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Restoring WTO dispute system urged

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau called on World Trade Organization (WTO) members to support the restoration of a fully functioning dispute settlement system during the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, yesterday.   At a meeting on dispute settlement reform, Mr Yau said the dispute settlement system has functioned as a cornerstone of global trade, creating stability and predictability. He added that to have a well-functioning system restored this year, as was mandated at MC12, would serve the interests of all WTO members and of the global business community.   He stressed that Hong Kong, China has been involved in every stage of the reform process in relation to dispute settlement and will continue its active participation.   Speaking at another meeting, on development, Mr Yau said that the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement is a very much a pro-development agreement.   He highligh

2 restricted areas set

The Government today made restriction-testing declarations to require people within two specified restricted areas in Central & Western District and Sai Ying Pun to stay in their premises and undergo compulsory testing for COVID-19.   The Central & Western restricted area includes Golden Phoenix Court at 1-2 St Stephen’s Lane and Blocks A & M, Hing Wah Mansion at 1 Babington Path.   The Sai Ying Pun restricted area includes Manifold Court at 36-46 Pok Fu Lam Road, True Light Building at 100-106 Third Street, High Park 99 at 99 High Street and Wing Cheung Building at 19-29 Western Street.   As confirmed cases were found in these buildings, the Government believes it is necessary to issue restriction-testing declarations for both areas.   The declarations for the two restricted areas took effect from 9pm.   Temporary specimen collection stations will be set up at the restricted areas. People in the Sai Ying Pun restricted area subject to compulsory testing will need to be tested by 00.30am, while those in the Central & Western restricted area need to undergo testing by 2am.   They will be arranged to undergo a nucleic acid test at specimen collection stations, where staff will collect samples through combined nasal and throat swabs.   The Government will arrange door-to-door specimen collection for people with impaired mobility and seniors.   It aims to finish both exercises by 8am tomorrow.   Those in the restricted areas who have undergone testing from March 13 to 15 and can provide the SMS notification containing the test results are not required to be tested again.   They must stay in their premises until all people have been tested and the results are mostly ascertained.   Anyone who had been present in either area for more than two hours from March 2 to 15, even if they were not present in the restricted areas at the time the declaration took effect, must undergo compulsory testing before March 17.   The Government has prepared simple food for the residents restricted by the declarations, and the Home Affairs Department has set up an enquiry hotline 2835 1473.   The Social Welfare Department will also assist those affected.
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