Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - December 2020

Financial results for the eight months ended November 30, 2020
December 31, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its financial results for the eight months ended November 30, 2020.

Exchange Fund at US$570.7 billion
December 31, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (December 31) that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,451.8 billion (US$570.7 billion) as at November 30, 2020. This is HK$14.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) lower than that at the end of October 2020. 

The Immigration Department accepts applications for return to Hong Kong from Hong Kong non-permanent residents outside Hong Kong under the pandemic
December 31, 2020 - The Immigration Department (ImmD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (December 31) announced that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong non-permanent residents who are currently outside Hong Kong with their limit of stay about to expire/expired may apply for a visa/entry permit to return to Hong Kong.

Government launches “iAM Smart” digital platform
December 29, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today the launch of a one-stop personalized digital services platform, “iAM Smart”, to provide a new experience for the public to login and use online services with a single digital identity with their personal mobile phone. The “iAM Smart” mobile app will be available for free download starting from 9am on December 30.

External Merchandise Trade Statistics for November 2020
December 28, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for November 2020. In November 2020, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 5.6% and 5.1% respectively.

Innovation and Technology Venture Fund adds three co-investment partners
December 28, 2020 - The Innovation and Technology Commission today announced that the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund (ITVF) has added three venture capital (VC) funds as co-investment partners (CPs), namely Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, Isola Capital and Lingfeng Capital.

Government tightens restrictions and compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in places outside China
December 25, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has gazetted the specifications under the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C), the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H), and published the latest compulsory testing notice under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J), to tighten the compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in places outside China, and restrict the boarding of persons who have stayed in South Africa for Hong Kong.

Government tightens compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in United Kingdom
December 24, 2020 - ​The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has gazetted the amendments to the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation (Cap. 599C), the Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation (Cap. 599E) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) as well as the relevant specifications to tighten the compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in the United Kingdom (UK).

Government makes Prevention and Control of Disease (Use of Vaccines) Regulation
December 24, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government published the Prevention and Control of Disease (Use of Vaccines) Regulation (Cap. 599K) (the Regulation) in the Gazette on December 23, which provides the legal framework under the present state of public health emergency to bring in COVID-19 vaccines which satisfy the criteria of safety, efficacy and quality for emergency use.  The Regulation will remain in effect until December 23, 2021.

Hong Kong Observatory wins awards at WMO’s first international weather apps competition
December 23, 2020 - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced on December 15 that the mobile application “MyObservatory” developed by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) won in the “Public weather forecasts and information - information content” category and earned an honorable mention in the “Specialized apps award - weather warnings” category at the WMO International Weather Apps Awards 2020 (WIWAA).

Hong Kong team triumphs at International Olympiad of Metropolises
December 23, 2020 - A team of eight students representing Hong Kong achieved excellent results in the 5th International Olympiad of Metropolises (IOM 2020), winning two gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal, as well as a gold award in the team competition.

HKSAR and Hague Conference on Private International Law sign memorandum of understanding on secondment of legal professionals
December 22, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), Dr Christophe Bernasconi, for the technical and administrative arrangements relating to the secondment of legal professionals today at a virtual signing ceremony.

Government strengthens restrictions to persons arriving at Hong Kong from United Kingdom
December 22, 2020 - In view of the development of COVID-19 epidemic situation in the United Kingdom (UK), the Government announced on December 21 that it would tighten a number of infection control measures under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) applicable to persons arriving at Hong Kong from the UK. The relevant measures became effective from 0.00am on December 22 until further notice.

Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme fully implemented
December 22, 2020 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman said today (December 22) that the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme has been fully implemented since 0.00am today. All 36 designated hotels must solely be receiving travelers arriving from foreign places for compulsory quarantine. Government has arranged dedicated team to inspect the designated hotels. The quarantine arrangement has been smooth so far.

Government extends social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
December 21, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today (December 21) that it will 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 maintain the social distancing measures currently in place. These measures will take effect on December 24, 2020 for a period of 14 days till January 6, 2021.

Government welcomes CFA judgment on ERO
December 21, 2020 - The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) welcomed the judgment delivered by the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) today, which upheld the compatibility of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) with the Basic Law and the proportionality of the restrictions of rights in prohibiting the use of facial coverings at public order events contained in the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation (PFCR).

HKSAR Government strongly objects to remarks
December 19, 2020 - A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today  strongly objected to the remarks made by a US official regarding the 12 absconders, and expressed strong dissatisfaction with these remarks which had totally disregarded the facts and confused about what was right and wrong.

Government strengthens testing requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from foreign places
December 18, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has exercised the power under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) and published in the Gazette a compulsory testing notice, which requires persons arriving at Hong Kong after a specified date to undergo a COVID-19 nucleic acid test on the 19th or 20th day following their arrival at Hong Kong for early identification of imported cases.

Specifications under Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation to be gazetted
December 18, 2020 - In view of the global developments and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today (December 18) that it will gazette the specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to include Canada as a specified place starting from December 25 to more effectively combat the epidemic.

Unemployment eases to 6.3%
December 17, 2020 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for September - November 2020) released today (December 17) by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly from 6.4% in August - October 2020 to 6.3% in September - November 2020. The underemployment rate also decreased from 3.8% in August - October 2020 to 3.4% in September - November 2020.

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in October 2020
December 17, 2020 - Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for October 2020 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

Prosecutions made strictly in accordance with law
December 15, 2020 - In response to comments from some overseas politicians concerning a man who was charged under the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, a spokesman for the Department of Justice (DoJ) today (December 12) reiterated that all prosecutions are carried out in strict accordance with the law.

IFC and HKMA showcase best practices in sustainable business and climate finance at IFC Climate Business Webinar
December 15, 2020 - The Centre for Green Finance (CGF) under the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, co-hosted the first IFC Climate Business Webinar over the last two days (December 14-15). The event took place virtually in lieu of the previously planned 6th Annual IFC Business Forum, an IFC flagship event to discuss best practices in sustainable business and green banking. The Webinar attracted over 1,500 participants globally from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.

Government to gazette specifications in relation to Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme
December 15, 2020 - To implement the Designated Quarantine Hotel Scheme, the Government today announced that it will gazette the specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H).

Government releases Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0
December 10, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0 (Blueprint 2.0) today with more than 130 smart city initiatives.

Specifications under Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation to be gazetted
December 10, 2020 - In view of the global developments and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that it will gazette the specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to include Ukraine as a specified place starting from December 17 to more effectively combat the epidemic. 

CE assures international business community on “One Country, Two Systems”
December 8, 2020 - The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, assured the international business community that the rule of law, judicial independence and people’s rights and freedoms, the core values underpinning Hong Kong’s success, will continue to be upheld under “One Country, Two Systems”.

Government further tightens social distancing measures and extends expiry dates of Regulations under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
December 8, 2020 - In view of the development of COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announces today (December 8) that it will further tighten social distancing measures with effect from December 10, 2020 for a period of 14 days to December 23, 2020, and will extend the expiry dates of various regulations under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) to March 31, 2021.

Tenth meeting of Chief Executive’s Council of Advisers on Innovation and Strategic Development held
December 8, 2020 - The Chief Executive’s Council of Advisers on Innovation and Strategic Development (the Council) held its 10th meeting online today to discuss the 2020 Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive on November 25, 2020.

Government gazetted latest amendments to Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation
December 8, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government gazetted today the latest amendments to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (the Regulation) (Cap. 599J) to provide the legal framework for the Government to, according to the needs of infection control, restrict movement of persons subject to compulsory testing, or seal off premises with epidemic outbreaks until all persons on the premises have undergone testing and the test results are ascertained.

Foreign currency reserves at US$486 billion
December 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$486 billion as at the end of November 2020, compared with US$474.9 billion at end-October.

Government expresses regret over US State Department decision to terminate exchange visits
December 5, 2020 - A US State Department decision to terminate visits to Hong Kong under a long-standing program is short-sighted and premised on false assumptions, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government spokesman said today.

Hong Kong SAR Government opposes accusations by US
December 4, 2020 - In response to the press statement by the United States Department of State, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) made the following statement today:

Statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the third quarter of 2020
December 3, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (December 3) released the statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the third quarter of 2020.

HKSARG vehemently refutes groundless accusations of report by United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission
December 2, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today vehemently refutes the report issued by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) (Report) and firmly opposes the sweeping attacks and unfounded accusations in the Chapter on Hong Kong.

Date of inaugural flights under HK-Singapore Air Travel Bubble deferred to beyond 2020
December 1, 2020 - In view of the recent developments of the COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong, the Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Singapore have decided to defer the commencement of the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble (ATB) to beyond 2020 and will review the arrangement for 2021 towards late December.

Provisional statistics of retail sales for October 2020
December 1, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the latest figures on retail sales today.

Government further tightens social distancing measures
December 1, 2020 - In view of the development of COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong, the Government announced on November 30 to further tighten social distancing measures under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F).

Tightening group gathering and raising penalties amid COVID-19 surge
December 1, 2020 - As foreshadowed by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the press conference yesterday (November 30) announcing the latest package of measures to control the surge in the COVID-19 epidemic, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today (December 1) that at its meeting this morning, the Executive Council endorsed amendments to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) to tighten requirements on group gatherings. Members also gave in principle support to increasing the penalties for breaching requirements under certain Regulations in order to create the necessary deterrence effect.

 

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