

HKSAR Government welcomes support team of Central Government to help with anti-epidemic work of HKSAR
August 2, 2020 - A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Central Government for its proactive response to the request of the HKSAR Government made in the face of the severe epidemic in Hong Kong and the speedy formation of a Mainland nucleic acid test support team to support the anti-epidemic work of the HKSAR

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