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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

Alfred Sit highlights I&T opportunities

Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit today updated the business community in Korea on Hong Kong's latest developments and opportunities in innovation and technology (I&T) during a webinar.   Mr Sit highlighted the vast opportunities brought about by the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the support Hong Kong provides for technology startups.   He gave a brief account of Hong Kong's vibrant I&T developments, saying that the Government has invested over US$14 billion in the city's I&T along eight major areas in the past four years to enhance its ecosystem.   The Government's efforts have received high acclaim internationally, he added.   Citing Hong Kong as one of the most dynamic startup ecosystems in Asia, Mr Sit said that in six years' time, the number of startups in the city has tripled to around 3,400 in 2020 with 11 unicorns having emerged and a quarter of the startup founders having their country of origin outside Hong Kong.   “This international profile tells that Hong Kong not only provides prospects but also welcomes tech startups irrespective of their country of origin to develop and flourish in Hong Kong,” he noted.   The I&T chief also outlined the opportunities brought about by the Greater Bay Area.   As one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China, the bay area plays a strategic role in supporting Hong Kong's integration into the overall development of the country.   In addition, the National 14th Five-Year Plan reaffirmed the central government's unwavering support for Hong Kong to consolidate and enhance its competitive advantages in developing into an international I&T hub.   The Government is pressing ahead with the development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop, which will be the largest-ever I&T platform in Hong Kong.   It is also working with Shenzhen to develop the Shenzhen-Hong Kong I&T Co-operation Zone with a view to establishing "one zone, two parks" at "one river, two banks" under the auspices of "one country, two systems".   Mr Sit said: “Coupled with the rule of law, Hong Kong's market-oriented economy, comprehensive intellectual property rights protection and a business-friendly environment for startups, this will certainly achieve the synergy effect.”   On attracting global I&T talent, he said the Government has rolled out schemes such as the Global STEM Professorship Scheme to attract internationally renowned scholars and tech talent and contribute to the I&T advancement in Hong Kong and the bay area.   Mr Sit noted that Hong Kong remains a place filled with abundant and exciting opportunities and will continue to prosper as an international I&T hub with a significant degree of influence in the world.   He also welcomed technology companies in Korea to set up a presence in Hong Kong to tap the opportunities.
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