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CE meets Philippine senate president

Chief Executive John Lee today met visiting Philippine Senate President Juan Miguel Fernandez Zubiri to exchange views on matters of common interest.   Mr Lee said Hong Kong and the Philippines have maintained close exchanges and co-operation in various fields such as trade, investment and finance, and that Hong Kong is an important trading and investment partner for the Philippines and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries. He encouraged more Philippine enterprises and talent to develop in Hong Kong and make better use of its professional services and internationalised business environment for expanding into Mainland markets, including those of the Greater Bay Area.   As the city is striving for early entry to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Chief Executive thanked the Philippines for its support in Hong Kong’s bid for accession. http://dlvr.it/SplQxC

Voucher scheme well received

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui today said the community’s overall response to the Consumption Voucher Scheme is very positive after the first batch of vouchers was disbursed.   The first $2,000 consumption voucher was disbursed to about 5.5 million eligible people on August 1.   Answering lawmakers’ questions today, Mr Hui said the scheme is generally welcomed by the public and businesses and has successfully boosted and stimulated consumer sentiment.   He noted that the four stored value facility operators and a lot of shopping centres and merchants have seized the opportunity to introduce extra promotions to attract people to spend, adding that such additional promotions will reinforce the multiplier effect of the electronic consumption vouchers.   As the vouchers are disbursed in instalments, Mr Hui believes that the enthusiastic consumer sentiment will continue in the second half of the year, leading to growth of the local retail, catering and service sectors, and boosting the overall local economy.   The Government had estimated earlier that there would be around 7.2 million eligible people, involving about $36 billion and expected that the scheme would boost local economic growth by 0.7 percentage points.
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