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HK, Bahrain tax pact signed

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Hong Kong yesterday signed a comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement (CDTA) with Bahrain.   Under the pact, Hong Kong companies can enjoy double taxation relief in that any tax paid in Bahrain, whether directly or by deduction, in accordance with the CDTA will be allowed as a credit against the tax payable in Hong Kong in respect of the same income, subject to the provisions of Hong Kong’s tax laws.   Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Christopher Hui said that Bahrain is one of the economies participating in the Belt & Road Initiative and he has confidence the agreement will further promote economic and trade connections between Hong Kong and Bahrain.   He added that the pact will also offer additional incentives for the business sectors of both sides to do business or make investments.   Additionally, Hong Kong will continue to negotiate with trading and investment partners with a view to expanding its CDTA network, so as to enhance t

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Sun Dong begins visit in Saudi Arabia

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Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry Prof Sun Dong led a delegation to begin their visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.   Upon their arrival in Riyadh, they visited King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology and met its President Munir Eldesouki.   The group was briefed on the tech city's innovative projects and solutions for research applications, such as the Saudi semiconductor and genome programmes and water harvesting from thin air, and visited an innovation centre for promoting advanced manufacturing and a number of laboratories as well as satellite manufacturing facilities.   They went on to The Garage in the tech city, an accelerator providing support to local and international emerging startups in Riyadh with the required infrastructure and a range of supportive integrated services. Prof Sun engaged in exchanges with technology enterprises of the accelerator.   Prof Sun noted that support for startups is essential to building a vibrant innovat

12 arts projects get national funding

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Secretary for Culture, Sports & Tourism Kevin Yeung extended congratulations to 12 Hong Kong arts projects which were selected and awarded by the China National Arts Fund 2024, marking a new record for the city.   He also thanked the country for the support and recognition to Hong Kong’s arts and culture sector.   The selected projects this year cover areas such as small-scale productions, visual arts creations, cultural exchange, training of arts talent and youth in arts creation. This is the third time that Hong Kong projects have been selected since the China National Arts Fund opened up for projects from Hong Kong and Macau in 2022.   Mr Yeung said: “A wide variety of projects have been selected this year, including traditional Cantonese Opera as well as ballet production, which manifest Hong Kong’s unique characteristic as a melting pot of East and West cultures. We are delighted to see that projects submitted by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts have been

Alice Mak visits Guangzhou

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Secretary for Home & Youth Affairs Alice Mak arrived in Guangzhou today to start her visit there.   Miss Mak met Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the People's Government of Guangdong Province (GDHKMAO) Director Chen Li-wen in the morning to discuss the joint promotion of youth development in Guangdong and Hong Kong.   She shared with Ms Chen the vision and direction of the Youth Development Blueprint as well as the progress of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government's work in youth development, saying that the Home & Youth Affairs Bureau will work closely with the GDHKMAO to offer comprehensive support to youth development.   In the afternoon, Miss Mak attended a sharing session on Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area youth innovation and entrepreneurship. During the event, she said that the Hong Kong SAR Government encourages youngsters of Hong Kong to seize the opportunities brought by the development of the bay area and develop

Jack Chan named Ombudsman

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​The Government today announced the appointment of Jack Chan as the new Ombudsman for a term of five years starting April 1.   The appointment is made by Chief Executive John Lee in accordance with The Ombudsman Ordinance.   Mr Chan is a seasoned and experienced former senior government official, who had served the Government for nearly 40 years.   He was appointed Under Secretary for Home Affairs in the fifth-term Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, and had served as Acting Secretary for Home Affairs from January 24 to June 30, 2022.   Mr Lee said: “I am confident that with Mr Chan’s excellent leadership, decisiveness and rich experience in public administration, he will lead the Office of The Ombudsman to continue carrying out its statutory functions and ensuring efficiency in the public administration of Hong Kong.”   Mr Lee also wished outgoing Ombudsman Winnie Chiu a happy life ahead, saying that Ms Chiu led her office with the mission of enhanc

New country park established

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The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) today announced the establishment of Hong Kong's 25th country park, the 530-hectare Robin's Nest Country Park in Sha Tau Kok.   The country park lies on a continuum of mountain ridges stretching from the Shenzhen Wutong Mountain scenic area to the north and Pat Sin Leng Country Park to the south. Consisting of natural habitats including secondary woodland, shrubland and upland grassland, the park is rich in biodiversity with species of high conservation value such as red azalea, incense tree, Chinese grassbird and Chinese pipistrelle.   The undulating mountain ridges and intertwining natural streams at Robin's Nest provide a variety of habitats for wild animals and plants. It is geographically connected to Shenzhen Wutong Mountain, forming a cross-boundary ecological corridor between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The AFCD said it is co-operating with the Shenzhen Wutong Mountain Scenic Area Management Autho

Jan retail sales up 0.9%

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The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7