SCED: Hong Kong is a staunch supporter of trade and investment liberalisation
Hong Kong bears strong testimony to the benefits of trade and investment liberalisation, and has strong faith that increasing interaction among economies will promote growth and bring enormous benefits, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, said at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, today (November 8).
The theme of this year’s APEC meeting is "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future". Mr Yau joined other participating ministers to review the progress made in the implementation of on-going programmes, as well as this year's four endorsed priorities in three plenary sessions. The four endorsed priorities are promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; deepening regional economic integration; strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises' competitiveness and innovation in the digital age; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change.
Speaking at the plenary sessions, Mr Yau said, "Hong Kong recognises the importance of structural reform in realising the benefits of trade and investment facilitation, which would in turn create new business opportunities, cut costs for doing business, and inject new impetus for economic growth. To this end, Hong Kong supports the capacity-building initiatives under APEC's Economic Committee’s Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform."
Attaining the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment is one of APEC’s key initiatives. Mr Yau said Hong Kong supports high quality bilateral and regional trade agreements that promote trade and investment, and in turn, economic growth. Hong Kong has just concluded negotiations on the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, and will continue to push for the realisation of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, which would be a major step forward in the direction of economic integration of the Asia-Pacific Region.
On strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises' competitiveness and innovation in the digital age, Mr Yau said Hong Kong attached great importance to supporting their sustainable development. "We have therefore provided the SMEs with the necessary infrastructure and financial support to help them grow more resilient and adaptable to fast-changing market circumstances, and to improve their management capacity and access to finance and relevant technologies," he said.
On the Post-2020 vision for APEC, Mr Yau said Hong Kong welcomes Vietnam’s proposal on the establishment of an APEC Vision Group, which would draw on expertise from various sectors of the community to support APEC member economies in mapping out the steps to take to ensure the sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Asia-Pacific beyond 2020.
On the sidelines of the APEC Ministerial Meeting, Mr Yau held bilateral meetings with the Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr Wang Shouwen; the Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed; the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Mr Maksim Oreshkin; and the Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng. He also met with the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Mr Ramon Lopez. They had useful exchanges on trade-related matters and issues on mutual concern.
Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017