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270 COVID-19 cases recorded

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 270 additional COVID-19 cases, of which 116 were detected by nucleic acid tests and 154 were identified via rapid antigen tests.   Among the new cases, 31 are imported while the rest are locally infected.   Since the onset of the fifth wave of the epidemic, 1,199,227 people have contracted the virus. One more patient passed away, bringing the total number of deaths in the fifth wave to 9,163.   Moreover, the Hospital Authority announced that a staff member of Haven of Hope Hospital’s catering department tested positive through a rapid antigen test on Thursday. Contact tracing revealed that four more employees from the same department who had dined or stayed in the same accommodation as the patient had also caught COVID-19. These four staff and seven other staff who have been identified as close contacts will be quarantined.   As a precautionary measure, the hospital’s catering department has temporarily suspended o

Euro trade reps briefed

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today updated the European Union (EU) trade commissioners and representatives of European chambers of commerce in Hong Kong on the city's business outlook and initiatives related to commerce and trade in the 2021 Policy Address.   At a business breakfast organised by the European Union Office to Hong Kong & Macao today, Mr Yau said that the EU is one of Hong Kong's largest trading partners in goods and services and has established close trade relations with Hong Kong over the years.   He noted that Hong Kong is a free and open economy with a robust legal system and a highly internationalised business environment.   Mr Yau added that being an ideal gateway for business and investment on the Mainland and the Asia Pacific region, Hong Kong will continue to strive to help businesses, both local and international, grasp the tremendous opportunities arising from the development of the Mainland as well as its integration with the region and the global market.   He cited the results of the two latest annual surveys conducted by Invest Hong Kong and the Census & Statistics Department to demonstrate the vibrant business environment of Hong Kong.   The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or on the Mainland reached 9,049 and the number of startups in Hong Kong was 3,755 in 2021, both reaching record highs.   Mr Yau noted that these figures demonstrate fully that despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, Hong Kong remains an ideal place for companies to set up or expand their businesses, as well as for startups to flourish.   He also pointed out that Hong Kong's trade performance displayed resilience despite the COVID-19 epidemic, with Hong Kong's global ranking in terms of total merchandise trade value rinsing to sixth place last year.   Benefitting from stable supply chains maintained through effective control of the epidemic on the Mainland, the value of Hong Kong's total merchandise trade has rebounded since the fourth quarter of last year and hit a record high of $6.5099 trillion for the first eight months of this year, Mr Yau said.   He also highlighted the support measures for the convention and exhibition (C&E) industry in the Policy Address.   The validity period of the Convention & Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme has been extended for six months to the end of 2022. Funds have also been allocated under the scheme to provide one-off immediate relief to eligible private exhibition organisers.   In the long run, the Government will expand C&E facilities.
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