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Drivers given online option for permits

Members of the public can now apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) through an online service launched today by the Transport Department.   Users of “iAM Smart+” or eligible applicants holding a valid personal digital certificate may apply online via the GovHK website and receive their IDP by post, without the need to visit a licensing office in person.   If the submitted documents and photograph are in order, the department will normally send successful applicants their IDP by registered post within 10 working days of the online application being made.   The department reminded those who plan to drive outside of Hong Kong to allow sufficient time for the IDP applications to be processed.   Citizens may continue to submit IDP applications by visiting licensing offices in person. Appointments can be booked online or by calling 3763 8080 to save queuing time.   Drivers may also send in their IDP applications by post or via the drop-in boxes placed at licensi

Treasury chief attends APEC meeting

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui today attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. He joined various sessions to discuss major issues such as the global economic and financial outlook, sustainable finance and cross-boundary payments and remittances.   Hong Kong has lifted its relevant quarantine arrangement since September 26 this year and has witnessed a considerable increase in the total number of incoming passengers, Mr Hui said, adding that business in Hong Kong has been normal.   While the finance ministers' meeting is held at a time when the global economy is facing immense headwinds such as monetary policy tightening and soaring inflation, Mr Hui shared the importance of decarbonisation, diversification and digitalisation as the pathway to a sustainable and resilient recovery.   He introduced to the meeting Hong Kong's efforts in combating climate change and achieving carbon neutrality, its status as a global offshore renminbi business hub for diversifying risks and assets, and the city's fintech developments to boost the competitiveness of the financial services sector.   Mr Hui stressed that Hong Kong will continue to work with APEC partners to deliver a free, open, fair and transparent trade and investment environment.   On sustainable finance, he said a key to decarbonisation is to make use of financing. Capitalising on its role as an international financial centre, Hong Kong strives to become a regional hub for green and sustainable finance, serving as a premier platform for international green enterprises and projects in raising funds through issuing bonds and initial public offerings.   The treasury chief also remarked on the progress of the Multiple Central Bank Digital Currency Bridge project, which has the potential to offer benefits such as accelerating cross-boundary transfers and reducing costs to participating central banks.   At a bilateral meeting with Minister of Finance of Thailand Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Mr Hui noted that trade ties between Hong Kong and Thailand have been growing closer in the past few years, and that he looks forward to exploring financial co-operation with the country.   He also briefed Mr Termpittayapaisith on the key financial services initiatives in the Policy Address that include supporting asset and wealth management business and attracting quality enterprises to list in Hong Kong.   Mr Hui also met Vice Minister of Finance of Indonesia Suahasil Nazara for exchanges on issues bringing long-term benefits to Hong Kong and Indonesian businesses.

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