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Rural voter registration opens

The voter registration campaign for the 2021 Rural Representative Election opened today.   Those eligible should sign up by July 16, the Home Affairs Department said.   There are three types of rural representatives - Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives, Resident Representatives and Kaifong Representatives.   Indigenous Inhabitant Representatives are returned by indigenous inhabitants, their spouses or surviving spouses of an indigenous or composite indigenous village.   They reflect indigenous inhabitants’ views on village affairs, and deal with affairs relating to indigenous inhabitants’ lawful traditional rights and interests and the traditional way of life.   Resident Representatives are returned by both indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants living in an existing village. They reflect views on village affairs on behalf of the residents.   Kaifong Representatives, returned by Cheung Chau or Peng Chau residents, reflect residents’ views on the two market towns’ affa

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FS expects strong GDP growth

Financial Secretary Paul Chan welcomed the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2021, adding that he expected Hong Kong to register a relatively strong, positive GDP growth in the first quarter.   Meeting the media after the bill was passed by the Legislative Council today, Mr Chan noted that the advance estimates on GDP for the first quarter will be published next week.   He expected a rebound in the GDP figure due to the improved COVID-19 pandemic situation and strong recovery in the external economic environment.   “We expect there would be pretty strong GDP growth because of the fact that the comparison base last year is very low. We registered a contraction of 9% in last year’s first quarter.   “Also, since the middle of last year, although on a year-over-year basis the GDP continued to contract, on the basis of quarter-to-quarter GDP comparison we have seen gradual improvement since the third quarter.   “Given that the pandemic situation now in Hong Kong is pretty much under control - although we still need to be very vigilant - and considering the fact that the external economic environment is also recovering very strongly, no matter if it is in the Mainland, the US or other Asian countries, we are confident that with the impressive improvement on the trade side and the gradual recovery on domestic consumption, the first quarter of this year will see a relatively strong, positive GDP growth.”
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