I. SME LevelUp Workshops (Webinars)
(These two webinars will be live-streamed on 15 June 2023 and 13 July 2023)
These two webinars are organised by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. These two webinars will share, respectively, the importance of innovative employer branding for SMEs in talent acquisition, as well as how online-to-offline (O2O) marketing strategies can help SMEs attract customers. (These two webinars will be conducted in Cantonese.)
II. Talent Admission Scheme (Seminar)
(This seminar will be held at the HKMA Advanced Management Development Centre on 26 June 2023)
This seminar is organised by The Hong Kong Management Association. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. In this seminar, representatives of the Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Immigration Department will introduce the details, features, latest policies, application procedures, practical guides and case sharing of various talent admission schemes. (This seminar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
More Details (in Chinese only)
III. ChatGPT x SEO Digital Marketing Workshop (Webinar)
(This webinar will be live-streamed on 27 June 2023)
This webinar is organised by the HKPC. SUCCESS is one of the supporting organisations. This webinar will explain the basic knowledge and application methods of ChatGPT and SEO（Search Engine Optimization）and how to combine the two to improve website content quality and search engine ranking, with a view to assisting SMEs in attracting more website visitors and potential customers. (This webinar will be conducted in Cantonese.)
More Details (in Chinese only)
Intellectual Property Department: IP Training Programme “IP105 Strategies and Methods for Enterprises to Protect Trade Secrets”
(This course will be conducted at the VTC Tower, Wan Chai on 18 July 2023)
“IP105 Strategies and Methods for Enterprises to Protect Trade Secrets” aims to introduce the basic concepts, forms of protection and legal basis of trade secrets, the application of trade secrets in business and the common protection measures for enterprises. This course will be conducted by experts from the International Intellectual Property Commercialization Council HK (GBA) Chapter and the Licensing Executives Society China, Hong Kong Sub-Chapter. The medium of instruction will be Cantonese. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the training course.
Interested participants may first enroll in the "IP Manager Scheme PLUS" for free by filling out an online form to get priority in course registration. Registration fee for the course is waived for members of the Scheme.
Second-stage Consultation on Enhancing the Review Mechanism of the Statutory Minimum Wage
With reference to the views collected during the first-stage consultation, the Minimum Wage Commission is conducting the second-stage consultation to invite further views from the community on enhancing the review mechanism of the Statutory Minimum Wage on or before 25 June 2023.
Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme invites new round of applications
The Main Programme under the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme (PASS) is inviting a new round of applications for project proposals starting from 1 June 2023 from non-profit-distributing organisations such as professional bodies, trade and industrial organisations, and research institutes.
The PASS, with a total allocation of $200 million, aims at funding non-profit-making industry-led projects to increase exchanges and co-operation between Hong Kong's professional services and external counterparts, promote relevant publicity activities, and enhance the standards and external competitiveness of Hong Kong's professional services.
The maximum grant for each approved project under the Main Programme of the PASS is $3 million or 90 per cent of the total eligible project cost, whichever is lower. A wide range of professional services, such as accounting, legal and dispute resolution, architecture, engineering, healthcare, information and communications technology, design and technical testing and analysis, are eligible for the Main Programme. Sector-specific projects and cross-sectoral projects are both welcome. Expenses directly incurred for implementing a project, such as manpower costs, venue and set-up costs, production and promotion costs, and the project team and active participants' travel and accommodation costs outside Hong Kong are typically eligible for funding support under the Scheme. Funding support may also be provided for travel and accommodation costs incurred by participants of relatively longer professional internships or attachment programmes outside Hong Kong which are funded by the Main Programme.
Up to early May 2023, more than 90 projects had been funded under the Main Programme, including project deliverables in and outside Hong Kong. The deliverables include capacity-building programmes for enhancing the standards of local professionals, such as training programmes, workshops and study tours; outreach and promotional activities for showcasing the strengths of Hong Kong's professional services, such as roadshows, promotional seminars and participation in exhibitions outside Hong Kong; exchange activities for deepening interaction between Hong Kong professionals and their external counterparts, such as visits to other economies and international conferences and seminars held in Hong Kong; and research projects on potential external markets for Hong Kong professional services and development of best practice guidelines and manuals for professionals. Details about the Main Programme and its funded projects are available at https://www.pass.gov.hk/main/en/home/index.html.
Furthermore, with a view to stepping up the promotion of Hong Kong's competitive edges and professional services to Mainland cities (including those in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) and overseas markets, $50 million has been set aside for the Professionals Participation Subsidy Programme (PSP) under the PASS to subsidise Hong Kong major professional bodies to participate in relevant activities organised by the Government (such as Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council after the pandemic situation has stabilised. Details of the PSP and its latest list of eligible activities are available at https://www.pass.gov.hk/psp/en/background/index.html. Hong Kong professionals from the eligible professional sectors under the PASS may make use of the PSP subsidy to join the relevant activities.
The Main Programme and the PSP receive applications for project and activity proposals all year round and they are processed on a quarterly basis. The deadline for the new round of applications is 31 August 2023. A briefing session will be held in June 2023 for organisations interested in applying for PASS funding. For registration for the briefing session or other enquiries, please contact the PASS Secretariat at 3655 5418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202306/01/P2023060100308.htm.
InvestHK announced launch of Global Fast Track 2023 with Global Scaleup Competition across 12 cities
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) announced on 31 May 2023 the official launch of the 2023 Global Fast Track (GFT). The year-round fintech accelerator is established through three pillars - the Global Scaleup Competition, the Business Matching Platform, and the always-on GFT Alumni Programme. Partnering regulators of the 2023 GFT, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Insurance Authority, the Securities and Futures Commission, together with the Customs and Excise Department, set the goal and vision to facilitating the world's most innovative fintech firms to launch and succeed in Hong Kong, across Asia, and beyond.
The Head of Fintech at InvestHK, Mr King Leung, said, "Since the start of the year, we have been thrilled to reconnect with the world in person. We have engaged in many events and networking opportunities, and the message that 'Hong Kong is back' is loud and clear. With new partnerships and ideas, we will continue to push forward as Hong Kong cements its status as a leading fintech hub and the gateway for next-generation fintech companies worldwide. I look forward to an even more exciting year with participation from companies all around the world."
Three enhanced pillars for businesses to connect with the city
The 2023 GFT provides opportunities for fintech firms in Hong Kong, Mainland China and around the globe to tap into the vibrant fintech market in Hong Kong through three pillars:
1. The Global Scaleup Competition: Unlike previous years, the 2023 GFT has introduced the Global Scaleup Competition, with physical semi-finals across 12 cities and one virtually, from June to September. The 12 cities are:
Thirteen finalists from fintech, artifical intelligence, and Web3 scaleups will be selected to pitch in person in the grand finale at Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023
. This opportunity not only provides unmatched exposure to over 30,000 visitors, it also unleashes business opportunities through one-on-one meetings with Corporate, Investor and Service Champions, consultation sessions with regulators, and a winning potential investment of up to US$3 million from venture sponsors AngelHub and Club Deal.
Applications are open now till July. Further details and the semi-finals' schedule can be found here
2. The Business Matching Platform: Going live online in the third quarter of 2023, the FintechHK Community Platform will serve the GFT community by enabling one-on-one business matchings. Through the platform, GFT Champions are able to explore and connect with suitable fintech firms. Other off-line activities such as mentor sessions by industry partners, business networking and more will also be featured on the platform.
3. The always-on GFT Alumni Programme: the FintechHK Community Platform will also support the GFT Alumni Programme which provides year-round business networking and advice to empower fintech firms to build sustainable businesses in the region.
Last year, GFT received over 400 fintech applications from across 45 economies, and support from over 100 Champions across three categories - Corporates, Investors and Service Providers. The programme facilitated over 175 one-on-one business meetings.
New partnership calls for new beginnings
This year, InvestHK appointed WHub as co-organiser of the 2023 GFT. With its passion for boosting startups and fostering the Hong Kong startup ecosystem, WHub accelerates startup business through meaningful connections with accelerators, incubators, the Government and investors. InvestHK looks forward to synergising with WHub to benefit fintech firms and scale the GFT to new heights.
For details on the entire programme of the 2023 GFT, please visit here
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202305/31/P2023053000557.htm
Gazettal of Pesticides Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Notice 2023
The Pesticides Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Notice 2023 was published in the Gazette on 9 June 2023. The Notice aims to amend Schedule 1 to the Pesticides Ordinance (Cap. 133), listing a type of pesticides called pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters (PCP), in order to give effect to the 2015 amendment to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The amendment will tighten the regulatory regime regarding PCP, thereby safeguarding public health and protecting the environment. The Government tabled the Notice at the Legislative Council on 14 June 2023.
PCP is a persistent organic pollutant that is usually used as pesticides, and is already regulated by Pesticide Permit conditions under the Pesticides Ordinance. Any person who imports, manufactures, sells, supplies, is in possession of or uses such pesticides must hold a valid permit. After PCP is listed in Schedule 1 to the Pesticides Ordinance, its exports will be further restricted.
The Stockholm Convention is an international treaty for safeguarding human health and protecting the environment, through controlling or restricting the trade, production and use of persistent organic pollutants, to reduce and ultimately eliminate the production and release of such pollutants. The treaty has been effective in China since 2004 and is applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The amendment in relation to PCP entered into force in China on 6 June 2023.
The above amendment will enter into force in Hong Kong on 20 October 2023. Any person who exports, imports, manufactures, sells, supplies, possesses or uses PCP without holding a Pesticide Permit commits an offence. Offender would be liable to a fine at level 5 ($50,000) and an imprisonment for one year on conviction.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202306/09/P2023060800600.htm.
List of chemicals regulated under Hazardous Chemicals Control Ordinance to be expanded
The Government tabled the Hazardous Chemicals Control Ordinance (Amendment of Schedules 1 and 2) Order 2023 (Amendment Order) before the Legislative Council on 14 June 2023. The Amendment Order will add several hazardous chemicals that are newly regulated under international conventions into the Hazardous Chemicals Control Ordinance (Cap. 595) (the Ordinance), to reduce the risk of public exposure to these chemicals, thus protecting public health and the environment.
The newly regulated hazardous chemicals will be prescribed in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. Those to be added to Schedule 1 include (i) hexachlorobutadiene, (ii) polychlorinated naphthalenes, and (iii) decabromodiphenyl ether. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins, currently prescribed in Schedule 2, will be added to Schedule 1 instead for more stringent control. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and its PFOA-related compounds will be added to Schedule 2. Under the Ordinance, the manufacture, import, export, and use of regulated hazardous chemicals are subject to permit controls.
The amendment puts these hazardous chemicals under the control mechanism of the Ordinance. This helps Hong Kong implement the latest amendments to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (the Stockholm Convention) and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (the Rotterdam Convention) regarding the control of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and hazardous chemicals.
The Stockholm Convention is an international convention that aims to control or restrict the trade, production and use of POPs, as well as to reduce and ultimately eliminate the intentional production of POPs and the release of unintentionally produced POPs. Another international convention, the Rotterdam Convention, implements a prior informed consent procedure in the international trade of specified hazardous chemicals. The Rotterdam Convention aims to promote shared responsibility and co-operative efforts among parties to the Convention, with a view to protecting human health and avoiding potential harm to the environment caused by such chemicals.
Starting from 20 October 2023, the aforementioned hazardous chemicals will be regulated under the Ordinance. Any person found guilty of manufacturing, importing, exporting, or using regulated chemicals without a permit is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for one year.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202306/09/P2023060900221.htm.
Harmful Substances in Food (Amendment) Regulation 2021 has started commencing in phases
A Government spokesman reminded the food trade and members of the public on 1 June 2023 of the commencement of Harmful Substances in Food (Amendment) Regulation 2021 (the Amendment Regulation) in two phases. The provisions stipulating the maximum levels of harmful substances in food have commenced since 1 June 2023 while the provisions relating to specifying partially hydrogenated oils (PHO), the main source of industrially produced trans fatty acids (IP-TFAs), as a prohibited substance in food, and the related marking and labelling requirement will be effective on 1 December 2023. The Amendment Regulation enhances the regulation of harmful substances such as industrially produced trans fats and mycotoxins in food with a view to further safeguarding food safety in Hong Kong.
The Amendment Regulation updates and strengthens the regulatory control of three types of mycotoxins, i.e. aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol (also known as vomitoxin) and patulin, in food, as well as sets or updates the maximum levels for five other harmful substances (i.e. benzo[a]pyrene, glycidyl fatty acid esters, melamine, 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol and erucic acid) in edible fats and oils, condiments or formula products intended for infants. The provisions stipulating the maximum levels of these substances in food came into force on 1 June 2023.
Moreover, to meet the World Health Organization's goal of eliminating IP-TFAs from the global food supply by 2023, and in line with one of the key measures under Towards 2025: Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Control Non-communicable Disease in Hong Kong, announced by the Government in 2018, the Amendment Regulation will also impose a ban on PHO in the local food supply, so as to eliminate IP-TFAs at source to protect public health. The relevant provisions will come into operation on 1 December 2023.
Along with the Amendment Regulation, the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment) Regulation 2021 stipulates that any prepackaged food containing hydrogenated oils, e.g. fully hydrogenated oil, must be indicated accordingly in the list of ingredients. It will commence on the same date as the provisions on banning PHO, i.e. 1 December 2023.
The trade are reminded to get prepared for the above new requirements. For details, please refer to https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/whatsnew/whatsnew_fstr/whatsnew_fstr_Food_Regulations_Harmful_Substances.html.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202306/01/P2023053100315.htm.
HKMA welcomes launch of HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model and Dual Counter Market Making Programme
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) welcomes the launch of the HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model and the Dual Counter Market Making Programme on 19 June 2023.
The HKMA has been working closely with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) to promote the issuance and trading of RMB-denominated securities in Hong Kong. The SFC and HKEX have recently issued the relevant implementation details, providing guidance for the industry on participating in the Dual Counter Model.
The Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Eddie Yue, said, "The launch of the HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model and the Dual Counter Market Making Programme is a significant step towards developing a diversified range of RMB-denominated products in Hong Kong. The initiatives will facilitate the use of the RMB in equity trading in Hong Kong and further expand the RMB investable universe, thereby reinforcing Hong Kong's role as the leading offshore RMB business hub."
The HKMA will continue to work with relevant Hong Kong and Mainland regulators and market participants to promote the development of the offshore RMB market in Hong Kong, including enhancing offshore RMB liquidity, expanding the range of offshore RMB products and enhancing Hong Kong's financial infrastructure.
For relevant press release, please visit https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202306/06/P2023060600465.htm.