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Foreign currency reserves up

Hong Kong's foreign currency reserve assets rose to US$423.2 billion in November from October's US$417.2 billion, the Monetary Authority announced today.   The reserve assets represent over five times the currency in circulation or about 42% of Hong Kong dollar M3.   There were no unsettled foreign exchange contracts at the end of November. http://dlvr.it/Sf21yd

Youth development body meets

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today chaired the 10th meeting of the Youth Development Commission (YDC) to review its achievements.   Expressing gratitude to the members for collaborating with the current-term Government to formulate and launch policy initiatives to facilitate young people’s diversified development, Mrs Lam said: “In my first Policy Address since assuming office in 2017, I announced the establishment of the YDC to enhance policy co-ordination within the Government so as to enable holistic and more effective examination of, and discussion on, issues of concern to young people.   “I am pleased to note that members have affirmed and commended the YDC’s work over the past few years.”   At the meeting, members were briefed by relevant policy bureaus about the work progress in promoting youth development. They were pleased to note that the Government has proactively sought stakeholders’ views through the YDC platform and endeavoured to foster cross-bureau and interdepartmental collaboration to promote youth development, including facilitating the selection of suitable study pathways, aiding career development and upward mobility, strengthening communication, and nurturing positive thinking.   Members also noted the progress of the youth development initiatives undertaken by the YDC. Apart from enhancing the Funding Scheme for Youth Exchange in the Mainland and the Funding Scheme for Youth Internship in the Mainland, the commission will resume exchange and internship activities, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.   In addition, the commission will introduce more enhancement measures in the new round of the Funding Scheme for Youth Life Planning Activities to promote cross-sectoral collaboration.   A new funding scheme will also be launched to subsidise non-government organisations to organise projects that are conducive to nurturing young people’s positive thinking, with a view to promoting the physical and mental well-being of youngsters.   Meanwhile, about 480 posts are held by young people who have been appointed to advisory and statutory bodies directly or indirectly through the Member Self-recommendation Scheme for Youth. The ratio of youth members in these bodies increased from 7.8% in end-2017 to 15.4% in end-2021, successfully achieving the target of 15% set by the Government.   Members fully supported the continued implementation of the scheme and suggested expanding it to cover more committees, with a view to providing more opportunities for young people to participate in public affairs.   Mrs Lam added: “Since the promulgation and implementation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has restored order from chaos and got back on the right track. It is time to rethink how to unite society, in particular through refocusing on and repositioning youth policies and district affairs.   “In this regard, in the proposal for the reorganisation of the Government structure which I put forward earlier this year, it was mentioned that the Home Affairs Bureau should be reorganised into the Home & Youth Affairs Bureau to review and formulate in a more holistic manner an overall youth policy and a blueprint for youth development. The proposal has received broad support from society.   “I wish that the proposal for establishing the Home & Youth Affairs Bureau will be implemented smoothly on July 1. I am confident that members of the YDC will continue to collaborate with the Government and nurture the new generation of talent for Hong Kong.”
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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open