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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

FS attends World Economic Forum

Financial Secretary Paul Chan yesterday attended day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where Premier Li Qiang delivered a special address.


In addition to meeting World Bank Group President Ajay Banga, he attended a business breakfast and a roundtable meeting.


While taking part in the WEF Annual Meeting in the company of Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau, the Financial Secretary pointed out that Premier Li's speech thoroughly elaborated that the overall trend of China's long-term growth will not change, and China stays committed to opening up and continues to provide a strong impetus to the development of the world economy.


During his meeting with Mr Banga, they exchanged views on enhancing investment and financing for green and sustainable projects, promoting digitalisation in the region, enhancing collaboration among countries in the South, and promoting a more inclusive development of the regional and global economy.


At the business breakfast and roundtable meeting organised by a multinational bank, Mr Chan briefed attendees on Hong Kong’s latest economic and social conditions. He also spoke about the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government's efforts in consolidating and enhancing the city's competitiveness as an international financial centre, developing a diversified economy, and attracting enterprises and talent.


Furthermore, he had in-depth exchanges with participants from the international financial institutions, investment funds, air cargo and logistics industry, insurance groups, professional services organisations and fintech enterprises.


Mr Chan shared Hong Kong's new strengths and developments as he spoke at a keynote seminar organised by a Mainland financial media agency. He stressed that the city will play an even more pivotal role as a bridge and platform connecting the Mainland and international markets and investors in the face of new global trends.


Apart from highlighting that the Hong Kong SAR Government is pressing ahead with the development of the "eight centres" as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Financial Secretary stressed that in particular, it is promoting the development of financial services and innovation and technology as the dual engines of Hong Kong's future growth.


Mr Chan also attended a dinner hosted by WEF Founder & Executive Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab yesterday evening.

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