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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

City-wide testing not given up: CE

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said the Government will determine the right time for carrying out the city-wide Compulsory Universal Testing scheme in order to achieve the best result.   In response to questions raised by the media at a press conference this morning, Mrs Lam reiterated that the scheme is a very effective tool for eliminating silent transmissions in the community, so that Hong Kong could safely resume various social and economic activities.   “It gives us the basis to negotiate or discuss with the Mainland, particularly, on the resumption of some quarantine-free travel, an issue which we did achieve quite a lot of progress last quarter - that is towards the end of 2021.”   Stressing that the universal exercise is not scrapped, she said: “We have not given up on doing a comprehensive universal test, but the timing of doing it is very significant because it is a mammoth exercise, we need to mobilise thousands of staff and we need to inconvenience hundreds of thousands of residents. We must find the best timing that will achieve the best result.”   In preparation for the universal testing scheme, the Government has learnt from the experience of compulsory testing operations, she noted.   “The restriction-testing declaration provides us with a very good reference in several aspects. One is that it has given us a good indication of the extent of infection in that restricted community, whether it is a fresh infection - that is before the test, the resident did not realise that he or she has the COVID-19 virus.”   Under the latest requirements, citizens who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months will be exempted from further testing.   “But now, because we have taken this extra step to ask the residents in the restricted area, so we are also able to discover the already infected cases or the recovered COVID-19 cases.   “Similarly, when we are going to conduct a compulsory universal test, the same rule will apply.”   The precise timetable for the Compulsory Universal Testing scheme is yet to be confirmed, she added.   “We are fortunate in a sense that we have seen less than 10,000 cases in the last two days. I hope this afternoon the number is also less than 10,000, but we need a bit more time to monitor the situation and then decide on when to do this.”
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Railway settlement exceeds limit

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