Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - January 2020

Financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2019
January 31, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2019.

Hong Kong Exchange Fund at US$546 billion
January 31, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,259.1 billion (US$546 billion) as at December 31, 2019. This is HK$116.2 billion (US$14.8 billion) higher than that at the end of November 2019.  Hong Kong dollar assets increased by HK$107.8 billion (US$13.8 billion) and foreign currency assets increased by HK$8.4 billion (US$1.0 billion).

Government enhances disease prevention and control measures with reference to World Health Organisation’s advice
January 31, 2020 - The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has declared that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and made a number of recommendations on disease prevention and control. A government spokesman said today (January 31) that the Government's disease prevention and control measures implemented so far are in line with the WHO’s suggestions. Taking into account the WHO’s recommendations, the Government has announced that measures will be extended or rolled out to further prevent and control the spread of the disease.

Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Hosts Chinese New Year Reception
January 30, 2020 - Some 600 guests attended a Chinese New Year reception on January 29 hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington, D.C., to welcome the Year of the Rat.

Hong Kong’s institutional strengths continue to be upheld
January 30, 2020 - Hong Kong’s institutional strengths and core values, most notably the rule of law, continue to be upheld in the city, said Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Mr Eddie Mak, in New York this evening (January 30, New York time).

Government increases supply of surgical masks through multi-pronged approach
January 30, 2020 - In response to widespread public concern and anxiety about the supply of surgical masks in Hong Kong, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman today said that owing to the spread of disease which gives rise to keen global demand, the supply of surgical masks is expected to remain tight in the short term. The spokesman stressed that the Government has been working proactively to increase the overall supply of surgical masks with a multi-pronged approach.

External merchandise trade statistics for December 2019
January 30, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for December 2019. In December 2019, the value of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods increased by 3.3%, whereas the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.9% over a year earlier.

Special work arrangement for Government departments
January 28, 2020 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman announced today that special work arrangement for government departments will be implemented after the Lunar New Year holidays (starting from January 29) in order to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community.  Except for staff of the departments providing emergency services and essential public services, all other employees of the Government are not required to return to the offices but to work at home after the holidays.

HKSAR Government announces enhanced measures for disease prevention and control
January 28, 2020 - Following the escalation of the response level to Emergency under the Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance on January 25, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, has convened the Steering Committee cum Command Centre for three consecutive days since January 26 to tackle the situation in relation to novel coronavirus infection. Taking into account the development speed and severity of the situation, the Steering Committee cum Command Centre decided at its meeting today to further implement seven disease prevention and control measures. The measures include reducing the flow of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong as well as contacts among members of the public, with a view to lowering the chance of the disease being imported into Hong Kong and spreading in the community.

HKSAR Government imposes immigration restrictions on Hubei Province residents and persons visited Hubei Province in past 14 days
January 26, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, convened a meeting of the Steering Committee cum Command Centre in relation to the Novel Coronavirus today. As the outbreak is mainly found and the situation is getting more severe in the Hubei Province, and experts have advised that asymptomatic patients would increase the difficulties in disease prevention and control, the Steering Committee cum Command Centre has decided to impose restrictions on all Hubei Province residents and people who visited the Hubei Province in the past 14 days from entering Hong Kong until further notice to reduce the chances of infected persons entering the city.

Chief Executive announces activation of Emergency Response Level in relation to novel coronavirus infection
January 25 2020 - In response to the latest development of the novel coronavirus infection, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today, announced that the response level under the “Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance” (the Preparedness and Response Plan) would be raised to Emergency Response Level with immediate effect. She also rolled out a package of measures to tackle the disease and appealed to every member of public in Hong Kong to work together to fight against the virus.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development promotes Hong Kong’s edge as trade capital in Davos
January 24, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, attended Hong Kong Night in Davos, Switzerland yesterday (January 23, Davos time) and addressed a panel session themed on “Hong Kong, Trade Capital - Connecting Asia, Connecting the World”.

CE leads TeamHK delegation to promote Hong Kong in Davos
January 24, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, yesterday (January 23, Davos time) led the TeamHK delegation to attend the Hong Kong Night in Davos, Switzerland, to promote Hong Kong’s strengths and advantages to high-powered guests from different parts of the world. She also attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders and met with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and leaders of different sectors.

Hong Kong and Mexico sign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
January 24, 2020 - Hong Kong and Mexico signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) in Davos, Switzerland, yesterday (January 23, Davos time) to strengthen mutual investment protection. The agreement is set to enhance the confidence of investors, expand investment flows and further strengthen the economic and trade ties between the two places. 

Exchange Fund position at end-December 2019
January 23, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today (January 23) published the unaudited financial position of the Exchange Fund at end-December 2019.

SCED meets with political and business leaders in Davos to reinforce that Hong Kong’s institutional strengths remain intact
January 23, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, met with various political and business leaders on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland yesterday (January 22, Davos time). He updated them on the latest developments in Hong Kong and impressed upon them that Hong Kong’s institutional strengths remain intact despite the unprecedented challenges that it has been facing.

Chief Executive attends World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland
January 21, 2020 - The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, leading a Hong Kong delegation, arrived in Davos, Switzerland at noon (January 21, Davos time) to start her three-day visit to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. She attended a WEF session with an address by the Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, and met with the Prime Minister of Singapore and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg to brief them on the latest situation in Hong Kong.

Chief Executive attends World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland
January 21, 2020 - The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, leading a Hong Kong delegation, arrived in Davos, Switzerland at noon (January 21, Davos time) to start her three-day visit to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. She attended a WEF session with an address by the Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng, and met with the Prime Minister of Singapore and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg to brief them on the latest situation in Hong Kong.

Two Hong Kong arts activators start art residency at Yale
January 21, 2020 - Hong Kong cross-disciplinary artist-curator Wong Chi-yung and filmmaker Jeremy Hung have started their six-month residency programme at Yale University in New Haven under the Hong Kong Arts Activators Fellowship programme of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY).

Invest Hong Kong assists record number of overseas and Mainland companies setting up or expanding in Hong Kong
January 21, 2020 - Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today announced that the department had assisted 487 overseas and Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2019.

Consumer Price Indices for December 2019
January 21, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for December 2019. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 2.9% in December 2019 over the same month a year earlier, slightly smaller than the corresponding increase (3.0%) in November 2019. The smaller increase in December was mainly due to the smaller increases in local transport fares as well as the costs for meals bought away from home. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in December 2019 was also 2.9%, remaining virtually unchanged as compared to November 2019.

HKSAR Government’s response to Moody’s announcement of changes to Hong Kong’s long-term issuer rating and credit outlook
January 21, 2020 - In response to the announcement (January 20) by Moody's Investors Service to downgrade Hong Kong’s long-term issuer rating to “Aa3” from “Aa2”, while changing the credit outlook to “stable” from “negative”, a Government spokesman made the following comments:

Unemployment rate edged up to 3.3%
January 21, 2020 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for October - December 2019) released by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.2% in September - November 2019 to 3.3% in October - December 2019. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.

Business expectations for the first quarter of 2020
January 17, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released today the results of the Quarterly Business Tendency Survey for the first quarter (Q1) of 2020. 

Chief Executive to lead Hong Kong delegation to World Economic Forum
January 16, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, will lead a top-level delegation to this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos to remind global political, business and media leaders that Hong Kong's enduring strengths and advantages continue to serve it well.

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in November 2019
January 16, 2020 - Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for November 2019 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.

HKSAR Government responds to foreign NGO report
January 15, 2020 - In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today to parts of a report related to Hong Kong issued by Human Rights Watch, a foreign non-governmental organization:

Hong Kong Fintech Week 2020 to be held in November
January 13, 2020 - Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) today announced that its fifth annual Hong Kong Fintech Week will take place from November 2 to 6 at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong and in Shenzhen. InvestHK also outlined some of its activities and programs planned for the months leading up to the region's only cross-boundary fintech trade show.

Asian Financial Forum explores redefinition of growth through innovation and breakthrough
January 13, 2020 - The 13th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), co-organised by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, opened today. Featuring the theme of “Redefining Growth: Innovation.Breakthrough.Inclusiveness”, the forum gathered policymakers and financial regulators, financial and business leaders, as well as investors and entrepreneurs to share their insights on how best to redefine and reshape economic growth by exploring innovations to achieve breakthroughs for the benefit of all.

Hong Kong SAR Government responds to US report
January 9, 2020 - In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today to parts of a report related to Hong Kong issued by the United States (US) Congressional-Executive Commission on China:

Government to gazette inclusion of “Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent” as statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
January 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will publish the Prevention and Control of Disease (Amendment) Regulation 2020 and the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Notice 2020 in the Gazette tomorrow (January 8) to include “Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent” as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease set out in Schedule 1 of the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) and amend its subsidiary legislation, namely the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap. 599A). The Amendment Regulation and the Notice will take effect on the same day as publication in the Gazette.

Hong Kong’s foreign currency reserves at US$441.3 billion
January 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$441.3 billion as at the end of December 2019, compared with  US$434.2 billion at end-November 2019.

Government launches Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance
January 4, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today launched the Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance (The Plan). In parallel, the Serious Response Level was activated with immediate effect.

Government firmly refutes unfounded, misguided claims in open letter from a group of overseas politicians and persons
January 1, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today refutes as unfounded and misguided claims in an open letter to the Chief Executive signed by a group of overseas politicians and persons.

DoJ responds to criticism against judge
January 1, 2020 - In response to the vandalism outside the High Court Building and criticism against a judge today (January 1), the Department of Justice issued the following statement:

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