Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong

News Release - January 2021

Government actively follows up on European Union’s export control mechanism for vaccines
January 30, 2021 - A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said today that the Government is gravely concerned about the European Union’s announcement of implementing an export control mechanism, and if necessary, banning the export of COVID-19 vaccines. The SAR Government will closely monitor the development of the situation.

Hong Kong SAR Government follows up on China’s countermeasures against British Government’s handling of issues related to British National (Overseas) passport
January 29, 2021 - The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced today the non-recognition of the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport as a valid travel document and proof of identity. With effect from January 31, BN(O) passports cannot be used for immigration clearance and will not be recognized as any form of proof of identity in Hong Kong.

Exchange Fund at US$577 billion
January 29, 2021 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to HK$4,500.8 billion (US$577 billion) as at December 31, 2020. This is HK$49 billion (US$6.2 billion) higher than that at the end of November 2020. Foreign currency assets increased by HK$40.3 billion (US$5.1 billion) and Hong Kong dollar assets increased by HK$8.7 billion (US$1.1 billion).

Financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2020
January 29, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today its financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2020.

Advance estimates on Gross Domestic Product for fourth quarter and whole year of 2020
January 29, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the advance estimates on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter and the whole year of 2020.

Government launches one-stop information portal on COVID-19 vaccines
January 29, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today launched the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme website [www.covidvaccine.gov.hk], which provides official and up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines on a one-stop basis. When the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is formally launched, the website will also provide detailed information on the Programme and be linked to the online booking system where people can reserve their vaccination slot at a chosen location.

Exchange Fund Position at end-December 2020
January 27, 2021 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today published the unaudited financial position of the Exchange Fund at end-December 2020.

Specifications under Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation to be gazetted
January 27, 2021 - In view of the global development and the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic, 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 Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates as very high-risk Group B specified places, effective from February 2, to more effectively combat the epidemic.

Chief Executive reports to state leaders on work
January 27, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today was arranged to conduct the annual reporting of work to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang separately via video conferencing, during which she reported to them the latest economic, social and political situation in Hong Kong.

Government extends social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
January 26, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced on January 26 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. The directions and specifications will take effect on January 28, 2021 for a period of seven days till February 3, 2021.

External merchandise trade statistics for December 2020
January 26, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today (January 26) the external merchandise trade statistics for December 2020. In December 2020, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 11.7% and 14.1% respectively.

COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech authorized for emergency use in Hong Kong
January 25, 2021 - The Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) authorized today the COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech (i.e. Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (BNT162b2) Concentrate for Dispersion for Injection) for emergency use in Hong Kong in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Use of Vaccines) Regulation (Cap. 599K) (the Regulation).

CEDB to create 200 internship jobs in collaboration with international chambers and HKFYG
January 24, 2021 - The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will launch two internship programs, namely the Future International Talent (FIT) program and the Telecommunications Opportunities Program (TOP) in collaboration with six international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) respectively. The programs will create some 200 full-time entry-level job opportunities for young people in the creative industries and telecommunications sectors.

Government maintains boarding restrictions for places with severe epidemic situation and compulsory quarantine arrangements
January 23, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that in view of the developments of the global COVID-19 epidemic situation, it is necessary to maintain the measure under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to restrict persons who have stayed in the extremely high-risk Group A specified places from boarding flights for Hong Kong, as well as the 21-day compulsory quarantine requirement 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 Cap. 599H for persons arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed in places outside China.

Consumer Price Indices for December 2020
January 21, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for December 2020. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices fell by 0.7% in December 2020 over the same month a year earlier. The decrease was larger than the corresponding decrease in November 2020 (-0.2%), mainly due to a larger amount of Government's provision of electricity charges subsidy in December 2020. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of change in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in December 2020 was 0.0%, smaller than that in November 2020 (0.3%). The smaller year-on-year rate of change in December was mainly due to the smaller increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and the enlarged decreases in private housing rentals.   

Unemployment rate rises to 6.3%
January 19, 2021 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for October - December 2020) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 6.3% in September - November 2020 to 6.6% in October - December 2020. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4% in the two periods.

Special work arrangements for government employees to be extended
January 19, 2021 - In view of the local epidemic situation, it is necessary for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to continue to take measures to reduce the flow of people and social contact in order to stop COVID-19 from spreading in the community. A spokesman for the Government announced today that the special work arrangements for government employees will be extended until January 27. Save for those involved in the provision of emergency services and essential public services and in anti-epidemic efforts, all other government employees will be arranged to continue to work from home. The Government will closely monitor the epidemic situation and review the arrangements before January 27.

Government extends social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
January 19, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today 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. The directions and specifications will take effect on January 21, 2021 for a period of seven days till January 27, 2021.

Government restricts persons who have stayed in Brazil or Ireland from boarding flights for Hong Kong
January 19, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will gazette the specifications under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to restrict persons who have stayed in Brazil or Ireland from boarding flights for Hong Kong.

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in November 2020
January 18, 2021 - Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for November 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.

Asian Financial Forum examines opportunities and challenges in new global economic landscape
January 18, 2021 -
The 14th Asian Financial Forum (AFF), jointly organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, opened today with more than 5,000 influential global policymakers, financial experts, business leaders, economists, investors and entrepreneurs from some 70 countries and regions signed up to participate online for the first time to examine opportunities and challenges for finance, investment and business in the new global economic landscape.Asian Financial Forum examines opportunities and challenges in new global economic landscape

Advisory Panel on COVID-19 Vaccines convenes meeting on application for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma
January 18, 2021 - The Advisory Panel on COVID-19 Vaccines (Advisory Panel) convened a meeting today on the application for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine by Fosun Pharma. The meeting was chaired by convenor Professor Wallace Lau Chak-sing.

Hong Kong SAR Government denounces US sanctions
January 16, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today sternly denounced the “coercive measures” taken by the US Department of State under the so-called “The President's Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization” against six officials of the Central People’s Government and the HKSAR Government. This latest attempt of the US Government to intervene into internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and obstruct actions taken by the HKSAR authorities to safeguard national security, since the enactment of The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the National Security Law) on June 30, 2020, is insane, shameless and despicable.

Hong Kong SAR Government strongly objects to US Congressional-Executive Commission report
January 15, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (January 15) strongly objects to the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC)'s newly released 2020 annual report which is biased, politically motivated and not reflecting the truth.

Appointment of Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Academy of Finance
January 14, 2021 - The Hong Kong Academy of Finance (AoF) announced today (January 14) the appointment of Mr Kwok Kwok-chuen as Chief Executive Officer of the AoF for a two-year term with effect from January 18.

Hong Kong SAR Government requests WTO to establish panel to consider dispute with respect to US’ new requirement on origin marking
January 14, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to establish at its meeting on January 25 a panel in accordance with the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism to consider the dispute with respect to the violation of WTO rules by the United States’ (US’) new requirement on origin marking for Hong Kong products.

Hong Kong objects to US’ proposed modification to its commitments under WTO GPA
January 11, 2021 - As one of the 21 Parties to the revised Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization (WTO GPA), Hong Kong notified the WTO Committee on Government Procurement (GP Committee) today (January 11) of its objection to the modification proposed by the United States (US) to its commitments under the Agreement.

Chief Executive congratulates Chief Justice on his assumption of office
January 11, 2021 - Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today congratulated the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, on his assumption of office, and pledged her continued support for the Judiciary.

New Chief Justice sworn in
January 11, 2021 - The new Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, was sworn in at Government House today.

Hong Kong SAR Government and SASAC jointly organize Belt and Road high-level roundtable
January 8, 2021 - The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB), the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) jointly organized a high-level roundtable on “Fostering Hong Kong as Belt and Road Functional Platform together with State-owned Enterprises” today. The roundtable in an online format was joined by more than 100 representatives from 25 state-owned enterprises (SoEs), with close to 100 relevant enterprises or members from more than 10 professional services bodies and institutions in Hong Kong viewing it online.

Free Trade Agreement and Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN enter into force in full
January 8, 2021 - A Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government spokesman said today (January 8) that the part in relation to Cambodia under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will take effect on February 12, signifying that the FTA and the IA signed between Hong Kong and the 10 member states of ASEAN will come into effect in full. Hong Kong enterprises and service providers will be able to enjoy the full benefits as committed to by all 10 ASEAN member states under the agreements. Their business opportunities in ASEAN markets will be greatly enhanced.

Government maintains boarding restrictions for places with severe epidemic situation and compulsory quarantine arrangements
January 7, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today that in view of the developments of the global COVID-19 epidemic situation, it is necessary to maintain the measure under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to restrict persons who have stayed in the United Kingdom (UK) or South Africa from boarding flights for Hong Kong, as well as the tightened 21-day compulsory quarantine requirement 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 Cap. 599H for persons arriving in Hong Kong who have stayed in places outside China.

Foreign currency reserves at US$491.6 billion
January 7, 2021 - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today that the official foreign currency reserve assets of Hong Kong amounted to US$491.6 billion as at the end of December 2020, compared with US$485.7 billion at end-November 2020.

Hong Kong SAR Government resolutely safeguards national security
January 7, 2021 - In response to sweeping and erroneous remarks by overseas government officials and politicians on the arrest of certain people for allegedly committing an offence relating to subversion under the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law)

Government extends social distancing measures under Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance
January 4, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today 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. The directions and specifications will take effect on January 7, 2021 for a period of 14 days till January 20, 2021.

Provisional statistics of retail sales for November 2020
January 4, 2021 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released the latest figures on retail sales today.

Government sets up website to facilitate public to download electronic testing record
January 3, 2021 - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has set up a website (www.evt.gov.hk) to facilitate public downloading of their own electronic testing record through the COVID-19 Electronic Testing Record System (the System).

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