Dear Fellow Members,
Hong Kong’s economy contracted on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2023, and the real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 4.5% in the third quarter. After seasonal adjustment, real GDP fell by 2.6% on a quarterly basis and in the first three quarters, Hong Kong’s real GDP fell by 3.3% on a yearly basis. Although the epidemic was generally stable, the labor market situation improved, and the government issued consumer vouchers to bring support for private consumption, the deterioration of the peripheral environment and the continuous obstruction of cross-border freight transportation may continue the pressure on Hong Kong’s exports performance. Moreover, the geopolitical tension, high inflation of major advanced economies and the continued tightening of monetary policy may further suppress global demand.
Boosting local market sentiment and fostering international ties are Hong Kong’s coming initiatives, including the Night Vibes Hong Kong Campaign, as well as a series of major international conferences and mega events to be hosted in Hong Kong, e.g. Fintech Week, Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, and the Asia Financial Forum, etc. We look forward that these will bring a stream of business tourists and opportunities to the city.
The Institute successfully arranged a delegation to Beijing on 13 and 14 July 2023, three years after being affected by the epidemic, visiting various tax authorities and associations including the Ministry of Finance, the State Taxation Administration, the Beijing Municipal Taxation Bureau, the China Certified Tax Agents Association, the Chinese Tax Institute, and the China International Tax Research Association. More than 30 members joined this delegation including the President, Vice Presidents, Council Members, Advisers and committee members, etc.
During the Beijing visit, fruitful meetings and discussions on tax academic and technical topics and tax developments have been conducted, which further promoted the in-depth tax cooperation between Mainland China and Hong Kong and improved the professional and international development of tax area. With this significant progress, we expect to move forward further communication and collaboration with Mainland tax bodies in the future.
The Institute’s 51st Annual General Meeting has been held on 26 September 2023 successfully and it was a pleasure to have our office bearers, council members, advisers and fellow members to attend this brilliant annual event followed by a dinner with distinguished guests. Many thanks for all the strong support in the past year and the team will continue working together closely to enhance the greater development and more new initiatives of the Institute.
The Institute’s two former presidents, Mr Jeremy Choi and Mr Marcellus Wong, attended the Belt and Road Tax Administration and Cooperation Forum in Tbilisi, Georgia in September 2023. The Forum was initiated by China since 2019 and at present, with 36 members and 30 observers, it has become a multilateral tax cooperation platform with important influence under the Belt and Road initiative. In addition, the next Forum is scheduled to be held in Hong Kong in 2024. We look forward this will bring more significant tax cooperation opportunities for Hong Kong and also for our Institute.