• The second and final phase of interest rate deregulation covering Hong Kong Dollar savings and current accounts took effect from July 3, 2001, allowing banks to compete for deposits freely on the basis of price and product innovation. The first phase was instituted a year earlier.
  • On July 11, the Chief Executive met President George W Bush at the White House and other key US governmental and political leaders during a two-day visit to the US capital.
  • Hong Kong celebrated on July 13 when China won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games.
  • The Chief Secretary for Administration, during a duty visit to the United States, expressed shock and sadness at the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11. The attacks occurred shortly after
    Mr Tsang and his delegation had flown to the US capital from New York. The next day, at a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mr Tsang extended deepest condolences to the American people on behalf of Hong Kong.
  • The Global Summit of Women 2001 was held in Hong Kong in mid-September, as was the World Services Congress 2001.
  • The Government's Electronic Service Delivery Scheme received first prize under the Public Services and Democracy category of the internationally acclaimed 'Stockholm Challenge Award' in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The World Economic Forum held its prestigious East Asia Economic Summit in Hong Kong in late October, 2001.
  • In his fifth Policy Address, the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, highlighted a number of measures to help Hong Kong adjust to the changing global environment. Mr Tung focused on five key areas:expanding investment in education and upgrading human resources; upgrading hard and soft infrastructure; enhancing the quality of the living environment; relieving hardships and creating jobs; and, improving the quality of government administration.
  • Among initiatives announced was a decision to introduce a new accountability system for principal officials and plans to spend HK$600 billion ( US$77 billion ) on major infrastructure programmes over the next 10 to 15 years.
  • Hong Kong's Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Clarie Lo, the 2001/2002 President of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering ( FATF ), presided at a two-day extraordinary Plenary Meeting of the group in Washington D.C. to discuss ways to combat terrorist financing in response to the September 11 attacks in the United States. During the meetings on October 29-30, the FATF's remit was widened to include international measures to deny terrorists access to funds.
  • In November, the Chief Executive opened the INTEGER Hong Kong Pavilion, a joint project with
    the United Kingdom government and private companies to demonstrate how 'intelligent and greener' flats could be built in Hong Kong today to meet tomorrow's needs.
  • Survey results released by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department on November 6 found that in 2001 there were a record 3 237 regional operations in Hong Kong 2 293 regional offices and 944 regional headquarters. The number continues to grow.
  • The world's multi-lateral trading system ushered in a new era when China's accession to the World Trade Organisation was formally approved at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha,
    Qatar, on November 10, 2001. The decision was welcomed in Hong Kong, where GDP is expected to grow by an extra 0.5% per annum as a result of greater trade with, and investment in, the Mainland. China was formally admitted to the WTO in December 2001.
  • Hong Kong was rated the world's freest economy for the eighth consecutive year in the 2002 Index of Economic Freedom report released on November 12 by the influential Heritage Foundation of the US.
  • Hong Kong played host to two major international events in November the 12th World Productivity Congress and the 14th General Meeting of Pacific Economic Co-operation Council.
  • On December 10, 2001, work was completed on Stage One of a major sewage tunnel system the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme ( HATS ) that will greatly improve water quality in the harbour by intercepting and treating up to 70% of the sewage currently entering the harbour.
  • The government announced on December 11 the formation of the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council ( LOGSCOUNCIL ) to help Hong Kong develop further as an integrated logistics hub linking the Mainland and the world.
  • Figures released on January 8, 2002, by Invest Hong Kong showed that the department had attracted and helped 99 foreign companies to set up or expand operations in Hong Kong in 2001, generating total investment of HK$3.5 billion ( US$450 million ) and creating over 1 500 jobs.