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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Court arrangement comes into force

A civil and commercial arrangement between the Mainland and Hong Kong came into operation today.


The arrangement involves the Mainland Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters Ordinance and the Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition & Enforcement of Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland & of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


Under the arrangement's new mechanism, the courts of the two places may recognise and enforce reciprocally effective judgments in civil and commercial matters that are made by the courts of the other place and are covered by the arrangement. This reduces the need for parties to re-litigate the same dispute in the Mainland and Hong Kong courts respectively, thereby reducing the risks, legal costs and time usually associated with the cross-boundary enforcement of such judgments.


The ordinance was enacted for the purpose of implementing the civil and commercial arrangement in the Hong Kong SAR through local legislation. The new mechanism applies to judgments given by Hong Kong or Mainland courts from today onwards in cases covered by the arrangement.


Secretary for Justice Paul Lam remarked that the civil and commercial arrangement showcases the unique advantages enjoyed by Hong Kong under “one country, two systems”.


“Hong Kong is the only jurisdiction to have an arrangement with the Mainland on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments with such a wide coverage. The civil and commercial arrangement helps consolidate Hong Kong's status as a regional intellectual property trading centre as well as a regional centre for international legal and dispute resolution services as outlined in the National 14th Five-Year Plan.”


Mr Lam and Supreme People's Court (SPC) Vice-president Yang Wanming gave an opening speech at the “New Mechanism for Reciprocal Recognition & Enforcement of Civil & Commercial Judgments between the Courts of Mainland and the Hong Kong SAR” seminar, co-organised by the SPC and the Department of Justice today.


The seminar, attracting about 300 participants on-site, explains the civil and commercial arrangement as well as the ordinance, including the applicable rules and specific procedures.


The public may also visit the thematic website or read the promotional leaflet on the ordinance for details.

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