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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

HK grateful for President Xi’s concern

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today thanked President Xi Jinping for his great concern about the fifth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong and his sincere care for the people of the city.   Expressing her heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and all the people of Hong Kong in a press statement, Mrs Lam said that by leveraging the central authorities’ support and uniting all sectors of the community, she would lead the Hong Kong SAR Government to fight the epidemic with unwavering determination.   “The central authorities have all along been providing their strongest support for the Hong Kong SAR. The Hong Kong SAR Government will, in accordance with the important instruction of President Xi, assume the main responsibility to stabilise the epidemic situation early as the overriding mission at present, and mobilise all available manpower and resources and adopt all necessary measures to safeguard the lives and health of Hong Kong people and the stability of society.”   With its own continuous efforts, the Hong Kong SAR Government has been striving to contain the virus using a multipronged approach, and enhance the measures to boost its anti-epidemic capability, the Chief Executive pointed out.   However, the rapid development of the disease has put the city under a considerably severe situation and outgrown the Hong Kong SAR Government’s handling capacity.   “At this critical juncture, it is necessary for us to leverage the advantages of ‘one country, two systems’; and to this end, I have submitted to the central authorities a report together with concrete requests for the timely assistance from the central authorities,” she noted.   Riding on the consensus and achievements reached last Saturday from the second Mainland-Hong Kong thematic meeting on the COVID-19 epidemic jointly hosted by Chief Secretary John Lee and Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Deputy Director Huang Liuquan, the work between both sides has begun.   The main areas of work encompass exchange of views among epidemiologists, enhancement of the capacity of nucleic acid testing, construction of community isolation and treatment facilities, and the ensuring of medical supplies and other supplies from the Mainland.   The Chief Executive stressed: “To cope with this wave of the epidemic, the Hong Kong SAR Government has mobilised all available manpower, with different bureaus and departments joining hands with healthcare workers, testing contractors, laboratories, the university team responsible for supporting sewage surveillance, district volunteers and so forth, to form a robust anti-epidemic team.   “With the sincere care of the central authorities as well as the staunch support from the ministries and commissions of the central authorities and the Guangdong Provincial Government, we are determined to work as a team and spare no effort in fighting this epidemic in order for the people of Hong Kong to resume their normal lives early.”

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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