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Education and Career Expo highlights government positions and further education

  • By: Ji Youn LeeEdited by: Chi On LIU、Junzhe JIANG
  • 2024-01-29

Attracting more than 800 booths, The Hong Kong Education and Career Expo addressed civil servant positions, featured job openings from private institutions, and provided further study opportunities as a burst for applicants seeking government and commercial sector jobs and a boost of studying abroad. The three-day expo was held from Jan.25, bringing more than 3,000 job openings from 16 countries and 17 regions to the participants.  To help the participants better understand the government’s jobs, the series talk on “Careers in the Government” became one of the most popular stands at the event.  “Hong Kong government, which is the biggest employer in Hong Kong, offers more than 190,000 full-time jobs for those willing to work hard and keep learning to achieve success,” said Ingrid Yueng, Secretary for the Civil Service.  Correspondingly, applications for civil service jobs increased sharply. The applicants for Customs officers surged by 90%, with a 40% increase for Immigration officers since October, according to Yueng. Tiffany Cheung, 23, a fresh graduate from a local university, said the government’s talks during the expo were very insightful for her future career path.   “I can ask questions regarding the application process and job content here, so I think [this event] is quite helpful,” Cheung said. “The talks are quite clear, and the speaker made the content of the position very clear. It matches my expectations regarding the role.”  The unemployment rate in Hong Kong from October to December of 2023 was 2.9%, which resumed at the pre-pandemic level in 2019, according to government data. However, Sandy Cheung, a final-year history student at Hong Kong Baptist University, said finding a job proved difficult because there are few opportunities in Hong Kong for her major.  “My history major limits my career prospects, and many of my friends consider teaching or working at …


Government recruitment and vocational training booths spotlight Education and Careers Expo

Last week’s Education and Careers Expo at the Exhibition Centre highlighted government job offerings and employment training as the city hopes to retain young talents and boost the local workforce. Among the 123 exhibitors at the expo, 32 of them were government departments and bureaus present at the event, which aimed to introduce visitors to job opportunities through exhibitions, sharing sessions and interactive activities. “As the largest employer in Hong Kong, offering over 190,000 full-time jobs in the civil service alone, the government has a wide range of opportunities for those who are willing and ready to work hard and keep learning to achieve success,” said Ingrid Yeung, Secretary for the Civil Service, at the opening ceremony of the Expo. Various government departments also held information and sharing sessions throughout the expo, such as the Civil Service Bureau for the legal aid department. “I’ve had more opportunities to ask questions regarding the job content, interview and selection criteria, so I think [the Expo] is quite helpful to me,” said Tiffany Cheung, 23, a fresh university graduate looking for a job in the government. “I think [the information session] is quite clear, and the speaker made very clear about the content of the position. It matches my expectation regarding the role.”   Apart from recruitment booths, many schools for continuing education and vocational training  introduced education programs and showcased new innovations that could streamline existing work methods. One example was the Smart Chinese Medicine Cabinet, a Chinese medicine pharmaceutical box which aims to streamline the collection of ingredients for Chinese medicine recipes using sensor technology. By scanning the QR code, the display modules on each drawer would light up and show the ingredients required for the pharmacists to collect. The cabinet is part of the Vocational Training Council’s health and life …


New ESG platform aims to benefit local firms

  • By: YANG Haicen、BO ChuxuanEdited by: Ji Youn Lee、KONG Tsz Yuen
  • 2024-01-25

A new eco-community-based platform aimed to help small to medium size enterprises realise their sustainability goals  launched on Jan. 22. The platform, ESG One, was unveiled at ForeSight 2024, an annual event organised by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. “The newly launched ESG One is an ecosphere that provides guidance and services and enables SMEs to share information and resources at all levels,” said Mohamed Butt, the Chief Executive Officer of the HKPC in his opening speech at ForeSight 2024. “ESG is now crucial for corporate strategy and a key indicator of a company's value and prospects in today's business environment,” he added. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has been actively promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance, in its bid to make the city a green finance trading centre.  On its website, HKEx states its policy of enhancing “ the transparency of sustainable financial products, improving supply information and opening up opportunities to promote the development of sustainable finance in Asia.” Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Joseph Chan Ho-lim said SMEs have not yet reaped the full benefits of these ESG initiatives. He said "SMEs would face numerous obstacles in implementing ESG, such as a lack of resources, especially after the three-year epidemic." As of September 2023, over 360,000 small and medium-sized enterprises operated in Hong Kong, making up over 98% of all business establishments in the region and creating jobs for over 1.2 million people, according to the government. In this context, encouraging ESG practices among SMEs is crucial to the region's long-term economic viability, according to Butt. At the forum, leaders from different industries discussed and exchanged ideas on how to promote ESG practices in SMEs. Law Ka-chun, the President of China Light and Power Company Syndicate, suggested uniting Hong Kong's forces to help SMEs reduce …


Taiwan Stock Exchange has no plan for virtual currency ETF

  • By: Junzhe JIANGEdited by: Junzhe JIANG
  • 2024-01-12

Taiwan Stock Exchange doesn’t plan for virtual currency ETFs at the current stage based on the incomplete regulation of virtual currency after the first approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. “Although we are focusing on promoting ETF-related products now, we still need the government to make related regulations about the virtual currency,” said Yang Shin-Yin, Senior associate of corporate planning and Strategy Department from TWSE. The US SEC allowed 11 spot bitcoin ETF products to come into the market on Wednesday. After the statement, the price of Bitcoin rose about 3% to about US$ 47,000 (about HK$ 347,474.6) and recorded US$ 46,354.79 (about HK$ 362,577.9 ) at the close. Taiwan's ETF assets have grown by 12.83 times in the last decade and increased about 60.47% in the past year with Asia's Top 3 ETF market, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange website. Crypto assets, including Bitcoin, are not considered legal currency in most parts of the world, including Taiwan. The US SEC emphasised that the approval of Bitcoin ETFs does not imply their endorsement of Bitcoin. "While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today," said the US SEC in a statement, "we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”


HKMA Investment Summit 2023: Hong Kong-mainland bonds to strengthen despite economic woes

  • By: Junzhe JIANG、Juncong SHUAIEdited by: Rex Cheuk、Bella Ding
  • 2023-11-08

Hong Kong government officials and Chinese financial regulators said this Tuesday that the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland will deepen despite a sluggish financial market that haunts China’s precarious economic revitalisation.  The Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit, a flagship event hosted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, welcomed about 300 business leaders from around the world, including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Blackstone.  “We continue to deepen our economic and financial ties with the mainland and, in particular, with the Greater Bay Area,” said Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, adding that there will be far-reaching opportunities. Apart from measures aimed at reviving the housing and stock markets, Lee said support from the mainland is also important for Hong Kong's economic growth. The value of listings for the past nine months stood at US$3.13 billion on the Hong Kong main board. It is a 65% slump compared with last year, hitting a 20-year low. Wang Jianjun, vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, pledged that Beijing “will make it easier for mainland enterprises to come to list in Hong Kong”. HKEX approved the listing of Cainiao on the main board earlier in September, which is expected to be the world’s second-largest initial public offering this year.  Eddie Yue, the Chief Executive of the HKMA, said the pace of economic recovery, the sluggish property market, and local government debt on the mainland remain of concern to global investors. Investors have expressed hesitation on whether they should invest in China’s market because of the liquidity crisis of major realtors such as Country Garden and Evergrande Group over the past few months. However, Zhang Qingsong, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China, remains confident about China’s economy.  “China’s investment in research and development reached over three trillion yuan in 2022, ranking …


FinTech Week puts spotlight on tokenization and cross-border transactions

  • By: Runqing LIEdited by: Zimo ZHONG
  • 2023-11-04

Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023 came to a close on Friday, attracting over 30,000 participants during the two-day event. This year’s theme was “Fintech Redefined”. The conference focused on policy and regulatory innovation, the shift from web2 to web3 and AI, and leveraging technology for inclusion, ESG, and Green Finance. It has been the eighth year for Hong Kong to hold one of the largest and most influential fintech events in Asia, featuring more than 500 speakers both online and offline. Compared to last year, organisers have doubled the floor space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to accommodate 540 exhibitors. “No other economy can claim our unique advantage under the ‘one country two systems’ principle, to draw on and create opportunities from both our country and the world at large,” said John Lee, the Chief Executive at the opening on Thursday. After one of the largest financial frauds in Hong Kong history, which involved a loss of HK$1.5 billion in the JPEX cryptocurrency exchange in October, the focus of this year's conference shifted from last year's virtual assets to tokenization and cross-border transactions. On Friday, the government announced a three-pronged strategy for fintech development, two of which involve expanding the use of digital yuan and Web3 technology.  On Thursday, the Securities and Futures Commission issued two circulars on tokenized securities, opening retail access under the condition of prior notification and business plan discussions with the Securities and Futures Commission and with smart contract audits. Alan Ding, 35, a business director of a Hong Kong-based company in Web 3 and cryptocurrency, said that Hong Kong provides a good business environment for Fintech companies. But he still hopes the Hong Kong government can implement more “specific policies”. Ding added that although the Hong Kong government supports Fintech, it is …


Wine & Dine Festival 2023: A Culinary Delight and Cultural Celebration

  • By: KONG Tsz Yuen、Wai Yan MIUEdited by: Rex Cheuk
  • 2023-10-31

Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival reopened at the Central Harbourfront event space on Oct. 26 after five-year hiatus because of the pandemic and the 2019 social movement. The four-day festival features over 300 booths with food and drinks from 36 nations and regions, ranging from France and Italy vintages to Chinese spirits. In addition to trying out the drinks, visitors can also taste different foods from demonstrations and workshops such as learning how to brew coffee from Coffee Academics. Visitors can also enjoy stage performances from groups including VSing, a gold medal-winning cappella group. The Hong Kong Tourism Board's annual event is part of the government's "Night Vibes Hong Kong" Campaign, designed to revitalise the city's sluggish night economy by showcasing entertainment, culture, and art events. “I can't wait to tell you that Hong Kong people are indeed really true French wine lovers. Despite the pandemic, Hong Kong still imported 13 to 14 million bottles of wine,” said Hong Kong’s finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po at the opening ceremony. Apart from a wide selection of wine from eight main regions , including  France, Spain and Japan, the festival also presented  new lettuce wine from Thailand and Singapore, said Chan. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the wine carnival attracted total 140,000 people during the four-days event. “The festival is much bigger than I expected,”  said Mustang Chau, a local visitor who waited for about 45 minutes at the entrance. Xige Guanlan Group, a Chinese winery, introduced “a series of new products at the festival, including four different flavours of white wine,” said Christelle Chene, International Affairs Director of the group. The Ningxia-based vineyard participated in the festival in a bid to promote and encourage more Hong Kong people to taste Chinese wines. “By using cans for packaging, the …


Policy Address 2023: Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee hopes to revive flagging stock market with cut on stamp duty

  • By: Chi On LIU、Runqing LI、Yixin GaoEdited by: Yixin Gao
  • 2023-10-25

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, John Lee, announced his government will ease the stamp duty on stock transfer from 0.13% to 0.10% for the sluggish stock market in today’s policy address.  “A vibrant stock market is vital for upholding Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and maintaining our competitiveness,” said Lee. Mark Li, 51, an individual stock investor who has invested in the Hong Kong stock market for more than 20 years, said that this policy would attract more short-term investors such as him.  “Relying on this decline, I can always put a huge amount of money to buy the stock at a low price and sell it at a higher price on the same day at a lower cost,” said Li.  Billy Mak Sui-Choi,40, an associate director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Financial Policy at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that the decrease of stamp duty on stock transfer would increase the stock liquidity but could not ensure all investors trade more frequently as the deduction of stamp duty on stock transfer had less effect on long-term investors. “Even though the stamp duty does not decrease, the long-term investors will be unaware as the 0.13% stamp duty can easily be diluted,” said Mak. “Also, the biggest concern from people is not stamp duty but corporates’ performance.” The Hong Kong Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-Po, also wrote in his weekly blog on Sept. 3 that decreasing the stamp duty on stock transfer was not enough to stimulate the Hong Kong stock market structurally in the long term. “The drop of 0.03% is minimal,” said Chris Wong, 24, a corporate banker. “For example, if you invest HK$ 10,000 on the stock market and only spend three dollars less, it will not affect a lot,” he added.  Wong said …


Policy Address 2023: HK$10 billion boost for innovation and technology development

  • By: Tsz Wing CHAN、Bella DingEdited by: Bella Ding
  • 2023-10-25

Chief Executive John Lee announced a HK$10 billion investment today, continuing his ambition to develop the city into a centre for international innovation and technology. The new Industrialisation Acceleration Scheme aims to promote the downstream development of enterprises in the fields of life and health technologies, AI and data science, advanced manufacturing, and new energy technologies.  These areas account for over 50% of all start-up industries. There are now 3,985 start-up companies, a 52% jump compared to 2018, according to Start Me Up, a team under InvestHK to help overseas start-ups enter the city. Hong Kong has topped the Emerging Ecosystems ranking in Asia and ranked second worldwide in 2023.  The funding support for the set-up of production facilities will follow the matching basis of one government to two companies, subject to a funding ceiling of HK$200 million.  “I firmly believe that these stakeholders will remain at the forefront of shaping and advancing the future of the fintech industry,” said Phoebe Kwok, Head of Partnership of AllStarsWomen DAO’s Asia Pacific Chapter, a global community empowering women in fintech, AI and Web3 field. “But I anticipate that the overall development for the fintech industry will also require further regulatory frameworks to support,” she added.  The government is still considering the feasibility of enterprises employing non-local technical personnel more flexibly and easing the restriction on subsidised research talent headcount this year. No detailed policy has been announced yet. Compared to last year, the government also doubled the financial input to HK$16 million into nurturing talents and commercialising Research and Development outcomes through its Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme. Each R&D program submitted by eight UGC-funded universities will be capped at HK$100 million. Funding will be provided to support a minimum of 100 university research teams with the potential to become …


Alibaba logistics arm to come under separate listing at HKEX

  • By: Junzhe JIANGEdited by: Bella Ding
  • 2023-09-27

Alibaba Group Holdings (09988, BABA) announced on Tuesday that its logistics arm Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, will come under a separate listing. It will be the conglomerate’s first initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after its restructuring earlier this year. The proposed spin-off will comprise the Hong Kong public offering and international offering. According to the announcement, after its completion, Alibaba will still hold more than 50% of Cainiao’s shares, retaining Cainiao as a subsidiary. As of Tuesday, Alibaba holds 69.54% of Cainiao. Citi Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and CITIC Securities are joint sponsors of the offering, according to the preliminary prospectus on HKEX. “The proposed spin-off should better reflect the value of Cainiao Group on its own merits and increase its operational and financial transparency,” said Kevin Zhang, secretary of Alibaba Group Holding, in the filing, “through which investors will be able to appraise and assess the performance and potential of Cainiao Group separately and distinctly from those of Alibaba Retained Group.” Cainiao shares are expected to be the world’s second-largest initial public offering this year, following the US$5 billion listing of SoftBank-owned chip maker Arm Holdings. HKEX has approved the listing of Cainiao on the main board so far. However, the disclosed filing did not specify the date and price of Cainiao’s shares. It has yet to be approved by the  China Securities Regulatory Commission. The revenue of Cainiao Smart Logistics Network increased by 15% to 18.915 billion yuan (about HK$ 20.251 billion) in the first quarter, and 72% of it was from external customers.  According to Alibaba's latest financial report, the increased revenue is mainly because of the rising demand for logistics services and the price per order. The stock price of Alibaba increased 0.66% to HK$84.50 at the close of Wednesday.  …