Hong Kong – Fourth GBA Legal Professional Examination held

Fourth GBA Legal Professional Examination held


     The 2024 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination (GBA Examination) was held today (June 29).

     The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, said, “The GBA Examination held this year is the first examination held after the period of the pilot scheme for Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners to practise in the nine Mainland municipalities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) was extended, and the practice experience threshold for enrolling in the GBA Examination was lowered, in September last year.
     “As more Hong Kong legal practitioners pass the GBA Examination and obtain practice qualifications to provide legal services in the nine Mainland municipalities in the GBA, this can help these Hong Kong legal practitioners with dual qualifications to integrate into the national development and utilise their abundant experience in handling cross-jurisdictional legal matters, contributing to the building of a pool of foreign-related legal talent in the GBA for the country.”
     The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) decided in August 2020 to authorise the State Council to conduct a pilot scheme for eligible Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners to provide legal services in the nine Mainland municipalities in the GBA on certain civil and commercial matters to which Mainland laws apply, after passing the GBA Examination and having obtained the Lawyer’s License (GBA). The pilot scheme was for a period of three years, and would have originally expired on October 4 last year. The NPCSC passed a decision in September last year to extend the period of the pilot scheme until October 4, 2026. The General Office of the State Council also published the revised pilot measures in September last year, which lowered the practice experience threshold for Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners to enrol in the GBA Examination from five years to three years.

Last Minute Fourth of July Party Ideas

ST. LOUISJune 27, 2024PRLog — Annemarie Schumacher is an award-winning event planner and the founder of the lifestyle blog, Make Every Day an Event. Here are her favorite last minute Fourth of July party ideas to host a festive, fun and easy celebration!

“The Fourth of July is one of my favorite days of the entire year,” Schumacher said. “I’m so excited the holiday is upon us and I can’t wait to share my favorite, last minute Fourth of July party ideas with you. These are simple and easy ideas that you can pull together at the last minute. There’s no pressure and no fuss, but you’ll get lots of compliments from your guests. I guarantee it!  So sit back, relax and enjoy the fireworks. I’ve got you covered. Because you’re going to love these last-minute, great ideas for your July 4th celebration!  They are all you need is to throw a festive Fourth of July party!”

1. Fourth of July Party Idea: Simply Add Some Sparkle to Your Table

Sometimes, all you need are a few simple and inexpensive 4th of July party decorations to make your party and your tabletop festive. You don’t need to overthink it or spend days stressing out. Just make it easy on yourself with a key décor item or two.  And these Fourth of July toppers are exactly what you need to make your table sparkle.  When I found these online I couldn’t get over how adorable they were!  But, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. Because sometimes things can look great online … but when they arrive at your doorstep, it’s a whole different story.  That wasn’t the case with these picks. I love how they look like a fireworks display on top of the cupcakes or other sweet treat! I also love utilizing the tiered tray for the display. The varying heights really creates an impact and a focal point.  But these picks would also a great way to add some patriotic spirit to a Fourth of July charcuterie board or crudité, or other item on your food table.

2. Fourth of July Party Idea: Pull Together a Great, Patriotic Place Setting

Look around your house for red, white and blue decorations or every day items that you already own! I bet you’ll be amazed at how many pieces you find. Each of the items I used to pull this festive and patriotic table together were repurposed. None of them are specific to the Fourth of July holiday. But when they are combined, they create a beautiful and fun table setting that is perfect for an Independence Day celebration. These are the tables that I love the most. Ones that contain pieces which that can be repurposed from season to season are my favorite. Because let’s be honest, pieces that are specific to a certain holiday can take up a lot of precious storage space, which is always in limited supply. And, the price tags on these items can add up! Look through your linen drawer for that special red tablecloth that is a favorite during the holiday season, or its matching napkins, that would add a pop of patriotic color to your table. Perhaps you have some colored glassware in blue colors sitting in the back of a cabinet that would be ideal for your Fourth of July tablescape. You probably also have decor items with a red stripe that would bring a patriotic feel. For instance, I simply adore the fact the napkins on my table are actually dish towels. Not only are they durable and easy to wash, their extra size makes them perfect for a barbecue meal. So look around your abode, I’m sure you’ll find lots of gems to create a gorgeous tablescape with patriotic colors hiding in plain sight!

3. Fourth of July Party Idea: Bake an Easy, Adorable Dessert That’s Fun to Make!

On the Fourth of July, the more patriotic the food … the better it is to celebrate the occasion. You know it’s true! Which is why you are simply going to LOVE these cupcakes, that also serve as patriotic decorations. They are one of the best fun Fourth of July desert ideas I’ve ever made. So stinkin’ cute and such an easy dessert idea for the Fourth of July. Because, really … just look at these bald eagle cupcakes. And they are super easy to make! In fact, it’s a great afternoon baking project to make with your kids, your grandkids or just by yourself! Your guests will be amazed at just how cute they are. And, they taste good as well. Prepare for lots of “oohs,” “aahs,” and “OMGs” from your party guests when they see your dessert table! Uncle Sam will be proud! I walk you through how simple they are to pull together step by step.

Annemarie Schumacher is an award-winning event planner and the founder of the lifestyle blog, Make Every Day an Event. Make Every Day an Event (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__makee…).

Hong Kong – Hong Kong maintains fourth place in Global Financial Centres Index

Hong Kong maintains fourth place in Global Financial Centres Index


     Hong Kong maintained the fourth place globally in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 35 Report published today (March 21) by the Z/Yen from the United Kingdom and the China Development Institute from Shenzhen.

     In response to the report, a Government spokesman said, “Under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, Hong Kong enjoys the unique advantages of being backed by the motherland and connected to the world. Hong Kong has been striving to align with the national development strategies and serve as an important node in the domestic and international dual circulation of our country through proactively integrating into the national development of the reform and opening up of the financial market, while maintaining the internationalised nature of our market and playing the role as the gateway between the Mainland and the world.

     “To this end, a series of policy initiatives have been announced in the 2024-25 Budget, seeking to better integrate ‘capable government’ with ‘efficient market’ and to propel our financial markets to new heights.”

     These policy measures include enhancing the development of Hong Kong’s offshore Renminbi (RMB) market from three aspects, namely increasing offshore RMB liquidity, promoting the development of offshore RMB products, and improving financial infrastructure such as the Central Moneymarkets Unit, to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as an offshore RMB business hub; working with Mainland authorities to accelerate work relating to promoting mutual market access, including the issuance of Mainland government bond futures, the inclusion of RMB counters under the Southbound Trading of Stock Connect, and the inclusion of more international enterprises under the scope of Southbound Trading; and through waiving the stamp duties payable on the transfer of real estate investment trust (REIT) units and enhancing the preferential tax regimes for related funds, single family offices and carried interest etc. to continue to promote Hong Kong as the preferred asset and wealth management hub for international investors.

     In respect of the developments in asset and wealth management, according to the Market Study on the Family Office Landscape in Hong Kong conducted by Deloitte which was commissioned by the Invest Hong Kong, there are over 2 700 single-family offices in the city. The market study sheds light on the flourishing development of the family office sector in Hong Kong, and reaffirms Hong Kong as one of Asia’s major asset and wealth management centres.

     In addition, the Financial Mega Event Week will be held in Hong Kong next week, with a series of top-tier international conferences to take place in the city. These include the highly acclaimed Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit exclusively for family offices; the inaugural One Earth Summit organised by the Institute of Sustainability and Technology and co-organised by the Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a World Economic Forum initiative, on global climate and the green economy; and the Global Investors’ Symposium organised by the Milken Institute, the first large-scale summit held in Hong Kong by the Institute since 1998. The Financial Mega Event Week will further showcase the strengths, development potential and investment opportunities of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.

     The GFCI Report is released in March and September every year since 2007. In GFCI 35, 121 financial centres were assessed and Hong Kong ranked fourth globally with an overall rating of 741.

Hong Kong – Hong Kong maintains fourth place in Global Financial Centres Index

Hong Kong maintains fourth place in Global Financial Centres Index


     Hong Kong maintained fourth place globally in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 33 Report published today (March 23) by the Z/Yen from the United Kingdom and the China Development Institute from Shenzhen.
     A Government spokesman said, “Hong Kong’s rankings in the four areas of business environment, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputational and general rose by two places as compared with the previous issue, fully reflecting Hong Kong’s strengths and advantages as a leading global financial centre. Same as the previous issue, as compared to the assessment by financial industry practitioners from other major financial centres on the prospects of the cities in which they were based, practitioners based in Hong Kong were the most confident about the future competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.
     “In view of the intense international competition, the Government has adopted a more vigorous and proactive development approach to press ahead with institutional enhancements and policy innovations as well as boosting promotion and publicity on Hong Kong’s full return to normalcy, so as to consolidate our strengths and continuously enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong. The Government will continue to make good use of Hong Kong’s institutional advantages under ‘one country, two systems’ including a fine tradition of rule of law, a market-oriented and internationalised business environment, robust infrastructure support, internationally aligned regulatory regimes, diverse financial products, and free flow of information and capital, to strengthen Hong Kong’s capital market and our role as an international financial centre. With our sound and robust regulatory regime and risk management system, as well as the strong and solid buffer and resilience built in our financial markets, we are confident that the financial system of Hong Kong could withstand external shocks and remain resilient.
     “Addressing the closing meeting of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress, President Xi Jinping said that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has embarked on an irreversible and historic journey, and that we must firmly promote high-quality development and make solid efforts in advancing the implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. The 14th Five-Year Plan confirms the important functions and positioning of Hong Kong in the overall development of our country. Hong Kong will continue to consolidate its status as an international financial centre and give full play to connecting markets and investors of the Mainland and overseas, serving our country’s needs with our strengths. The Central People’s Government has recently promulgated the ‘Opinion on Providing Financial Support for the Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone’, which set out 30 measures on financial reform and innovation, further strengthening the connection and high-level co-operation between the financial markets of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and provides more opportunities for Hong Kong’s financial sector. With the staunch support of our country and our unique advantages under ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong will continue to create a strong impetus for growth and seize historic opportunities offered by the national development,” the spokesman added.
     The GFCI Report is released in March and September every year since 2007. In GFCI 33, 120 financial centres were assessed and Hong Kong ranked fourth globally with an overall rating of 722.

Fourth Annual Titanic Virtual Authors’ Conference Hosts the Stars in April Author, Peggy Wirgau

 The Fourth Annual Titanic Virtual Authors’ Conference will feature 5 authors and take place Saturday, June 18, from 10 AM – 3 PM. Childress Ink client, author Peggy Wirgau, will be speaking live from the Pigeon Forge Titanic Attraction and sharing her novel, The Stars in April.

Winner of the 2022 SCWC Notable Book Award for Outstanding Children’s/YA, The Stars in April is a fictionalized account of the true story of teen Titanic survivor and Michigander, Ruth Becker.

“We absolutely loved it,” says middle school teacher Carol Stathakis, at Our Shepherd Lutheran School in Birmingham, MI. “Near the end, I was so teary that I had to hand off the read-aloud to a student while I regained my voice. After the final sentence was read, the class erupted in spontaneous applause.”

The Stars in April can also be enjoyed as an audiobook, beautifully narrated by voice actress Krystal Hammond, available now through Amazon Audible.

Southern Christian Writers Conference 2022 Notable Book Award in Children’s/Young Adult Category ~ Selah Award Finalist ~ Literary Titan Book Award ~ School Library Journal Starred Review ~ Page-Turner Award Finalist ~ Featured, MTL Magazine ~ Featured, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC ~ Cover of the Week, Cover Wars ~ Girls’ Life “Must-Read,” April/May 2021 ~ Book-of-the-Month, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) ~ Iron Stream Media Featured Book and Author, Fall Christian Product Expo 2021 ~ Featured Book and Speaker, Titanic Conference 2021 (#TitanicCon), Titanic Museum Attraction, Pigeon Forge TN.

Author Bio:

A Michigan native, Peggy Wirgau now lives in Delray Beach, Florida. She loves bringing history to life for readers. She has written for Appleseeds, Insight, Learning Through History, and contributed to Why? Titanic Moments by Yvonne Lehman. Her blog features in-depth Titanic stories, and her followers include descendants of the ship’s real-life victims and survivors.

A graduate of Michigan State University and George Mason University, Peggy is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Great Lakes Titanic Connection. She loves to travel, especially to New York City and Mackinac Island, Michigan, where she explores historical sites. Peggy is also a Registered Nurse. She and her husband have two adult children and one grandson. To learn more visit PeggyWirgau.com.

The Stars in April, by Peggy Wirgau www.peggywirgau.com, IlluminateYA Fiction/Iron Stream Media ISBN: 9781645263074 (HC) 781645263067 (SC)

Peggy Wirgau is available for speaking engagements and interviews.

For an author Q and A or press-related inquiries, please contact Kim McCulla at Kim.McCulla@IronStreamMedia.com.

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