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CS hails new electoral system

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic has lasted for some time. To our great relief, the number of local confirmed cases has remained at low levels in recent days. The Government's multi-pronged strategy of continuously enhancing our anti-epidemic measures and preventing the importation of cases has proven effective.   Apart from keeping social distancing measures in place and mounting an extensive promotion of testing, we have specifically strengthened the manpower in contact tracing as this is a particularly crucial measure in cutting the chains of viral transmission.   The Department of Health's Contact Tracing Office has redoubled its efforts in speeding up the process of identifying close contacts. Their sterling efforts in contact tracing in the gym cluster last month have significantly helped in suppressing rebounds within a number of days. This was a remarkable success.   For this, I must thank all those who have helped, including some 200 colleagues seconded f

HK economic outlook positive: FS

Hong Kong’s economy is expected to resume a 3.5% to 5.5% growth in real terms this year, though the progress of economic recovery will hinge on the epidemic’s development.   Unveiling his 2021-22 Budget today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan told lawmakers that the economy will still face significant challenges in the first half of the year as cross-boundary and tourism activities take time to resume normal.   However, he said if people work together to control the epidemic and social stability is maintained, the economic recovery will likely gain a stronger momentum in the second half of the year in tandem with an anticipated rebound in the global economy.   On inflation, he expected external price pressures will remain modest, with the projected headline inflation rate and the underlying inflation rate at 1.6% and 1% this year.   The finance chief said in the medium term, Hong Kong will continue to benefit from the Mainland’s ongoing development and the shift in global economic gravity from West to East.   He predicted Hong Kong’s economy will see an annual average of 3.3% growth in real terms from 2022 to 2025, while the underlying inflation rate will average 2%.
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