Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Washington DC
Hong Kong

What’s New

Hong Kong Meets America
   
Unemployment rate remains at 2.8%

June 19, 2019 - Hong Kong’s unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in March - May 2019, same as that in February - April 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods. The labor market stayed tight and is expected to remain largely stable in the near term. The Government will stay vigilant and monitor the situation closely in view of the various external headwinds facing the economy, said Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong. Details here.

Unemployment rate remains at 2.8%
   
Chief Executive apologizes to Hong Kong

June 18, 2019 - Apologizing to the people of Hong Kong for deficiencies in the work of the SAR Government over the fugitive law amendment exercise, which had caused concerns over the past few months, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said her government has put a stop to the legislative exercise on the extradition bill by informing the Legislative Council that the bill will no longer proceed to second reading debate. Speaking to the media (Jun 18), Mrs Lam said she will not proceed again with this legislative exercise if fears and concerns over the bill were not adequately addressed. She added that it is very likely that the bill will not proceed before the end of the current term of the Legislative Council expires in July 2020. The bill will then expire and will not be valid. Should that happen, the Government will accept the reality. Details here.

Chief Executive apologizes to Hong Kong
   
Strengthening bilateral ties

June 17, 2019 - Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Dr Bernard Chan, expressed the hope that Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can further strengthen co-operation by making full use of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement just signed between the two places and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office which will soon be set up in Dubai. Continuing his visit (Jun 17) to Dubai, Dr Chan met with the Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Remedies of the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, Mr Abdalla Sultan Alfan Alshamsi. Details here.

Strengthening bilateral ties
   
April’s exports drop 4.2%

June 17, 2019 - April’s volume of total exports of goods fell 4.2% year-on-year, according to the Census and Statistics Department. The volume of imports dropped 7.2% over the same period. Comparing the first four months of 2019 with the same period last year, the volume of goods exports fell 4.2%, while that of goods imports dropped 5.6%. Details here.

April’s exports drop 4.2%
   
Financial Secretary welcomes issuance of sovereign bonds

June 17, 2019 - Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan welcomes (Jun 17) Ministry of Finance’s plan to issue RMB 5 billion in sovereign bonds in Hong Kong this week. “This demonstrates clearly the Central Government’s support in reinforcing Hong Kong’s status as the global offshore RMB business hub, an is conducive to the development of the bond market in Hong Kong,” he said. This marked the 11th consecutive year the ministry has circulated RMB sovereign bonds in Hong Kong. Details here.

Financial Secretary welcomes issuance of sovereign bonds
   
Government responds to public procession

June 16, 2019 - Having regard to the strong and different views in society, the Hong Kong Government issued a statement (Jun 16), saying that it has suspended the legislative amendment exercise on the extradition laws at the Legislative Council and there is no timetable for restarting the process. The Chief Executive, admitting deficiencies in the Government’s work had led to substantial controversies and disputes in society, apologized to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledged to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public. Details here.

Government responds to public procession
   
Hong Kong and UAE forge closer economic and trade ties

June 16, 2019 - Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) (Jun 16) to strengthen mutual investment protection. The pact also enhances the confidence of investors, expands investment flows and further strengthens the economic and trade ties between the two places. The IPPA with the UAE is the third similar agreement that this term of Government has signed since taking office in July 2017. It is also the 21st investment agreement that Hong Kong has signed with a foreign economy. Details here.

Hong Kong and UAE forge closer economic and trade ties
   
HK pursues free trade

June 13, 2019 - Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau (Jun 13) reaffirmed Hong Kong’s commitment to free trade and the multilateral trading system , as he continued his duty visit to Washington, DC. Hong Kong, despite its small size, has been the seventh largest merchandise trading entity in the world. Mr Yau added that Hong Kong has taken a multi-pronged approach to diversify its economy and expand its markets by reinforcing partnerships such as signing Free Trade Agreements with like-minded economies. Details here.

HK pursues free trade
   
US visual analytics software firm seeks to help businesses capture Greater Bay opportunities

June 13, 2019 - US data visualization company Tableau opened an office in Hong Kong (Jun 13) to meet the growing analytics demands of businesses and to tap opportunities arising from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The company has recently launched a product in traditional Chinese to make it easier for businesses that operate in the local language to seamlessly draw insights from their data to inform decision making. Details here.

US visual analytics software firm seeks to help businesses capture Greater Bay opportunities
   
Deepening HK-US ties

June 12, 2019 - Hong Kong will continue to explore ways to deepen and broaden its links with the United States, said Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau during a reception (Jun 12) hosted by the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, Washington, DC for US government officials, think tank members, academics, and chambers of commerce and business organization leaders. He highlighted the mutually beneficial and expanding trade and economic relationship between the two places, adding that the relationship was defined on the unique status of Hong Kong under the Basic Law and the city’s distinct qualities, which include the rule of law buttressed by an independent judiciary, a commitment to creating a pro-trade environment and the free flow of information, goods and people. Details here.

Deepening HK-US ties
   
CE urges peaceful assembly

June 12, 2019 - Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged for calm and appealed to Hong Kong citizens to resolve any problems through a peaceful, rational and law-abiding manner. “I hope that society will return to order as soon as possible and I don’t want any more people to get injured in the riot,” she said, responding to the riotous acts on the streets earlier today (Jun 12). Details here.

CE urges peaceful assembly
   
Human rights guaranteed: CE

June 11, 2019 - Any party making a fugitive request would be required to guarantee a set of human rights protections before the Chief Executive decides to activate the surrender process. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said (Jun 11) these human rights protections hew closely to the international standards and the guarantees under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights. Mrs Lam added that the Government had introduced further amendments to the proposed extradition law change, after listening to public views. Details here.

Human rights guaranteed: CE
   
SCED starts US visit

June 10, 2019 - Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau started his five-day visit to the United States, meeting with key people in the financial, business, legal and academic sectors at a roundtable breakfast meeting in New York (Jun 10). Mr Yau emphasized that Hong Kong’s unique strengths are guaranteed under the Basic Law and the city values its core values including the rule of law as well as open and free markets. Speaking at an AmCham reception in DC, he pointed out that bilateral relationship between Hong Kong and the US over the past 50 years has flourished. Trade between the two economies has grown from roughly US$8 billion to US$70 billion. Details here.

SCED starts US visit
   
Fugitive bill to be further clarified

June 10, 2019 - Understanding the concerns of residents who took part in the protest, the Government will further explain the fugitive bill to allay residents’ concerns, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Jun 10). These include improving communications on the bill with the public, focusing on explaining the additional safeguards that were introduced on May 30, and providing regular reports to the legislature on extradition decisions. Details here.

Fugitive bill to be further clarified
   

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