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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

Govt preparing for electric ferries

The Government is preparing for testing the operation of electric ferries in four in-harbour ferry routes and an electric ferries pilot scheme is expected to start in 2023.   Secretary for the Environment KS Wong made the statement in response to lawmakers' questions in the Legislative Council today.   He noted that to further promote the use of green transportation technologies in ferries, the Government has earmarked $350 million in the last fiscal year to launch a pilot scheme for electric ferries.   The Government will fully subsidise the four ferry operators for the construction of electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, as well as the operational, maintenance and repair expenditures incurred by the operation of the electric ferries during the 24-month trial period.   The participating routes include the ferry route plying Central and Tsim Sha Tsui by the Star Ferry, the ferry route plying North Point and Hung Hom by the Sun Ferry Services, the ferry route plying Sai Wan Ho and Kwun Tong by the Coral Sea Ferry Service and the Water Taxi plying Kai Tak, Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and West Kowloon by the Fortune Ferry.   The Government has established an inter-departmental working group to work out the pilot scheme details, oversee its progress and evaluate the performance of the electric ferries.   The Environmental Protection Department has also engaged a consultant to design the electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, and assist the ferry operators to prepare technical specifications for issuing open tenders for the construction of electric ferries.   In addition, the Government has set up an expert panel comprising a local naval architect and academics as well as the working group members to assess the design proposals of electric ferries.   Mr Wong said based on the current progress, the Government anticipated that the design proposals for the electric ferries and associated charging facilities will be completed within this year.   The ferry operators and the Government will be able to issue open tenders for the construction of electric ferries and the associated charging facilities later this year.   Taking into account the lead time to construct the electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, the pilot scheme will commence in 2023 tentatively.  
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