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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

Fintech growth strategies in place

To foster fintech development in Hong Kong, the Financial Services & the Treasury Bureau has recently announced a three-pronged strategy covering opening up of data, policy co-ordination and skill enhancement.   First of all, data are indeed precious assets in a new era where financial development is driven by technology. In this regard, the Chief Executive mentioned in her Policy Address this year that the Monetary Authority would develop the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI), through which enterprises could authorise service providers such as payment systems, public bodies or utility companies to furnish banks with data. Banks can then make more accurate predictions about the sales and operation of enterprises, thereby reducing the need for enterprises to provide collateral.   Opening up of government data and the sharing of such data with financial institutions play a crucial part in the development of the CDI. That is why we are now considering the sharing of data in the Companies Register to the CDI, to make it more convenient for financial institutions to obtain reliable information on registered companies.   Secondly, integration of technology and finance has introduced new dynamics to our market, and with the sector evolving rapidly under a more competitive international landscape, it is clear that we have entered a new stage of fintech development. New challenges have emerged for policymaking and regulations as a result. To strike a better balance between market development and regulation, a co-ordination group on implementation of fintech initiatives will be established within the Government. This group will holistically review and supervise the development of fintech in Hong Kong, covering the areas of Mainland and overseas co-operation, financial infrastructure, regulatory regimes, cybersecurity, promotion, talent development and other cross-sectoral fintech co-ordination.   Data and policy co-ordination aside, we will once again commission Cyberport to launch a training programme for our financial practitioners, to promote better understanding and encourage more application of fintech by the financial services industry. This time eligible participants will be expanded such that more practitioners can join the programme, and learn from the sharing of guest speakers having practical experiences and knowledge in the latest development of regtech, know-your-customer, blockchain and cybersecurity, etc. We expect the training programme will benefit up to 1,500 practitioners, and promote more application of fintech in the industry.   Just now I have shared with you our three-pronged strategy to facilitate fintech development in Hong Kong, and we are confident that the strategy will hit the bull’s eye, and together with the industry we will make the best use out of the opportunities offered by fintech.   Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui gave these remarks at FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific Demo Day on November 18.
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