SCED meets with Minister of Commerce of Thailand
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, met with the Minister of Commerce of Thailand, General Chatchai Sarikalya, today (January 16) to exchange views on bilateral trade and economic issues.
During the meeting, Mr So expressed his gratitude to Thailand for rendering support in the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (HK-ASEAN FTA) negotiation. He said he hoped that Thailand, as the ASEAN co-ordinator country for the FTA, would continue to be the champion for the smooth progress and successful conclusion of the negotiation.
The HK-ASEAN FTA will facilitate the flow of goods, services and investment, bring more business opportunities and stimulate further growth in the region. "We will endeavour to conclude the negotiation by 2016 so that businessmen and investors of Hong Kong and the ASEAN can reap the benefits of this important FTA," Mr So said.
On general trade and economic relations, Mr So said Hong Kong and Thailand were close partners. "Bilateral trade between the two places has grown at an average annual rate of 10 per cent from 2009 to 2013. Both were also each other's ninth largest trading partner in 2013 and further growth is expected in the future," he added.
Mr So also took the opportunity to exchange views with General Chatchai Sarikalya on the importation of rice from Thailand, Hong Kong's largest rice supplier. He said he hoped that the Thai Government would continue to ensure a stable supply of rice to Hong Kong.
Ends/Friday, January 16, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:07