SCED meets with representatives of chambers of commerce
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, today (June 16) met with representatives of local chambers of commerce to listen to their views and gain a better understanding of their interest in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be negotiated between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and to discuss issues of concern for Hong Kong enterprises operating in the Mainland.
The representatives come from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, and the Hong Kong Chinese Importers' and Exporters' Association.
Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The pursuit of an FTA with ASEAN is in line with Hong Kong's strategic goal to strengthen its economic partnership with ASEAN's 10 member states.
"An FTA between Hong Kong and ASEAN will enable our goods, services and investments to access the ASEAN market under more favourable conditions and boost the economic growth of Hong Kong. From a broader perspective, forging an FTA with ASEAN contributes to regional economic integration, which is beneficial to maintaining and enhancing Hong Kong's international profile and its role as a regional trading hub, as well as a gateway for trade and investment between ASEAN and the Mainland.
"We will commence formal negotiation of the FTA with ASEAN in July. The Trade and Industry Department is currently consulting members of the public on the FTA negotiation. We wish to seek views and suggestions from the business community on the FTA and the ASEAN market through today's meeting. The Government will make reference to these views during the negotiations with ASEAN," Mr So said.
In addition, the Government has been maintaining close liaison with the Mainland authorities through various channels to reflect to them the views and concerns of the Hong Kong trade. During today's meeting, chamber representatives shared their members' views on issues of concern regarding their operations on the Mainland. Such information is most useful for the Government to understand the trade's latest business situation and will help the Government reflect their views to the Mainland authorities.
Ends/Monday, June 16, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:42