LCQ15: Staff establishments of the overseas Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices
Following is a question by the Hon Starry Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (April 18):
At present, 11 overseas Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) are set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, and such ETOs are dedicated to handling economic and trade issues related to Hong Kong, attracting foreign direct investment to Hong Kong as well as promoting Hong Kong's many advantages as a regional hub and the preferred business location in Asia. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the respective volumes of trade in the past five years between Hong Kong and the various countries where overseas ETOs are set up, as well as the respective percentage changes in each year (set out in table form);
(b) of the staff establishments of various overseas ETOs in the past five years and the respective changes in each year; and
(c) of the criteria for determining the staff establishments of overseas ETOs; whether the authorities will, in the light of the volumes of trade with the countries concerned, review the current staff establishments; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The reply to the three-part question is as follows:
(a) The volumes of trade in the past five years between Hong Kong and the countries where the 11 overseas Economic and Trade Offices (overseas ETOs) are set up and the countries under their coverage, and the respective percentage changes in each year are set out in Table 1.
(b) The establishments of the 11 overseas ETOs in the past five years and the respective changes in each year are set out in Table 2.
(c) In determining the establishments of the overseas ETOs, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau will take into consideration the geographical coverage of the overseas ETOs, their scope of work, the extent of official liaison required, and bilateral economic and trade relations including the volume of trade between Hong Kong and the countries under the purview of ETOs. We will from time to time review the workload and establishment of the ETOs to ensure that there are sufficient staff resources to carry out the policy objectives. New demands will be first met by a redeployment of existing resources before the creation of new posts is considered.