Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - May 2020

Hong Kong residents stranded in Nepal to take special flights back home
May 31, 2020 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman said today that to assist Hong Kong residents stranded in Nepal to leave there, the Government has co-ordinated with the Consulate General of Nepal in Hong Kong (Consulate General) and a local airline to arrange two special flights to bring them home. The special flights are tentatively scheduled to depart Kathmandu on June 1. The flights are expected to carry about 330 passengers to return Hong Kong.

HKSAR Government launches Online Exhibition of the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law
May 30, 2020 - The “Online Exhibition of the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China” is launched today. The Exhibition will present, in the form of a time tunnel, the historical background, drafting, promulgation and successful implementation of the Basic Law in Hong Kong.

HKSAR Government refutes statements by US Administration
May 30, 2020 - In response to the statement by President Trump on May 29 afternoon (about 3am, May 30, Hong Kong time) and comments by the United States (US) State Department over the last two days, a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman today (May 30) said:

Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services to be implemented on June 1
May 29, 2020 - Under the framework of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the Mainland and Hong Kong signed the Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services (Amendment Agreement) on November 21, 2019. The Amendment Agreement will be implemented on June 1.

Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund at US$525.1 billion
May 29, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,096.0 billion (US$525.1 billion) as at April 30, 2020. This is HK$1.4 billion (US$179 million) higher than that at the end of March 2020. Foreign currency assets increased by HK$67.3 billion (US$8.6 billion) while Hong Kong dollar assets decreased by HK$65.9 billion (US$8.4 billion).

Financial Leaders Forum convenes 12th meeting
May 29, 2020 - The Financial Leaders Forum, chaired by Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, held its 12th meeting today.

Financial results for the month ended April 30, 2020
May 29, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its financial results for April 2020, the first month of the current financial year.

Government responds to US Chamber of Commerce statement on national security law
May 27, 2020 - In response to a statement by the US Chamber of Commerce on May 26 on the national security law (and a similar statement by the AmCham in Hong Kong on May 22), a Government spokesman said:

Government welcomes HKEX and MSCI’s partnership to launch key index futures and options contracts in Hong Kong
May 27, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government welcomes the partnership of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) and MSCI Limited to launch a suite of 37 MSCI Asia and Emerging Market equity index futures and options contracts on the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE).

External merchandise trade statistics for April 2020
May 25, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for April 2020. In April 2020, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 3.7% and 6.7% respectively.

Consumer Price Indices for April 2020
May 21, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for April 2020. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 1.9% in April 2020 over the same month a year earlier, smaller than the corresponding increase (2.3%) in March 2020. The smaller year-on-year rate of change in the Composite CPI in April was partly attributable to the higher base of comparison caused by the lowering of rates concession ceiling starting from April 2019, from HK$2,500 (US$320) ) per quarter for each rateable tenement in earlier periods to HK$1,500 (US$192). 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 April 2020 was 2.3%, smaller than that in March 2020 (2.6%), mainly due to the smaller increases in private housing rentals and the decreases in the fuel cost variation charge for towngas. 

“Government refutes unfounded claims on further relaxation for group gatherings
May 20, 2020 - In response to some comments saying that further relaxation of restrictions on group gatherings under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) (the Regulation) involves political consideration, the Government's spokesperson pointed out last night (May 19) that these allegations were totally unfounded.

“Fintech Adoption and Innovation in the Hong Kong Banking Industry” report published
May 20, 2020 - The Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research (HKIMR), the research arm and subsidiary of the Hong Kong Academy of Finance (AoF), today released a report, entitled “Fintech Adoption and Innovation in the Hong Kong Banking Industry” as the first in a series of Applied Research reports on topics that are highly relevant to the financial industry and regulators in Hong Kong, and they provide insights on the long-term development strategy and direction of Hong Kong’s financial industry.

Manufacturers under Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme to begin supplying masks to Government
May 19, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has signed funding agreements of 19 production lines under the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme, and nine of them have obtained certification certifying that the masks produced comply with the ASTM F2100 Level 1 standard or above. These production lines will gradually commence supplying masks to the Government starting from late May

Unemployment rate rose to 5.2%
May 19, 2020 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for February - April 2020) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.2% in January - March 2020 to 5.2% in February - April 2020. The underemployment rate also increased from 2.1% in January - March 2020 to 3.1% in February - April 2020.

Government announces latest social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
May 19, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will gazette today directions and amendments under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) to extend the social distancing measures in relation to catering businesses, scheduled premises and group gatherings in public places, as well as make appropriate adjustments to these measures having regard to the latest situation.  

Chief Executive approves chairmanship of HKEX
May 19, 2020 - The Chief Executive has approved the re-appointment of Mrs Laura Cha May-lung as Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) with immediate effect.

Chartered flight taking Hong Kong residents stranded in India back home departed from New Delhi
May 18, 2020 - A chartered flight taking Hong Kong residents stranded in India back home departed from New Delhi at around 11pm on May 17 local time and arrived at Hong Kong International Airport on May 18 morning (Hong Kong time). There are 249 Hong Kong residents on board, including seven children under two years of age.

Secretary for Food and Health attends 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing
May 18, 2020 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, attended the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) via video conferencing today (May 18) as a member of the Chinese delegation.

Appointment of Chief Executive Officer of Securities and Futures Commission
May 18, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (May 18) announced the re-appointment of Mr Ashley Alder as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The re-appointment is for a term of three years, from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2023.

University Grants Committee allocates additional funding for research projects on COVID-19 and other novel infectious diseases
May 15, 2020 - In response to the COVID-19 epidemic and its evolving global impact, the University Grants Committee (UGC) and the Research Grants Council (RGC) have allocated a one-off additional funding of HK$150 million (US$19.2 million) and HK$100 million (US$12.8 million) respectively under the Collaborative Research Fund and the Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS) to support the UGC-funded sector in conducting research related to COVID-19 and other novel infectious diseases (NIDs).

Economic situation in the first quarter of 2020
May 15, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the First Quarter Economic Report 2020, together with the revised figures on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020.

Chief Executive’s response to thematic study report by Independent Police Complaints Council
May 15, 2020 - The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) submitted to the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, its “Thematic Study Report on the Public Order Events arising from the Fugitive Offenders Bill since June 2019 and the Police Actions in Response” today. The report is also available for viewing by members of the public.

Security Bureau’s response to thematic study report by Independent Police Complaints Council
May 15, 2020 - The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) published today the “Thematic Study Report on the Public Order Events arising from the Fugitive Offenders Bill since June 2019 and the Police Actions in Response” (the Thematic Study Report). 

Strategic directions set for driving genomic medicine in Hong Kong
May 14, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today announced the Strategic Development of Genomic Medicine in Hong Kong (the Strategy), a blueprint to drive the local development of genomic medicine in order to harness its huge potential in precise diagnoses, personalized treatment and surveillance of diseases.

Facilitating FinTech Development
May 14, 2020 - The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, visited Cyberport today to learn more about its latest and future development, particularly in the financial technology (FinTech) area. Also joining the visit was the Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services), Ms Michelle Li.

Government welcomes HKQAA’s Green Finance Certification Scheme - ESG Fund
May 14, 2020 - The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) today announced the launch of its Green Finance Certification Scheme - ESG Fund to provide third-party conformity assessments on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) fund and further promote ESG initiatives with a view to directing capital flows towards green and sustainable uses.

HKSAR Government arranging chartered flight to bring back Hong Kong residents stranded in India
May 13, 2020 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionGovernment spokesman said today that the first chartered flight to take Hong Kong residents stranded in India home is tentatively scheduled to depart New Delhi for Hong Kong on May 17 at the earliest.

Government to resume Second Reading debate of 10 bills
May 12, 2020 - The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, today wrote to the Chairman of the Legislative Council (LegCo) House Committee (HC), Ms Starry Lee, indicating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s intention to resume Second Reading debate of 10 Government Bills at the LegCo meeting on May 27 and to first proceed with the National Anthem Bill and the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill 2019 at this juncture.

Hong Kong Immigration Department wins 2020 Skytrax Award for Best Airport Immigration Service
May 11, 2020 - The Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) has been voted the winner of the 2020 best airport immigration service award in the World Passenger Survey commissioned by Skytrax, an international specialist research agent of the air transport industry. This is the fourth time for the ImmD to receive the award after winning it in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

Government appreciates Mr Charles Li’s exemplary contributions to the development of Hong Kong’s financial market
May 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) announced today that Mr Charles Li would not seek reappointment as HKEx Chief Executive at the end of his current contract in October 2021. 

Foreign currency reserves at US$441.2 billion
May 7, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$441.2 billion as at the end of April 2020, compared to US$437.6 billion at end-March 2020.

Close to 1.38 million registered for CuMask+™
May 6, 2020 - As at 3pm today (May 6, Hong Kong time), the CuMask+™ online registration system had received over 500,000 registrations, covering close to 1.38 million registrants in total. The average waiting time was about one to two minutes. The Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) reminds citizens that there is no need to rush. The registration period for CuMask+™ will last for one month till June 6.

Joint statement on establishment of Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group
May 5, 2020 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) initiated the establishment of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group). Other members are the Environment Bureau, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the Insurance Authority (IA) and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA).

Government welcomes establishment of Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group
May 5, 2020 - The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group held its inaugural meeting today. The Steering Group, as initiated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission with the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau being a member, aims to accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong.

Government to distribute free reusable masks to all citizens
May 5, 2020 - The Innovation and Technology Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that the Government will distribute free reusable CuMask+™ to all Hong Kong citizens.

Lifting of certain social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
May 5, 2020 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will gazette the directions and amendments under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G) as appropriate to relax some of the social distancing measures in relation to catering business, scheduled premises and group gathering in public places. The latest measures will come into effect from May 8, 2020 for 14 days till May 21, 2020.

Advance estimates on Gross Domestic Product for first quarter of 2020
May 4, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released today the advance estimates on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020.

HKSAR Government strongly refutes foreign politicians’ recent remarks on Hong Kong
May 1, 2020 - On recent allegations made by certain officials and politicians in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament relating to a Hong Kong Police's arrest operation on April 18 and other security matters, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government said today (May 1) that they were totally unfounded and amounted to a serious intervention in Hong Kong’s affairs. The HKSAR Government strongly disagreed with the grossly irresponsible remarks and expressed deep regret about them.

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