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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

FS promotes HK to US

Financial Secretary Paul Chan attended a webinar today to update the American business community on Hong Kong's core strengths as an international financial centre, its active role in national development and the ample opportunities for American businesses.   In his keynote remarks, Mr Chan highlighted the long-established relations between Hong Kong and the US in terms of trade and investment.   He said bilateral trade has grown resoundingly, with Hong Kong’s exports to the US increasing more than 17% year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year, while imports from the US soared nearly 21%.   At last count, almost 1,300 US companies called Hong Kong home, ranking third behind only the Mainland and Japan.   Mr Chan said that the National 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong in enhancing its status as an international financial, transportation and trading centre, a global offshore renminbi business hub and an international asset and risk management centre.   He said it also supports the city's development as an international hub for both aviation and innovation and technology.   The plan points out the need to improve Hong Kong's integration into the overall development of the country, deepen co-operation in the Pearl River Delta region and promote high-quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.   Mr Chan highlighted that the launch of Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect in the Greater Bay Area in September has enabled residents in Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong to carry out cross-boundary investment in wealth management products distributed by banks in the area.   The Financial Secretary said the Wealth Management Connect opens up a broader market for the financial and relevant professional sectors, bringing enormous business opportunities for international financial institutions.   Hong Kong's role as an important gateway for capital flowing into and out of the Mainland, as well as its position as the global offshore renminbi business hub and an international asset management centre will be further reinforced, he added.   Mr Chan emphasised the restoration of social stability in Hong Kong, providing a safe and secure environment conducive to business and investment for companies and investors from all over the world.   Despite challenges in the past two years, Hong Kong's financial market has remained stable, and the Linked Exchange Rate System and various segments of the financial market have been functioning well.   Meanwhile, the banking system has remained robust and the financial services sector has been performing well in different aspects.   He noted that the city’s financial institutions will continue to proactively grasp development opportunities in Hong Kong and the Mainland.   The webinar was co-organised by the Hong Kong economic & trade office in Washington, DC, and the US-China Business Council and was joined by around 100 participants.   Mr Chan also discussed the city's anti-epidemic measures, the Government's policies and support for the financial services sector as well as the Hong Kong’s future growth areas and competitive edge during the webinar’s question-and-answer session.

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