Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington DC
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Hong Kong Meets America
   
CE backs bill reading request

May 21, 2019 – Chief Executive Carrie Lam (May 21) said the Government’s decision to seek a second reading of the fugitive bill was a difficult one to make. Speaking before the Executive Council meeting, Mrs Lam endorsed Secretary for Security John Lee’s move to consult the House Committee Chairman to put the Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to the Legislative Council (LegCo) for a resumption of a second reading on June 12. She added that her administration is committed to enhance the relationship between the legislature and the executive and that the decision is not an act of disrespect to LegCo, but a responsible and decisive act to break the deadlock. Details here.

CE backs bill reading request
   
Postal services to Chicago resumes

May 21, 2019 – Hongkong Post announced (May 21) that, as advised by the US counterpart, mail delivery services to Chicago (postcodes 400XX to 799XX) have returned to normal. Details here.

Postal services to Chicago resumes
   
Fugitive bill reading requested

May 20, 2019 – The Government has written to the Legislative Council's House Committee asking for a second reading of the fugitive law amendment bill to be resumed on June 12. When making the announcement (May 20), Secretary for Security John Lee said that the move is being taken as the bills committee that is meant to scrutinize the Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 has become ineffectual. The Government will continue to explain to various stakeholders on the Bill so as to enhance public understanding of its content. Details here.

Opening remarks by S for S at media session on Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019

Transcript of remarks by S for S at media session on Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019

Fugitive bill reading requested
   
Unemployment steady at 2.8%

May 20, 2019 – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in the February-April period, unchanged from the January-March period, the Census & Statistics Department announced (May 20). The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods. Secretary for Labour & Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the labor market stayed tight and the unemployment situation improved in many major service sectors compared with a year earlier. Details here.

Unemployment steady at 2.8%
   
Strengthening free and open trade alliances

May 18, 2019 – Hong Kong and like-minded economies are seeking to strengthen alliances for free and open trade through free trade agreements (FTAs), said Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau at a discussion session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Viña del Mar, Chile (May 18). Citing the signing of the Hong Kong-Australia FTA and Investment Agreement in March, he said Hong Kong is a steadfast supporter of rules-based trading system against the prevailing uncertainties in the global economy. Details here.

Strengthening free and open trade alliances
   
No need to adjust GDP forecast

May 18, 2019 – Financial Secretary Paul Chan said (May 18) it is currently premature to adjust this year’s Gross Domestic Product forecast. Speaking to reporters after attending a radio programme, Chan said while the ongoing Sino-US trade negotiation brings volatility to financial market and business sentiment, the Government is closely monitoring the situation and will be following regular practice to update GDP forecast in August. Details here.

No need to adjust GDP forecast
   
CE mourns I M Pei

May 17, 2019 – Chief Executive Carrie Lam (May 17) expressed deep sorrow over the passing of renowned Chinese American architect I M Pei. Noting that Pei lived in Hong Kong for a period of time when he was young, Mrs Lam said that his works are widely known to those in Hong Kong, including the iconic Bank of China Tower in Central, which has become the landmark of the city and the pride of the Hong Kong people. Details here.

CE mourns I M Pei
   
Economy grows modestly in Q1

May 17, 2019 – Hong Kong’s economy expanded modestly by 0.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the Government said (May 17), as it was affected by a slowdown in exports and investments amid Sino-US trade tensions. The first quarter’s pace compares with an annual expansion of 1.2% in the previous quarter, and was slightly higher than its advance estimate of 0.5% growth. The Government will leave unchanged its full-year GDP growth forecast of 2% to 3% as announced in the Budget. Details here.

Economy grows modestly in Q1
   
Hong Kong, Guangdong team up on tech and services

May 16, 2019 – Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui co-chaired the 21st Plenary of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in Guangzhou (May 16). At the meeting, both sides reached consensus on a range of areas of co-operation, and signed an agreement on the work plan for the coming year which covers nine areas including cross-boundary infrastructure development and clearance facilitation; jointly developing an international innovation and technology hub; fostering co-operation in modern service industries; internationalised business environment; as well as taking forward the development of key co-operation platforms and arrangement of a mechanism. Details here.

Hong Kong, Guangdong team up on tech and services
   
HK-ASEAN pact to take effect

May 16, 2019 – The Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and five Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, namely Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, will enter into force on June 17. Meanwhile, the Free Trade Agreement with Laos and Vietnam under ASEAN framework will enter into force on June 11. Details here.

HK-ASEAN pact to take effect
   
March goods exports slip 3%

May 16, 2019 – The volume of Hong Kong’s total goods exports dropped 3% year-on-year in March, the Census & Statistics Department announced (May 16). Comparing the first quarter of 2019 with the same period last year, the volume of goods exports fell 4.2%, while that of goods imports dropped 5%. Details here.

March goods exports slip 3%
   
Bill withdrawal impossible: CE

May 16, 2019 – Chief Executive Carrie Lam (May 16) reiterated the purpose of the Fugitive Offenders & Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to remove the loopholes in the existing mechanism for surrendering fugitive offenders. She added that it is not possible to withdraw the bill as the work to mend such insufficiencies in the current mechanism is not complete. Details here.

Bill withdrawal impossible: CE
   

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