Hong Kong supports free trade and multilateral trading system
Hong Kong has always been a staunch supporter of free trade and the rule-based multilateral trading system that underpins it. Hong Kong's experience clearly shows that by opening markets, free trade not only creates wealth and jobs, but also promotes innovation and competition, encourages investments, and enables more goods and services to reach consumers at lower prices, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, said in Paris, France, today (June 8, Paris time).
Mr So attended the Trade and Investment Session of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) entitled "International Trade and Investment for the Benefits of All", and shared Hong Kong's insight on how the global economies could do better to meet the challenges ahead.
"At this juncture when global economic growth is still fragile and the wealth gap is widening, achieving sustainable growth for all is a pressing issue. Economic development should be inclusive. When the benefits of growth are shared more broadly, growth is stronger, more durable, and more resilient," Mr So said.
Citing digital trade as an example, Mr So pointed out that the digital era provides enormous opportunities for the next generation. Hong Kong is determined to be a knowledge-based economy, with high value-added industries that create diversified employment opportunities, especially for the youths.
"We embrace innovation and technology to make the city smarter, more efficient and more comfortable. For that, a world-class ICT (information and communications technology) infrastructure and robust legal framework are vital to facilitate the free flows of talent, capital and knowledge," he said.
Mr So will attend the World Trade Organization (WTO) Informal Ministerial Gathering this afternoon. The meeting will discuss the role for the WTO in advancing trade and global growth, and the possible deliverables to be obtained at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Argentina at the end of this year.
Mr So also attended a ministerial dinner hosted by Denmark, the Chair of the 2017 OECD MCM, yesterday (June 7, Paris time). He also held a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia, Mr Steven Ciobo, in the afternoon on the Free Trade Agreement negotiations between Hong Kong and Australia and other trade issues.
Mr So will return to Hong Kong tomorrow (June 9).
Ends/Thursday, June 8, 2017