HK Stock Exchange ensures continuous trading despite adverse weather starting 25th September, says Chief Executive John Lee

John Lee

18th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) In a press conference held prior to today’s (18th) Executive Council meeting, Chief Executive John Lee announced that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will implement a new arrangement to ensure uninterrupted operations during inclement weather conditions, starting from 25th September.

Chief Executive John Lee emphasised that many regions around the world have successfully implemented measures to prevent stock market closures due to adverse weather conditions. He stated that there is no reason why Hong Kong cannot adopt similar measures. The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) will hold a press conference today to provide detailed explanations of the operation of the new arrangement. Additionally, the government will support small institutions in preparing for the implementation.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive John Lee also provided updates on two key topics. The first question raised was regarding the progress of Hong Kong’s involvement in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) following Premier Li Qiang’s supportive comments during his visit to Australia and New Zealand. In response, Mr Lee expressed Hong Kong’s eagerness to join RCEP, emphasizing the potential benefits for both Hong Kong and the overall prosperity of the partnership. He noted that 70% of Hong Kong’s merchandise trade is with RCEP countries and highlighted the support Hong Kong has received from 10 ASEAN nations. While the accession procedure for new members is still under discussion, Hong Kong remains prepared to participate and contribute whenever deemed appropriate. The government will continue efforts to engage with other RCEP members to gain their support for Hong Kong’s accession, highlighting the city’s strengths as a free economy, a financial centre, a hub for innovation and technology, and a gateway to Mainland China.

Regarding the recent incident involving the closure of the North Runway at the airport due to a freighter’s tyre burst and hydraulic system failure, Mr Lee explained that proper emergency procedures were followed. The priority was to safely remove the freighter from the runway by offloading the cargo. He commended the actions taken, including public announcements, special transportation arrangements, increased manpower, and special flight arrangements. Reports will be submitted by the airline involved to the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) and the Civil Aviation Department, with the Transport and Logistics Bureau actively reviewing them. Mr Lee acknowledged that there is always room for improvement and stated that the safety of handling such incidents is of paramount importance. The government will carefully scrutinize the reports to determine if any additional actions or measures should be taken by the airline, the AA, and other relevant parties.