- External Commercial Relations
- Industry and Business Support
- Intellectual Property
- Inward Investment Promotion
- Consumer Protection
- Promotion of Competition
- Cargo Customs Facilitation
- Government Electronic Trading Services
- Trade Single Window
- Meteorological Services
- Postal Services
- Wine Business
- United Nations Security Council Sanctions
The Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch is responsible for the conduct of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s (Hong Kong SAR’s) external commercial relations.
The Hong Kong SAR has full autonomy in the conduct of its external commercial relations. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR provides that it shall be a separate customs territory and may, using the name “Hong Kong, China”, participate in relevant international organisations and international trade agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Hong Kong is a staunch supporter of the rule-based multilateral trading system under the auspices of WTO. We are a founding member of the WTO and has continued our separate membership under the name “Hong Kong, China” since the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. We take our own rights and obligations in the WTO seriously and have all along been participating actively and constructively in the WTO. In November 2018, Hong Kong completed its latest WTO Trade Policy Review and was commended for its free and open trade policies and its unwavering support for the multilateral trading system.
Similarly, Hong Kong plays an active role as a full and separate member in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a regional forum for high-level dialogue on trade and economic cooperation, also under the name “Hong Kong, China”. Trade between Hong Kong and other member economies of APEC accounts for some 80% of Hong Kong's external trade. In this regard, APEC provides us with a good platform and opportunity to cooperate with member economies on a wide range of issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Mainland is Hong Kong’s largest trading partner. In order to deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two places and help Hong Kong service providers explore the Mainland market, the two sides signed the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) in June 2003. Since then, the two governments have enriched the content of CEPA and signed several Supplements to CPEA, further liberalising the Mainland market and facilitating bilateral trade and investment. CEPA is now a comprehensive and modern free trade agreement that covers four areas: trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and economic and technical co-operation.
The Office of the Hong Kong SAR Government in Beijing, the Economic and Trade Offices in Guangdong, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Wuhan, the Trade and Industry Department and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council keep track of changes in Mainland commercial and trade laws and regulations. The thirteen offices of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in the Mainland provide Hong Kong businessmen operating there with information and referral services.
We also have a network of thirteen overseas Economic and Trade Offices (ETO),which promote Hong Kong’s economic and trade interests by enhancing Hong Kong’s reputation overseas, closely monitoring developments that might affect Hong Kong’s interests, and liaising closely with the business and commercial sectors, politicians, and foreign media. The work of the thirteen ETOs is summarised as follows:
The Geneva ETO represents Hong Kong as a Member of the WTO. It also represents Hong Kong as a participant in the Trade Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.
The Brussels ETO takes up a leading role in representing Hong Kong on matters relating to the economic and trade interests of Hong Kong in Europe. It represents Hong Kong's economic and trade interests to the European Union, and promotes Hong Kong's trade and commercial interests in fourteen European Union member states as well as Turkey.
The London ETO represents and promotes Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in nine European countries: the United Kingdom, Russia, and the Nordic and Baltic countries. It also houses Hong Kong's representative to the International Maritime Organization.
The Berlin ETO is responsible for fostering the economic and trade ties between Hong Kong and Germany as well as seven other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The ETOs in Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto are responsible for fostering bilateral economic and trade relations with their host countries. The Jakarta ETO, Bangkok ETO and Singapore ETO look after Hong Kong's commercial relations with the member states of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). In addition, the Bangkok ETO also covers Bangladesh, and the Singapore ETO covers India as well as serves as a direct point of contact with the Secretariats of APEC and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) located in Singapore. The Sydney ETO is also responsible for promoting Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in New Zealand, while the Tokyo ETO also covers Hong Kong’s economic and trade relations with South Korea.
The ETOs in Washington DC, New York and San Francisco look after Hong Kong's economic, commercial and public relations interests in the USA. The Washington ETO represents Hong Kong's trade and economic interests to the US administration and Congress. The New York and San Francisco ETOs are our respective East and West Coast arms.