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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

FS expects strong GDP growth

Financial Secretary Paul Chan welcomed the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2021, adding that he expected Hong Kong to register a relatively strong, positive GDP growth in the first quarter.   Meeting the media after the bill was passed by the Legislative Council today, Mr Chan noted that the advance estimates on GDP for the first quarter will be published next week.   He expected a rebound in the GDP figure due to the improved COVID-19 pandemic situation and strong recovery in the external economic environment.   “We expect there would be pretty strong GDP growth because of the fact that the comparison base last year is very low. We registered a contraction of 9% in last year’s first quarter.   “Also, since the middle of last year, although on a year-over-year basis the GDP continued to contract, on the basis of quarter-to-quarter GDP comparison we have seen gradual improvement since the third quarter.   “Given that the pandemic situation now in Hong Kong is pretty much under control - although we still need to be very vigilant - and considering the fact that the external economic environment is also recovering very strongly, no matter if it is in the Mainland, the US or other Asian countries, we are confident that with the impressive improvement on the trade side and the gradual recovery on domestic consumption, the first quarter of this year will see a relatively strong, positive GDP growth.”
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