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Flu jab booking set

Community vaccination centres (CVCs) in various districts will offer free seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) to Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above when they are there for COVID-19 vaccination starting from October 6.   The Government announced today that eligible people can make reservations for receiving both COVID-19 vaccination and SIV through the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme booking system starting from 9am tomorrow.   They may also choose to receive the free SIV on site when they are receiving the COVID-19 jab starting from October 6.   Given that local seasonal influenza activity has been staying at low levels since February 2020, the overall immunity against influenza in the community is at present relatively low, the Government noted.   As the winter flu season is approaching, citizens are strongly urged to complete the recommended dosage of COVID-19 vaccines and the latest seasonal influenza vaccine as early as possible to obtain better protection in the event of

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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