SCED's speech at Berne Union 7th Regional Cooperation Group CEO Meeting (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at Berne Union 7th Regional Cooperation Group CEO Meeting today (July 21):
Ralph (Commissioner of Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Mr Ralph Lai), Mr Robert Chu (Chairman of the meeting, also Chairman of Taipei Export-Import Bank of China), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you all for the opening of the 7th Regional Cooperation Group CEO Meeting.
The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) (Note), the host of this meeting, was established by statute in 1966 with the aim of supporting Hong Kong's export trade by providing Hong Kong exporters with insurance protection. The Government has been working hand-in-hand with the ECIC to help Hong Kong exporters sail smoothly through a dynamic and sometimes volatile world economy. There can be no doubt that export trade has all along been the cornerstone of Hong Kong's economy. The ECIC's provision of export credit insurance in supporting Hong Kong's exports and the role of Hong Kong as one of the most important international trading hubs in the region are well appreciated. I am delighted that the ECIC is playing an active role in the Berne Union and the Regional Cooperation Group.
I would like to extend my warm welcome to Berne Union members coming to Hong Kong from overseas to share their views on the development of trade and credit insurance in the Asia-Pacific region. This is an excellent occasion for major players like you to explore regional co-operation opportunities. I would also like to thank the Berne Union for facilitating cross-border trade by assembling professionals in the field.
The Asia-Pacific region is an important source of the world's economic growth. We attach great importance to strengthening our ties with partners in the region. Eight of our top 10 trading partners in 2013 are Asia-Pacific economies. It is encouraging that merchandise trade between Hong Kong and our Asia-Pacific trading partners grew steadily at an average annual rate of 10 per cent in the past five years. As many of you would know, Hong Kong has been taking an active part in international and regional economic and trade fora, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. We are a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system and have an open mind on regional free trade agreements. Our current priority is to play a more active role in contributing to regional economic integration in the East Asia region, particularly by enhancing our economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Before closing, I would like to commend the excellent efforts of the ECIC and the Berne Union for staging this great event. I hope you all have a fruitful meeting. Thank you.
Note: ECIC is named as HKEC in the Berne Union due to historical reasons.
Ends/Monday, July 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:50