Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - April 2021

Provisional financial results for the year ended March 31, 2021
April 30, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its provisional financial results for the year ended March 31, 2021.

Exchange Fund at US$581.5 billion
April 30, 2021 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,535.7 billion (US$581.5 billion) as at March 31, 2021. This is HK$46.1 billion (US$5.9 billion) lower than that at the end of February 2021. Foreign currency assets decreased by HK$40.6 billion (US$5.2 billion) and Hong Kong dollar assets decreased by HK$5.5 billion (US$705 million).

Two batches of Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine with packaging defects to be returned to manufacturer in Germany
April 29, 2021 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman announced today that two batches of the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine, put on hold earlier due to packaging defects, will be returned to the manufacturer, BioNTech, in Germany for disposal.

Government further tightens place-specific flight suspension mechanism and suspends passenger flights from Nepal
April 29, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today the further tightening of the criteria of place-specific flight suspension mechanism. 

Government to relax social distancing measures under “vaccine bubble”
April 28, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government 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 relax social distancing measures with conditions with "vaccine bubble" as the basis. The above directions and specifications will take effect from 0.00am on April 29, for a period of 14 days till May 12 (the specified period).

Government welcomes passage of tax concessions
April 28, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, welcomed the passage of the Revenue (Tax Concessions) Bill 2021 by the Legislative Council today. It gives effect to the tax concessions proposed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in the 2021-22 Budget, reducing salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for the year of assessment 2020/21 by 100 per cent, subject to a ceiling of HK$10,000 (US$1,282) per case.

External merchandise trade statistics for March 2021
April 27, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for March 2021. In March 2021, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 26.4% and 21.7% respectively.

Designated flights under HK-Singapore Air Travel Bubble to begin on May 26
April 26, 2021 - The Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Singapore today announced that designated flights under the bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement will begin on May 26, resuming cross-border air travel in a gradual and orderly manner amidst stabilized epidemic situations of the two places.

Latest shipment of Comirnaty vaccine arrives in Hong Kong
April 23, 2021 - The latest shipment of about 580,000 doses of the Comirnaty vaccine, manufactured by BioNTech and filled and finished at another plant (Baxter) in Germany, arrived in Hong Kong this afternoon as arranged by Fosun Pharma.

Consumer Price Indices for March 2021
April 23, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for March 2021. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 0.5% in March 2021 over the same month a year earlier, smaller than the average rate of increase in January and February 2021 (1.1%). The comparison to the average rate of increase in January and February is to neutralize the effect caused by different timing of the Lunar New Year between two years, which occurred in mid-February this year but in late January last year. The smaller increase in the Composite CPI in March compared to January and February combined was attributable to the low base of comparison arising from the Government’s payment of public housing rentals and waiver of two-thirds of rent for tenants of Group B estates by Hong Kong Housing Society in January 2020.

Chief Executive attends thematic meeting of Leading Group for Development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in Guangzhou
April 22, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, attended the thematic meeting of the Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in Guangzhou this afternoon (April 22). The meeting was hosted and convened by the Vice Premier of the State Council, Mr Han Zheng. The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, sat in on the meeting.

Unemployment dips to 6.8%
April 22, 2021 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for January - March 2021) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.2% in December 2020 - February 2021 to 6.8% in January - March 2021. The underemployment rate also decreased from 4.0% in December 2020 - February 2021 to 3.8% in January - March 2021.

Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2020 clarified
April 21, 2021 - With regard to the false and misleading statement of an article published by an online media and disseminated via social media platforms today on the provision in the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2020 (the Bill) to empower the Secretary for Security to make regulations in relation to the provision of passenger information by carriers, the Security Bureau (SB) expressed strong condemnation.

Chief Executive attends Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021
April 20, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today attended the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 in Hainan and held a number of bilateral meetings.

Volume and Price Statistics of External Merchandise Trade in February 2021
April 19, 2021 - Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for February 2021 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today (April 19) the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

Invocation of flight-specific suspension mechanism to prohibit landing of flights operated by two airlines
April 18, 2021 – ​The Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) was invoked to prohibit landing of passenger flights of Cathay Pacific from Manila, the Philippines in Hong Kong from April 19 to May 2, 2021; and to prohibit landing of passenger flights of TATA SIA Airlines (Vistara) from Mumbai, India in Hong Kong from April 19 to May 2, 2021.

Government invokes place-specific flight suspension mechanism
April 18, 2021
– ​The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today the invocation of the place-specific flight suspension mechanism for India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.  From 00:00 on April 20, all passenger flights from these places will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong for 14 days.  These places will also at the same time be specified as extremely high-risk Group A specified places under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H), so as to restrict persons who have stayed in these places from boarding for Hong Kong.  The suspension will be effective for 14 days.

Hong Kong SAR Government respects rights and freedoms protected under the Basic Law
April 17, 2021 – ​In response to some bare assertions that the fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong have been undermined, the Department of Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSAR) today issued the following statement.

Children born in 2005 to 2007 or 2012 to 2018 should apply for new smart identity cards between May 3 and September 18, 2021
April 16, 2021 – ​The Immigration Department (ImmD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that children born in 2005 to 2007 or 2012 to 2018 and holding the old form of smart identity cards should apply for new smart identity cards in the company of either one of their parents or legal guardians at a Smart Identity Card Replacement Centre (SIDCC) (see Annex I) from May 3 to September 18, 202. The SIDCCs are open Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 10pm (except public holidays).

Chief Executive to attend Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference
April 16, 2021 – ​Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, will visit Hainan from April 18 to 21 to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021. The theme of this year's conference is “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”. The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui, will join the visit.

Government encourages use of community testing centers and mobile specimen collection stations for testing
April 16, 2021 – ​The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region  Government has been refining its anti-epidemic strategies in accordance with the development of the epidemic, including conducting large-scale COVID-19 testing for groups of different risks under the three key principles of “compulsory testing on a mandatory basis, targeted testing on an obligatory basis and testing on a voluntary basis” with a view to achieving “early identification, early isolation and early treatment”, and cutting transmission chains in the community as early as possible. 

Government adjusts boarding and quarantine arrangements for persons arriving from overseas places
April 15, 2021 - Starting from April 14, the Hong Kong Special  Administrative Region Government began implementing the tightened commercial passenger flight suspension mechanism to address the risk of importation of mutant strain of the virus from very high-risk places. The Government also announced the plan to shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated persons arriving from non-very high-risk overseas places on the basis of the “vaccine bubble”.

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme opens to persons aged 16 or above
April 15, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme will be expanded to cover persons aged 16 to 29. The minimum age for receiving the BioNTech vaccine is 16, and that for receiving the Sinovac vaccine is 18. Separately, the Community Vaccination Centres (CVCs) across the territory are expected to operate until the end of September.

Tourism Commission launches additional City in Time spots
April 14, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Tourism Commission today launched the second phase of the City in Time tourism project in five districts by installing additional augmented reality (AR) markers in designated locations in Central, the Peak, Sham Shui Po, Jordan and Yau Ma Tei. Locals and tourists can experience combinations of historical panoramas and real-life surroundings with their smartphones through the AR and multimedia technologies.

Government extends social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
April 14, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government gazetted 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 maintain the social distancing measures currently in place, and specify that staff members of premises who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course will not be required to undergo regular testing. The directions and specifications will take effect on April 15 for a period of 14 days till April 28 (Wednesday) (the specified period).

Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 gazetted
April 13, 2021 - The Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 (the Bill) was published in the Gazette today.

Latest shipment of Comirnaty vaccine arrives in Hong Kong
April 13, 2021 - The second shipment of about 300,000 doses of the Comirnaty vaccine of an earlier batch (the first shipment arrived on April 2), manufactured by BioNTech, filled and finished at another plant (Baxter) in Germany, arrived in Hong Kong this morning as arranged by Fosun Pharma.

Specifications under Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation to be gazetted
April 13, 2021 - In view of the severe global pandemic situation of COVID-19, and to guard against the importation of new virus variants, the 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 Egypt as one of high-risk Group B specified places, effective from April 20, to more effectively combat the epidemic.

“Policies, Strategies and Opportunities” webinar on opportunities for Hong Kong’s legal industry under 14th Five-Year Plan held successfully
April 12, 2021 - The “Policies, Strategies and Opportunities” webinar on opportunities for Hong Kong’s legal industry under the 14th Five-Year Plan was held successfully this morning. The event was co-organized by the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Department of Justice, and supporting organizations included Invest Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association Legal Affairs Steering Committee.

Financial Secretary visits Hong Kong International Airport and three-runway system site
April 12, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, visited Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and the construction site of HKIA’s three-runway system (3RS) today to learn about the progress of major projects of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA). Mr Chan was accompanied by the Chairman of the AA, Mr Jack So, and the Chief Executive Officer of the AA, Mr Fred Lam. The Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport), Ms Mable Chan, also joined the visit.

Chief Executive appeals to people to support new direction in fighting pandemic
April 12, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, together with the relevant Directors of Bureaux and a department head, held a press conference today, where she noted that with the fourth wave of the epidemic which has emerged since the second half of November last year apparently under control, a new direction in fighting the pandemic will be adopted down the road. Elucidating the adjustment of various anti-epidemic measures with "vaccine bubble" as the basis, she appealed to members of the public to get vaccinated sooner rather than later so that Hong Kong can gradually return to normality, and the flow of people with the Mainland and overseas can be restored as soon as possible.

Eighth meeting of Joint Task Force on the Development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Loop held
April 9, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, and the Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Municipality, Mr Ai Xuefeng, co-chaired the eighth meeting of the Joint Task Force on the Development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Loop via video conferencing today.

Latest shipment of Comirnaty vaccine arrives in Hong Kong
April 2, 2021 - The shipment of about 300,000 doses of the Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by BioNTech, filled and finished at another plant in Germany, arrived in Hong Kong on April 2 afternoon as arranged by Fosun Pharma. 

Government announces investigation results regarding packaging defects of BioNTech vaccine and arrangements for resumption of vaccination service
April 1, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today received from German drug manufacturer BioNTech the investigation results regarding packaging defects of the vial caps of the BioNTech vaccine (batch 210102) and the follow-up proposal.  The Government took note of the investigation results and announced the arrangements for resumption of vaccination service of the BioNTech vaccine starting from April 5 under the Government vaccination program.

Arrangements for designated flights from United Kingdom to Hong Kong and quarantine arrangements for arrivals from low-risk places
April 1, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today (April 1) the arrangements for designated flights from the United Kingdom (UK) to Hong Kong and the latest quarantine arrangements for arrivals from overseas low-risk specified places.

Hong Kong SAR Government strongly objects to Hong Kong Policy Act Report released by US State Department
April 1, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (April 1) expressed strong opposition to the remarks contained in the so-called Hong Kong Policy Act Report issued by the United States (US) Department of State.

 

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