HIGH TIDE (MARCH 24TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Government to fund IP trading; Former NATO head warned of East-West tensions; Tributes to Lee Kuan Yew. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher.


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)

LegCo panel discusses peak tram renewal and third runway.
– The Panel on Economic Development reviewed government’s proposal to amend the Peak Tramway Ordinance to extend the Peak Tramways Company’s (PTC) operating rights by 10 more years
– The PTC has proposed a HKD600 million plan to upgrade its facilities upon contract renewal
– It was agreed that the panel will pass the proposal to the LegCo general meeting
– The panel also discussed Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung’s plan to set up an advisory committee to monitor the third runway construction project; a subcommittee was formed to follow-up on the issue

Government to reserve HKD23 million for IP trading.
– The Government has accepted the Working Group on Intellectual Property (IP) Trading’sreport and suggestions to promote IP trading
– A total of HKD23 million will be set aside in the coming three years to provide measures including a free IP consultation service for SMEs and organising and sponsoring IP manpower training
– Chairman of the Working Group and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So said that “the Government will work in full swing with the public sector and professional bodies, industry players and all other stakeholders in this ‘game-changer’ to stay ahead of the competitive curve”

Diplomat

Former NATO head warns of “dangerous” East-West tension.
– Former NATO Secretary General Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen attended the Credit Suisse’s 18th Annual Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong, in which he discussed rising tensions between the EU and Russia and the failing economic sanctions
– Rasmussen, who is also a former Danish Prime Minister, urged stronger collective security among NATO members to counterbalance an increasingly assertive Russia

Jasper Tsang hosts luncheon with foreign delegates.
– LegCo members met with Consul-Generals in Hong Kong and members of the Association of Honorary Consuls in Hong Kong and Macau SAR (AHC members) at a briefing-cum-luncheon held in the LegCo Complex
– LegCo president Jasper Tsang briefed the guests on the work of LegCo
– 23 CGs or their representatives and 8 Honorary Consuls attended the event

Politics (general)

Albert Chen calls for rolling polls on political reform.
– Basic Law Committee member Albert Chen called for the government to commission rolling polls on political reform so that reliability of the results can be guaranteed

– Chen, who earlier proposed a “none of the above” option for voters in the 2017 CE election, said that if the government is unwilling to conduct the polls, the public can organise one itself
China & World
Hong Kong figures pay tributes to Lee Kuan Yew.
– CY Leung sent a condolence message to the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong on the death of the city-state’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, in which he wrote that “Mr Lee’s integrity, tenacity, vision and drive laid the most solid foundation possible for the impressive economic development, prosperity and social harmony that epitomises Singapore today”
– Li Ka-shing praised Lee Kuan Yew as a “historical giant, a steadfast builder of a new nation committed to a true and ordered liberty, a humane and just society with fair and equal participation for all”
– Democratic Party’s founding chairman Martin Lee acknowledged Lee Kuan Yew’s contribution to Singapore’s state-building and economic development, while stating that “he didn’t trust his people because he refused to grant them genuine democracy and rule of law”

Hong Kong named in EU list of unsafe products.
– The EU said 64% (not sure if that was intentional) of the unsafe products sold in the regional bloc in 2014 were made in China, including Hong Kong, the same figure as 2013
– The European commissioner for consumer affairs Vera Jourova said “it was also surprising how high a number of harmful products comes to the European market from China”
– Toys topped the list, followed by clothing, electrical appliances and motor vehicles