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Transcript of remarks by SCED at media session

   Following is the transcript of remarks made by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session after returning from the 1st ASEAN Economic Ministers - Hong Kong, China Consultations in Laos today (August 8):

Reporter: What is the message from the Philippine Government behind this meeting? What do you think the big message is? What do you think the point of this visit is?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: The point of the visit is to explore and to study the progress of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Hong Kong, China and ASEAN. Your question is specifically about the reaction of the Philippine Government. I am very pleased to tell you that the Philippine Government is fully behind completing the Free Trade Agreement with Hong Kong, China and ASEAN, by the end of this year. Negotiators have been given the mandate to push full steam ahead and this would be of great benefit to Hong Kong and also to the 10 ASEAN members.

Reporters: Is this meeting a breakthrough?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: It is for sure a breakthrough because it is the first time Hong Kong is invited to the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting. This is actually a breakthrough. I am very pleased to be able to participate in this meeting. It is very fruitful and we got a lot of support from all the ASEAN states.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, August 8, 2016
Issued at HKT 21:24