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Apr exports value up 1.1%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Travel bubble safeguards in place

The travel bubble arrangement between Hong Kong and Singapore includes additional safeguards, but both sides will continue to monitor the COVID-19 epidemic situation, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said today.   After attending an event, Mr Yau told reporters Hong Kong was currently enjoying a relatively stable and low-risk situation.   “We have seen the number of cases, particularly those unlinked local cases, come down to a very low level. We hope this will be maintained.   “At the same time, we are also seeing Singapore, despite some cases, by and large staying within the range that we have agreed upon for the suspension or resumption.   “So, at the moment, we are keeping an eye on this development and will see how things go.”   Mr Yau assured travellers that both places have strengthened their safeguards and would be on the alert for any changes in the epidemic situation.   “The most recent agreement has additional built-in safeguards, including an additional three-day observation on the daily number of unlinked local cases at a lower level, and the requirement to stay in the respective cities for 14 days before embarking on the travel bubble without counting the quarantine requirement for those passengers coming from a third place.   “All these are the measures that we have put in place. Of course we will stay very alert. If circumstances get worse, we will see whether there is a need to adjust them; if things are going smoothly, stably and safely, I think it is everybody's wish to have the scheme proceed as planned to be launched on May 26.”
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Railway settlement exceeds limit

The construction works of a relocation project in Kowloon have been suspended after a settlement monitoring checkpoint exceeded the limit, the Government said today.   The project relocates supporting operational facilities of Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station Complex, Fire Services Club and other fire services accommodations to To Wah Road in Kowloon.   The Government explained that the readings recorded in a settlement monitoring checkpoint installed inside the railway tunnel between Kowloon Station and Olympic Station of the MTR Tung Chung Line had reached 20.27mm on September 7. The preset trigger level for works suspension is 20mm.   For the sake of prudence, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation suspended relevant works within the railway protection area on the same day.   The Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department deployed staff to inspect the affected railway tunnel and confirmed that it is structurally safe.   The Electrical & Mechanical Services