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Staying ahead of the game through online arbitration


Hong Kong is one of the leading centres of international arbitration, and its hearing facilities have been rated as one of the best in the world. However, facing the challenge of land scarcity, it is not easy for Hong Kong to further expand its hearing facilities which Singapore is currently doing. As such, can going virtual and offering online arbitration help the city keep its competitive edge over rivals?     

Principles of taxation in the digital age


Many consumers are accustomed to shopping via cross-border online platforms in the digital era. Since the multinational companies involved do not necessarily pay taxes to the local governments, the European Commission therefore called for corporate tax reform to close tax loopholes for these businesses. If the new principle is widely adopted, how would it affect Hong Kong?

Can sovereign cryptocurrency save the world from financial apocalypse?


Some regulators have raised concerns about the speculative investments in virtual currencies, triggering them to introduce different risk control measures. Several governments, however, take them as remedies for economic crises and decide to issue their own cryptocurrencies. The Swedish central bank even foresees the potential of sovereign cryptocurrency in helping the government diversify the risk of payment systems in a cash-free society.

How to enhance tobacco control without hiring more law enforcers?


It has been said manpower shortage at the Tobacco Control Office has hampered tobacco control efforts. Some suggest that managers of smoke-free premises should bear legal responsibilities for allowing unauthorised smoking in their venues, which in turn increases the number of law enforcers. However, those in the business are worried that they would be charged easily. Are there other ways to enhance tobacco control apart from hiring more law enforcers?

Can ‘one-in, multiple-out’ approach reduce compliance costs?


Even though regulation is necessary, they come at a cost. As time passes, some regulations may no longer be relevant and can be safely discarded or modified to reduce compliance costs. In some countries, governments are even removing or simplifying existing regulations before introducing new ones. How does this approach reshape regulation?

Clearing pathways for guide dogs


Hong Kong had its first guide dog for a visually impaired person in 1975. After half a century, there is still an acute shortage of guide dogs and their training has experienced considerable difficulties. It is therefore worth discussing the ways to remove obstacles encountered by guide dogs.

Big data is not just for big businesses


Local law protects consumer data from being used and traded without a clear consensus. This may mean only major chain stores with a huge customer base can benefit from big data. Is it possible to integrate personal data from various sources without compromising privacy protection so that more small and medium enterprises can gain from the big data economy?

Online petition: Can it lead to better governance?


Technology has enabled new ways of communication between governments and citizens. In the United States and United Kingdom, online platforms are in place for the public to set up petitions, which would be met with an official response if the petition attracts sufficient signatures. However, several non-technological issues need to be considered before deciding whether e-petitions could promote good governance.

How global financial regulatory reforms may affect Hong Kong?


Australia’s ban on conflicted forms of remuneration and the United States’ elevation of the standards of brokers and insurance agents are two recent examples of global financial regulatory reforms. The implementation of such changes could be considered indicative in designing financial regulatory reforms in Hong Kong.

A Policyholders' Protection Fund: Insuring against insolvency risk


The Insurance Authority intends to resume the suspended establishment of the Policyholders' Protection Fund (PPF) which serves as a safety net for policyholders when an insurer becomes insolvent. After examining different research studies, the Centre summarises the pros and cons of such protection scheme and the influences brought by various charging methods.