Rate of export growth up last month, government reports
Total exports last month increased 8.5 per cent in value year on year to HK$238.7 billion, up from 7.5 per cent in August, the government said. The value of imports rose 9.3 per cent to HK$253.5 billion, compared with 9 per cent in August. The trade deficit was HK$14.8 billion. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the value of re-exports increased 9.4 per cent to HK$228.9 billion while domestic exports fell 10.3 per cent to HK$9.8 billion. A government spokesman said the robust mainland market and a strong performance by some emerging Asian markets and the EU helped offset soft US demand. Although the weakness of the US market was likely to continue in the coming quarters, strong growth on the mainland and in the EU would prop up Hong Kong's external trade, the spokesman said.
District council election nominees made official
A list of 907 nominees for this year's district council elections was gazetted yesterday. Candidates in 41 of the 405 constituencies have been elected unopposed. The remaining 364 seats in the 18 district councils will be contested by 866 candidates. About 480 polling stations will be open from 7.30am to 10.30pm on November 18 for 2.96 million registered electors, a Registration and Electoral Office spokesman said. Sha Tin has the most candidates, with 73 battling for 32 seats, while 70 candidates in Eastern district on Hong Kong Island are competing for 33 seats.
Graft-busting chief speaks at conference in Australia
The Independent Commission Against Corruption shared Hong Kong's experience with leading anti-graft agencies in Australia. ICAC commissioner Timothy Tong Hin-ming told the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference that determined law enforcement was the first and most important step in building public-sector integrity. The once rampant corruption problem in Hong Kong had been brought under control following strong enforcement, including arrests and convictions, he said. The conference is organised by graft-busters from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.