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Xia Baolong begins HK visit

CPC Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong today arrived in Hong Kong for a seven-day inspection visit.   Upon his arrival at Hong Kong International Airport this morning, Mr Xia toured the Integrated Airport Centre in the company of Chief Executive John Lee, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki and Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Chairman Jack So.   Mr Xia was updated by Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung and AAHK Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam, on the developments of the aviation industry and the latest situation of Hong Kong's development as an international aviation and cargo hub. Mr Xia also inspected the operation of autonomous vehicles at the airport.   In the afternoon, he had an engagement session with Principal Officials and Permanent Secretaries of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government led by Mr Lee.   At another engagement ses

Minimum wage rate maintained

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Chief Executive in Council today adopted the Minimum Wage Commission's recommendation to maintain the statutory minimum wage rate at $37.5 per hour.   Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong made the announcement during a media session this afternoon.   He said the Government has carefully considered the commission's report and is of the view that the commission has discharged its statutory function of reviewing the minimum wage rate with thorough and balanced deliberations.   "During the whole process of the work of the Minimum Wage Commission, there are differences in views among the representatives of employers and those representing the labour side. Definitely, the range of expectation ranges from a reduction in the minimum wage to substantially increasing it.   "The commission considered all the views and struck a balance. So this recommendation to the Government and the acceptance by the Government of this recommendation basically reflects a fine balance between the difference of views."   The commission also took into account that the Hong Kong economy was in a deep recession with an elevated unemployment rate and the economic outlook is subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty when reviewing the minimum wage rate, Dr Law added.   He said: "By late October next year, the commission will submit another report to the Government. I think that would be timely to look at the situation by that time."
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