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Policy Address measures highlighted

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today briefed members of the Trade & Industry Advisory Board on initiatives related to commerce and trade in the 2021 Policy Address.   Mr Yau said the Policy Address focuses on integration into national development and states that the developments of Hong Kong and the nation are closely related.   While the nation is the major growth engine and driving force for the global economy, the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Qianhai plan, the economic development pattern of not only greater domestic circulation but also domestic and international dual circulation, as well as the Belt & Road Initiative have brought unlimited opportunities for enterprises and professional services providers in Hong Kong.   The city must seize these opportunities and leverage its advantages, Mr Yau noted.   During the meeting, the commerce chief stressed that Hong

Basic public services to resume

The Government today announced that its departments will resume some basic public services from January 28 in addition to the continued provision of emergency and essential public services.   It made the announcement after considering the needs for the functioning of society and the economy, adding that its ultimate goal is to resume full public services when conditions permit.   The special work arrangements for government employees has been implemented since December 2 last year. Aside from staff providing emergency and essential public services as well as those involved in anti-epidemic efforts, all government employees were arranged to work from home.   Despite the epidemic's impact, the Government said it has the responsibility to maintain the continued functioning of the community and the economy.   To meet the needs of the public and enterprises, bureaus and departments will resume some basic public services from January 28 upon implementation of targeted measures to reduce social contact and measures for infection control.   Government departments will separately announce the services that will be resumed, relevant arrangements and details.   In view of the need to reduce people flow and social contact, bureaus and departments will adopt flexible measures to reduce the number of staff working together in an office as far as possible.   The Government appealed for public understanding as the waiting time for public services may be lengthened or applications may need a longer processing time due to the possible adjustment in some offices' opening hours.   It also encouraged people to use alternative means, such as the post, drop-in boxes or online channels, to receive the services they need.   Meanwhile, employers are urged to make flexible work arrangements for employees in accordance with their operational needs, including allowing them to work from home when appropriate.
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