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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

HK, Mexico pact to take effect

The Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement (IPPA) between Hong Kong and Mexico will enter into force on June 16.   The agreement with Mexico will enhance investors’ confidence, expand investment flows between Hong Kong and Mexico, and further strengthen bilateral economic and trade ties.   Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said the 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong to foster co-operation and exchanges with countries and regions around the world.   He noted that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been making full use of the city's advantages under the Basic Law and “one country, two systems”, and has signed bilateral agreements, including IPPAs, with foreign economies to explore more opportunities for developing bilateral and multilateral co-operation benefits.   Mr Yau added that the agreement with Mexico is the fourth such agreement that the Hong Kong SAR Government has signed this term.   The other three were signed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, all of which have entered into force.   Taking into account the agreement with Mexico, the total number of IPPAs in force between Hong Kong and foreign economies will increase to 22, covering 31 foreign economies.   Under the agreement with Mexico, the two sides undertake to provide investors of the other side with fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of investments, compensation in the event of expropriation of investments, and the right to free transfers abroad of investments and returns.   The agreement also provides for settlement of investment disputes under internationally accepted rules, including arbitration.
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