MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Public housing resident convicted for making false statement knowingly

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Public housing resident convicted for making false statement knowingly
Public housing resident convicted for making false statement knowingly
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     A spokesman for the Housing Department (HD) today (January 22) reminded residents of public rental housing (PRH) estates to truthfully declare their income and assets.     A PRH resident living at Fu Shan Estate in Wong Tai Sin, who did not declare his ownership of a domestic property on an income and asset declaration form in 2018, was convicted at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts yesterday. The presiding magistrate ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000 and also sentenced him to one month’s imprisonment (suspended for 18 months).     In this case, the PRH resident declared on an income and asset declaration form in May 2018 that he did not own a domestic property in Hong Kong. Subsequent investigation revealed that he had concealed his joint ownership of a domestic property in Sai Ying Pun during the declaration period. The resident was prosecuted by the Housing Department for making a false statement knowingly, contrary to Section 26(1)(a)of the Housing Ordinance.     The spokesman said that households should complete the income and asset declaration forms accurately, as doing so provides the foundation for the assessment of rent and their eligibility for continuing residence. Before making the declarations, households should read the content and completion guidelines of the income and asset declaration form carefully and compute their income and assets in accordance with the methods specified therein. Otherwise, they may be prosecuted for making false statement knowingly, contrary to Section 26(1)(a) of the Housing Ordinance (if convicted, the maximum penalty is a $50,000 fine and imprisonment for six months) or being prosecuted for neglecting to furnish information as specified in a declaration form, contrary to Section 27(a) of the Housing Ordinance (if convicted, the maximum penalty is a $25,000 fine and imprisonment for three months).     In addition, the HD will take action to recover the undercharged rent incurred due to the inaccurate information. According to the revised Well-off Tenants Policies endorsed in December 2016, PRH households with domestic property ownership in Hong Kong will be required to vacate their PRH flats, irrespective of their levels of household income or assets.

 
Ends/Tuesday, January 22, 2019Issued at HKT 12:30

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Hong Kong, China – Georgia Free Trade Agreement to enter into force on February 13

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Hong Kong, China – Georgia Free Trade Agreement to enter into force on February 13
Hong Kong, China – Georgia Free Trade Agreement to enter into force on February 13
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     The Hong Kong, China – Georgia Free Trade Agreement will enter into force on February 13, giving Hong Kong exporters and service providers the legal certainty of favourable treatment and market access to Georgia.      “The Agreement, signed on June 28, 2018, is comprehensive in scope, encompassing trade in goods, trade in services, admission of investment, dispute settlement mechanisms, etc. It is the first free trade agreement which Hong Kong signed with a country in the Caucasus.      “With Georgia being a gateway to the Caucasus, this Agreement not only enhances trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and Georgia, but also paves the way for the business community to tap into opportunities in the Caucasus under the Belt and Road Initiative,” the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, said today (January 22).      Mr Yau noted that the current-term Government has signed three free trade agreements (FTAs) with 12 economies (the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Georgia and the Macao Special Administrative Region). It has also concluded negotiations for FTAs with Australia and the Maldives.      “To help Hong Kong enterprises and investors expand their markets and further reinforce Hong Kong’s status as an international trade and investment hub, we will continue our efforts in expanding our worldwide network of economic and trade connections through actively seeking to negotiate and forge FTAs and Investment Agreements with economies that have strong economic and trade connections with us, markets with development potential or at strategic locations, and like-minded trading partners,” Mr Yau said.      On trade in goods, Georgia will eliminate import tariffs on more than 96 per cent of its tariff lines for Hong Kong’s originating products upon the entry into force of the Agreement.      As regards trade in services, which includes supplies of services through establishing commercial presence, commitments made by Georgia cover sectors in which Hong Kong has traditional strengths or has potential for further development, including financial services, telecommunications services, various business services, wholesale and retailing services, arbitration services, audio-visual services, construction and related engineering services, environmental services, various transport services and printing and publishing services.      On investment in non-services sectors, Georgia will accord Hong Kong investors with treatment and other safeguards that are no less favourable than those enjoyed by its local investors. This will enhance investors’ confidence and facilitate two-way investment flows between Hong Kong and Georgia.      The Agreement also contains provisions to ensure effective protection of intellectual property rights, promote competition, and enhance protection of the environment. The two sides have agreed to establish a transparent mechanism for consultations and settlement of possible disputes arising under the Agreement.      To help Hong Kong exporters make good use of the preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement, the Trade and Industry Department (TID) has issued trade circulars today to inform the trade of the relevant preferential rules of origin and the related requirements. The Agreement, including its full text, is available on the TID’s website (www.tid.gov.hk/english/ita/fta/hkgefta/index.html), and the circulars can be accessed at www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/tradecircular/coc/2019/coc2019.html.

 
Ends/Tuesday, January 22, 2019Issued at HKT 12:28

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Hong Kong Customs steps up LNY law enforcement

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

     With the imminent arrival of the Lunar New Year holiday period, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (Janunary 22) announces that it has started a special operation to strengthen law enforcement actions at various boundary control points (BCPs) in a bid to combat smuggling and other illegal activities.     The C&ED reiterates that enforcement action will continue to target dangerous drugs. In some overseas jurisdictions, products containing cannabis or THC (a major cannabinoid present in cannabis plants), such as food products and drinks may be available for sale. The C&ED reiterates that it is a criminal offence under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance to bring such products into Hong Kong and people should pay attention to the packaging labels of the products concerned while making purchases in those jurisdictions.     Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, trafficking in dangerous drugs, or illicitly importing to and exporting from Hong Kong, procuring, supplying, manufacturing, or dealing in or with dangerous drugs, constitutes a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million. Illicitly possessing, or smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting dangerous drugs is subject to a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for seven years.     People may bring in various types of commodities after travel and festive shopping outside Hong Kong. The C&ED reiterates that limits are set for alcoholic liquor and tobacco duty-free concessions. Incoming passengers are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years upon conviction if they fail to comply with the respective provisions of the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance.     Members of the public are also reminded that it is an offence to bring into the city any game, meat, poultry and eggs without a health certificate under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.     Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting endangered species including orchids, ivory, American ginseng and dried seahorse without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years.     In addition, the import of mammals, birds and reptiles is controlled under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance and Rabies Ordinance. Import of such animals are illegal unless a permit is obtained in advance from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.     Members of the public are also reminded not to bring manufactured fireworks into Hong Kong. Under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, any person who conveys such items without a valid licence commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.     Joint operations with related government departments will be carried out at BCPs and within Hong Kong waters to intercept activities of bringing in and out of prohibited and controlled items.      In addition, travellers are also reminded that the Cross-boundary Movement of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Ordinance has already been in force since July 16 last year. Under the Ordinance, a person who arrives in Hong Kong via a specified control point and is in possession of a large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (CBNIs) (i.e. the total value of which is more than HK$120,000) must use the Red Channel under the Red and Green Channel System and make a written declaration to a Customs officer.     A person who is about to leave Hong Kong, or who arrives in Hong Kong other than at a specified control point, must disclose upon the request of a Customs officer whether he or she is in possession of a large quantity of CBNIs and, if so, make a written declaration.     During the Lunar New Year special operation conducted between February 1 and 19 last year, the C&ED detected a total of 655 cases with the arrest of 582 persons, resulting in the seizure of items with an estimated value of about $53 million.     The C&ED reiterates that deployment will be strengthened for vigorous enforcement actions before and during the festive holiday.     Members of the public may report any suspected drug and smuggling activities to the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Labour Department to participate in Education & Careers Expo 2019

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Labour Department to participate in Education & Careers Expo 2019
Labour Department to participate in Education & Careers Expo 2019
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     The Labour Department (LD) will participate in the Education & Careers Expo 2019 organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) from January 24 to 27 (Thursday to Sunday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.           The booth of the LD will be located at D15 in Hall 1D. Information on the LD’s employment services and the Working Holiday Scheme as well as employment opportunities in the Mainland will be provided to assist job seekers, young people in particular, to broaden their horizons and explore different career opportunities.           A seminar on the Working Holiday Scheme will be held from 12.15pm to 1pm on January 26 (Saturday). Young people who have worked overseas under this scheme are invited to share their experiences in the seminar.           Job seekers can find more information on the LD’s Interactive Employment Service website (www.jobs.gov.hk). They may also visit HKTDC’s website (www.hktdc.com/hkeducationexpo) for details of the Education & Careers Expo 2019.

 
Ends/Tuesday, January 22, 2019Issued at HKT 10:00

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: “Legends of Lion Dance” exhibition showcases Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, traditional crafts and Cantonese opera in Belgium (with photos)

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

“Legends of Lion Dance” exhibition showcases Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, traditional crafts and Cantonese opera in Belgium (with photos)
“Legends of Lion Dance” exhibition showcases Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, traditional crafts and Cantonese opera in Belgium (with photos)
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     Riding on the success of its first two editions held in 2017 and 2018, the “Legends of Lion Dance” exhibition has returned to the port city of Antwerp in Belgium.  It is being held at the city’s main public library, Bibliotheek Permeke, from January 18 until February 10 to showcase Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, traditional crafts and Cantonese opera to celebrate the Chinese New Year.     With the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels (HKETO, Brussels) and the Belgium-Hong Kong Society, Asian Events Tofoe , a non-profit-making organisation established by Hong Kong second-generation community members in Antwerp, is presenting 12 unique lion heads made and embroidered in Hong Kong.      Visitors can learn how lion heads are made, the meaning of the lion dance, the traditions of Chinese New Year and their importance in Hong Kong culture.  They can also discover the meaning of the Chinese horoscope.  Moreover, on the occasion of the opening of the Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, this year’s exhibition also introduces visitors to the Cantonese Opera with some Cantonese Opera costumes from Hong Kong being displayed in the exhibition.      Assistant Representative of the HKETO, Brussels, Mr Jeffrey Chim and two Aldermen of the City of Antwerp, Alderman for Sports, Diamonds, and Markets, Mr Ludo van Campenhout, and Alderman for Finance, Mobility, City Parks, Retailers and Decentralisation, Mr Koen Kennis, officiated at the opening reception on January 18, which featured an expertly-performed lion dance attended by over 80 guests.      Speaking at the opening reception, Mr Chim said that the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has spared no effort in creating an environment conducive to arts and cultural development as well as promoting Hong Kong’s strengths in arts and culture.  The much-anticipated West Kowloon Cultural District is now taking shape and will be developed into a world-class integrated arts, cultural and entertainment area befitting Hong Kong’s status as an international arts and cultural metropolis.  The Xiqu Centre, the first major performing arts venue in the Cultural District, would officially open two days later on January 20.     “The Xiqu Centre makes the Cantonese opera, which has been added to the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage, accessible to the audiences from around the world and helps develop a locally rooted Cantonese opera network that has a regional impact with an important role in the international arts and culture development,” Mr Chim said.     “I am particular glad that today’s exhibition shares the same vision of promoting Hong Kong’s rich cultural heritage to the Western audiences and allows them to learn more about the dynamic scenes of Hong Kong in different facades,” Mr Chim added.     Antwerp has the largest community of Hong Kong emigrants in Belgium and the event is also an opportunity for the second generation of Hong Kong emigrants to learn more about Hong Kong’s cultural heritage, to strengthen their bonds with their family’s city of origin and to encourage them to develop their career in Hong Kong.       The “Legends of Lion Dance” exhibition is being held until 10 February 2019 at Bibliotheek Permeke in Antwerp.  It is open seven days a week and entry is free of charge.

 
Ends/Tuesday, January 22, 2019Issued at HKT 2:43

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Education & Careers Expo Opens on Thursday

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Information Hub for Opportunities in Hong Kong and Overseas
21 January 2019 – Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 29th edition of the HKTDC Education & Careers Expo will run from 24-27 Jan at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Open to the public with no admission charge, the expo provides comprehensive information on education and job opportunities available in Hong Kong and overseas.
Four Career Theme Days Spotlight Popular Trends
Featuring two major zones – the Education Zone and Careers Zone – the four-day fair will host 880 organisations from 22 countries and regions, including educational institutions and consultants, professional associations, government departments, public organisations and private companies.
“This year’s Education & Careers Expo will see the launch of new education-themed zones, including Creative and Educational Support Services and Tertiary Academy, to clearly define the opportunities available in further education and continuing education,” HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Sophia Chong said at a press conference to introduce the expo. “In terms of employment opportunities, the 2019 expo features four career theme days, including three new themes − Culinary Arts, Exploring Construction and Tech & Creativity − as well as the popular Civil and Public Services theme day. We hope to put visitors on the path to success by presenting the latest information on education and employment trends.”
On the first day of the expo (24 Jan), the Culinary Arts Day, co-organised with the Chinese Culinary Institute and International Culinary Institute, features four interactive workshops, including sugar blossom making and plating, to provide hands-on experience for visitors looking to work in the culinary industry. On the second day (25 Jan), the Exploring Construction Day, co-organised with the Hong Kong Institute of Construction, will invite industry experts to interact with visitors interested in a construction career, while seminars will focus on future developments in the industry.
As Hong Kong’s innovation and technology sector sees rapid growth, more and more technology enterprises are setting up in Hong Kong and looking to attract fresh graduates. The Tech & Creativity Day (26 Jan), co-organised with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), will examine the latest trends and developments in the industry. One of the seminars will explore how augmented reality (AR) can be applied to develop Hong Kong as a smart city, using games such as Pokemon Go and Iron Man as examples.
The last day of the expo (27 Jan) will feature the Civil & Public Services Day, with representatives from government departments and the disciplined services, including the Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong Fire Services Department, Immigration Department and Correctional Services Department, along with public organisations such as Airport Authority Hong Kong and the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, introducing different jobs and recruitment details.
More than 2,500 On-the-spot Job Vacancies
The 2019 Education & Careers Expo sees the debut of Recruitment Square, which cooperates with recruitment platforms to invite companies such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Sa Sa Cosmetic and Sportshouse to provide on-site job recruitment, with some offering on-the-spot interviews. Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts will offer more than 100 job vacancies for positions such as restaurant managers and shop supervisors. Various government departments and public organisations − including the Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong Fire Services Department, Immigration Department, Correctional Services Department, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Airport Authority Hong Kong − will also conduct on-site job recruitment. More than 2,500 job opportunities will be offered during the expo.
The Youth Zone is returning this year with information on internships and job opportunities for young people. Representatives from the Labour Department will introduce various employment opportunities as well its Working Holiday Scheme that allows young people to explore opportunities available overseas.
Brand New Education Themed Zones to Meet Different Needs
Four new educational zones are set up at the expo this year. The Tertiary Academy zone brings together universities and higher education institutions offering articulation opportunities, including Hong Kong Shue Yan University and the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. The Vocational and Professional Education zone will feature the Vocational Training Council (VTC), Hong Kong Institute of Construction and Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, introducing a comprehensive range of pre-employment programmes. At the Continuing Education zone, Hong Kong language schools EF Language, Wall Street English and the Japanese Language School Affiliated with Tokyo International University will offer value-added programmes. Among the exhibitors in the Creative and Educational Support Services zone is iACL Pacific, which will introduce programmes offered by HASSE Space School.
Education theme days will provide an in-depth introduction to studying in the United States (25 Jan) and Europe (26 Jan). Representatives from EducationUSA and the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao will host seminars highlighting the prerequisites for admission, application procedures, campus life and more. The International Exchange Village will also return to provide visitors with on-site consultation services for studying and working overseas. Participating Consulate General offices and official education authorities include Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
Inspiring and Exciting Events
Close to 90 events will be organised during the four-day expo:
24 Jan (Thursday)
Entertainment cultural brand Manner creates entertaining videos shared through social media. Actors Hou Dee (豪dee) and Weng Chan (雞Wing) will talk about their experience of becoming YouTubers and share some of the challenges of being online celebrities.
25 Jan (Friday)
Sapeiar and BlueGodZi, two novelists famous for their online works, will share how they draw inspiration from daily life at the “A Day in the Life of a Novelist” seminar. Separately,
Jayden Lam, a renowned Chinese tutor, will provide tips for passing Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examinations and show ways to use language skills to be more successful in job interviews.
26 Jan (Friday)
The e-sports industry has become a fast-growing trend in recent years. Lo Sing, Team Manager of the Emperor Esports Stars G-Rex PUBG team and e-sports commentator, will share his views on e-sports and discuss ways to enter the industry. Meanwhile, a series of seminars on working holidays will highlight the job opportunities and application requirements in Austria, France, Germany, Japan, Korea and more.
27 Jan (Sunday)
Jeffrey Hui, Executive Director of Metro Education Plus, will teach participants how to develop the most effective resume, while workplace consultant Suen Lap-man will examine social skills in the workplace.

Date & Opening Hours

Theme Days

24 Jan (Thursday)
10:30am-7pm

Career: Culinary Arts

25 Jan (Friday)
10:30am-7pm

Career: Exploring Construction
Education: United States

26 Jan (Saturday)
10:30am-7pm

Career: Tech & Creativity
Education: Europe

27 Jan (Sunday)
10:30am-6pm

Career: Civil & Public Services

Fair website: hkeducationexpo.hktdc.comEvent Schedule: https://bit.ly/2TT9Ow8

Sophia Chong, Assistant Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), says the 2019 HKTDC Education & Careers Expo will feature two major zones – the Education Zone and Careers Zone – along with new education-themed zones and four career theme days. The expo will provide a one-stop platform for visitors to obtain comprehensive information on education and job opportunities

At the press conference to announce the expo, representatives from various organisations give an overview of their services. They include (left to right) 
Tommy Lai, Marketing and Partnership Director, Hong Kong International Aviation Academy, Airport Authority Hong Kong; San Leigh Lee, Head of Talent Acquisition, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited; Chu Yin-lin, Director (Acting), Hong Kong Institute of Construction; Sophia Chong, Assistant Executive Director, HKTDC; Brossa Wong, Registrar, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; Heman Lam, Director, iACL Pacific Limited; and Patricia Chan, Director, External Relations Office, Vocational Training Council

The 29th HKTDC Education & Careers Expo will run from 24-27 Jan at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The photo shows a scene from last year’s event

Media Enquiries
Agnes Wat                 Tel: (852) 2584 4554           Email: agnes.ky.wat@hktdc.org
Angel Leong             Tel: (852) 2584 4298           Email: angel.lw.leong@hktdc.org
To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc
About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with the mainland, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities in the mainland and international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Traffic condition on first working day after stage 1 commissioning of Central-Wan Chai Bypass

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Traffic condition on first working day after stage 1 commissioning of Central-Wan Chai Bypass
Traffic condition on first working day after stage 1 commissioning of Central-Wan Chai Bypass
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     The Transport Department (TD) said today (January 21) that the Emergency Transport Coordination Centre (ETCC) of the TD has been closely monitoring the traffic condition during the first working day after the stage 1 commissioning of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB).  The traffic on Hong Kong Island today is generally normal and the traffic condition during peak hours is similar as before.     For the eastbound traffic, since the down ramp of Rumsey Street Flyover has been closed, motorists using the Rumsey Street Flyover can follow the middle and slow lanes along Man Po Street to go to Central. The TD noticed that during the peak hours this morning, some motorists may not be familiar with the new routes and mainly used the slow lane of Man Po Street to go to Central, resulting in vehicles moving at slow speed.  The TD has immediately reminded motorists via the Variable Message Signs that they can use the middle lane of Man Po Street to go to Central. Improvement works for the traffic signs and road markings will be conducted tonight for completion tomorrow morning.     As for the westbound traffic, during the stage 1 commissioning of the CWB, the link road connecting the CWB and Rumsey Street Flyover westbound is still under construction. As we have anticipated earlier, the traffic on Harcourt Road, Connaught Road Central and in the vicinity of the Central Tunnel Portal of the CWB was relatively busy this afternoon. In addition, there was an incident of vehicle breakdown and traffic was getting busy in the evening, resulting in traffic congestion. The Police had already conducted traffic management on site and adjusted traffic light signals to divert the traffic.      Moreover, the TD will continue to closely monitor and examine the road condition of individual road sections in order to implement appropriate enhancement measures, such as adjusting traffic light signals and adding traffic signs and road markings.     For public transport services, four bus routes using the CWB have commenced service today and they are in normal operation. The TD has requested the bus companies to remind bus captains to pay attention to the traffic signs and road markings on the CWB and roads in its vicinity.     The TD anticipates that traffic will be relatively busy in the vicinity of the Central Tunnel Portal and Connaught Road Central during the morning and evening hours at the stage 1 commissioning of the CWB. Motorists are advised to plan their journey in advance and allow more travelling time. Motorists are also advised to use original routes such as Gloucester Road, Harcourt Road and Connaught Road Central to travel to the Central and Western District during peak hours. For eastbound traffic, apart from using the Connaught Road Central Flyover and Man Po Street to travel to Admiralty, the Mid-Levels, Wan Chai South and Causeway Bay, motorists can also use the at-grade roads including Connaught Road Central and Man Kat Street to go to the aforementioned locations during peak hours.     The TD’s ETCC, the Highways Department, the Police and public transport operators will continue to closely monitor the traffic condition and implement contingency measures when necessary to ensure smooth traffic and normal operation of public transport services, as well as disseminate the latest traffic news to the public through TD’s “HKeMobility” mobile application and the media. The Police will deploy additional manpower in the vicinity of the Central Tunnel Portal of the CWB to strengthen the traffic management.

 
Ends/Monday, January 21, 2019Issued at HKT 22:31

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: Imported milk sample detected with total bacterial count exceeding legal limit

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

Imported milk sample detected with total bacterial count exceeding legal limit
Imported milk sample detected with total bacterial count exceeding legal limit
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     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (January 21) that a sample of bottled pasteurised milk imported from the United Kingdom was detected with total bacterial count exceeding the legal limit. The concerned batch of the product has not entered the market. The CFS is following up on the incident.     Product details are as follows:Product name: English Whole MilkProduct brand: Marks & SpencerPlace of origin: United KingdomImporter: ALF Retail Hong Kong LimitedPacking: 1.136 litre per bottleUse-by date: January 16, 2019     A spokesman for the CFS said, “The CFS collected the abovementioned sample for testing at import level under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. The test result showed that the total bacterial count of the sample was 75 000 per millilitre. According to the Milk Regulation (Cap 132 AQ), milk after heat treatment by means of pasteurisation should not contain more than 30 000 bacteria per millilitre.     “The CFS has informed the importer concerned of the irregularity. Investigation revealed that the affected batch of product is still stored in the importer’s warehouse and has not entered the local market. The affected product has been marked and sealed by CFS. The CFS has temporarily suspended the permission to import for sale of the product concerned granted earlier to the importer. Other types of milk product of the same brand being sold in the market are not affected. ”     The spokesman said that the total bacterial counts exceeding the legal limit indicated that the hygienic conditions were unsatisfactory, but did not mean it would lead to food poisoning.     The CFS has informed the British authorities of the incident, and will continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate action.

 
Ends/Monday, January 21, 2019Issued at HKT 20:10

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: HKETO, Brussels says Hong Kong can help Italian entrepreneurs to connect and excel in Asia (with photos)

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

HKETO, Brussels says Hong Kong can help Italian entrepreneurs to connect and excel in Asia (with photos)
HKETO, Brussels says Hong Kong can help Italian entrepreneurs to connect and excel in Asia (with photos)
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     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels (HKETO, Brussels) co-hosted a business seminar in Milan, Italy on January 17, as part of its continuing efforts to reach out to Italian entrepreneurs and promote Hong Kong as the gateway to Mainland China and the best place to tap business opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area) development.      Entitled “Hong Kong Engine of Asian Economy: Opportunities for Exports and Innovation for Italian Companies”, the seminar was co-organised by HKETO, Brussels and Invest Hong Kong (IHK), with the support of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Italian Association of Foreign Trade.     The Deputy Representative of the HKETO, Brussels, Miss Fiona Chau, told Italian entrepreneurs that Hong Kong’s unparalleled knowledge of the Mainland market and its deep economic connections with the Mainland, Asia and the rest of the world continue to make Hong Kong their best business partner.      Emphasising the Government’s theme of “connect and excel”, Miss Chau said that connecting with Hong Kong can help people and businesses succeed in Asia. She told the participants about Hong Kong’s major investment in mega infrastructure projects including the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the airport’s three-runway system, which aim to greatly enhance Hong Kong’s connectivity with the Greater Bay Area, the Mainland and the world.      The seminar was followed by a cocktail reception co-hosted by the HKETO, Brussels and IHK in co-operation with Copernico, an Italian start-up development and acceleration platform. At the reception, Miss Chau highlighted that Hong Kong is well-known for its simple tax regime and low tax rate, with the latest reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank finding that Hong Kong has the most business-friendly tax system in the world.  She added that Hong Kong continues to be a unique place to “connect and excel” in business and in life.  Hong Kong welcomes talents from around the world to live, develop careers and contribute to Hong Kong society, she said.        Other speakers at the seminar and the cocktail reception included the Director-General of Investment Promotion of the IHK, Mr Stephen Phillips.      During her visit to Milan, Miss Chau also met with the President of the Lombardy Regional Government, Mr Attilio Fontana, and the regional Minister of Finance, Mr Davide Carlo Caparini, and updated them on the latest developments in Hong Kong. She also met with representatives of the Italian Association of Industrial Design and researchers of the Italian think-tank, Italian Institute for International Political Studies.

 
Ends/Monday, January 21, 2019Issued at HKT 20:00

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific

MIL-OSI Asia Pacific: LegCo to debate motion on implementing the Toll Adjustment Proposal

Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:     The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting on Wednesday (January 23) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on implementing the Toll Adjustment Proposal.     The motion, moved by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, states: “Regarding the Government’s proposal to adjust the tolls of private cars, taxis and motorcycles for using the three road harbour crossings with effect from January 1, 2020 (Toll Adjustment Proposal) with a view to rationalising cross-harbour traffic which will bring about benefits to society as a whole, with expected benefits including alleviating cross-harbour traffic congestion, reducing the obstruction of non-cross-harbour traffic by cross-harbour traffic queues, saving the commuting time for citizens using public transport and reducing emission from vehicles, etc., this Council supports the Government to introduce into this Council legislative amendments relating to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Harbour Crossing for the implementation of the Toll Adjustment Proposal, and to seek funding approval from the Finance Committee for the Western Harbour Crossing Toll Compensation Scheme.”     Mr Luk Chung-hung, Mr Jeremy Tam, Mr Gary Fan, Mr Chan Han-pan, Mr Au Nok-hin and Mr Ma Fung-kwok will move separate amendments to the Secretary for Transport and Housing’s motion.     On Members’ motions, Mr Dennis Kwok will move a motion under Article 73(5) and (10) of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The motion states: “That, pursuant to Article 73(5) and (10) of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, this Council summons the Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, to attend before the Council at its earliest meeting after the passage of this motion to produce all relevant papers, books, records or documents and to testify or give evidence on her handling of the case of alleged corruption and/or alleged misconduct in public office of former Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Mr Leung Chun-ying, her failure to comply with the Department of Justice’s briefing out policy to seek legal advice from Queen’s Counsel and/or Senior Counsel on the case, and her decision of not prosecuting Mr Leung Chun-ying, and relevant matters.”      Dr Fernando Cheung will move a motion on enacting legislation to protect the rights and interests of rare disease patients. The motion states: “That quite a number of countries have laid down definitions, enacted legislation and formulated evidence-based and regularized long-term policies on rare diseases as early as the 1980s, making it more convenient for rare disease patients to apply for approval of drugs, subsidy, and so on, and enabling them to receive more efficient and more proper treatment and care; and the United States, member states of the European Union and the neighbouring countries and regions of Hong Kong, such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Korea have long laid down definitions of rare diseases, formulated support policies, established a database of rare disease cases, etc.; however, the Hong Kong Government has yet to lay down any definition and formulate any concrete policy on rare diseases to provide support for rare disease patients; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to enact legislation on rare diseases, in order to protect and promote the rights of rare disease patients and enable them to receive proper diagnosis, treatment and care, thereby fulfilling the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the relevant contents include: (1) establishing a policy committee on rare diseases to advise on a strategic development direction for a policy on rare diseases, monitor the implementation of the policy on rare diseases by government departments and statutory bodies, report on the implementation of the policy on rare diseases, etc.; (2) establishing an evaluative committee on rare diseases to evaluate whether a disease meets the definition of rare diseases; (3) defining a disease which affects no more than 1 in 10 000 individuals in Hong Kong and is clinically definable as a rare disease; (4) introducing a registration system for rare disease drugs whereby rare disease patients, medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies can apply for the inclusion of new drugs in the list of drugs for rare diseases; (5) introducing a subsidy system to ensure that rare disease patients will receive safe, quality, effective and affordable drugs and treatment, instead of laying emphasis only on cost-effectiveness; and (6) introducing a rare disease information system which contains a list of rare diseases and their prevalence rates, the demographic information of patients and usage statistics of rare disease drugs.”      Professor Joseph Lee and Dr Elizabeth Quat will move separate amendments to Dr Fernando Cheung’s motion.      Mr Tony Tse will move a motion on creating opportunities to assist small and medium enterprises and promoting upward mobility of young people. The motion states: “That this Council urges the Government to create opportunities to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and promote upward mobility of young people; specific measures are as follows: (1) reforming the procurement and tendering systems of the Government and public organisations, including attaching more importance to creative designs and innovative technology in evaluation, rather than only putting emphasis on the ‘lowest bid wins’ principle and imposing unnecessary requirements on the experience, qualifications and capital of tenderers; and splitting projects and service contracts as appropriate to avoid unnecessary bundled tender of multiple contracts, thereby reducing the monopoly by large enterprises and multinational groups, increasing local SMEs’, start-up enterprises’ and young professionals’ chances of tendering and success in bidding;  (2) actively assisting local SMEs and young people to develop markets and seize the opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the Greater Bay Area), including setting up more offices in the Greater Bay Area to facilitate the provision of more support to SMEs and young people who wish to seek development on the Mainland, and at the same time striving with the Mainland for more tax concessions and facilitating measures; (3) holding architectural design competitions for suitable small and medium public works projects and allowing winners to participate in the projects, and providing unsuccessful entrants whose works have reached a certain standard with reasonable design fees as encouragement; (4) raising the subsidy ceiling for the Continuing Education Fund and expanding the funding scope, and providing SMEs with staff training allowance to promote concurrent improvement of enterprises and staff; (5) providing young people with aspirations for starting their own business with free or low-rent shared offices on a time limited basis, and offering one-stop start-up support services; and (6) building a home ownership ladder with clearly defined levels to assist young families and young professionals with repayment ability yet unable to afford the high rate of down payment in acquiring their first property, thereby helping them to move upward.”      Mr Wu Chi-wai, Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Mr Charles Mok, Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Mr Luk Chung-hung, Mr Paul Tse and Dr Chiang Lai-wan will move separate amendments to Mr Tony Tse’s motion.      Meanwhile, Ms Starry Lee will move a motion under Rule 49E(2) of the Rules of Procedure. The motion states: “That this Council takes note of Report No. 9/18-19 of the House Committee laid on the Table of the Council on January 23, 2019 in relation to the Fugitive Offenders (France) Order.”      On Government Bills, the National Anthem Bill will be introduced into the Council for the First Reading and the Second Reading. The Second Reading debate on the Bill will be adjourned.      The Second Reading debate on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Bill will resume. If the Bill is supported by Members and receives its Second Reading, it will stand committed to the committee of the whole Council. After the committee of the whole Council has completed consideration of the Bill and its report is adopted by the Council, the Bill will be set down for the Third Reading.      During the meeting, Members will also ask the Government 22 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.      The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo Website (www.legco.gov.hk). Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found on the LegCo Website.      Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Members of the public can also watch or listen to the meeting via the “Webcast” system on the LegCo Website.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific